Skin Trade

skintradeSkin Trade is one of those direct to DVD movies that ends up being a really good movie, and probably would have done well in the theaters. Directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham, the story is about the buying and selling of human beings, particularly women, and two detectives from different countries trying to put an end to the human trafficking ring. One cop is from Thailand. Detective Tony Vitayakul, played by dynamic martial arts champion Tony Jaa. The other cop is from NYC. Detective Nick Cassidy, played by Dolph Lundgren. Turns out they are both after the same crime lord from Serbia. Viktor, played by Ron Perlman, runs the trafficking underworld while getting his family involved at different locations around the world.

Detective Cassidy tracks down Viktor and his youngest son. They have a shootout, and Viktor’s son is killed, but Viktor escapes. The crime lord backlashes at Cassidy by having his men kill his wife, wound him and kidnap his daughter.

Cassidy decides to go after Viktor on his own because he doesn’t trust FBI Agent Reed, played Michael Jai White. He lands in Thailand. Reed alerts Detective Vitayakul that he is in his country. Both the FBI and Vitayakul go after Cassidy, and he escapes barely as Vitayakul chases after Cassidy. Here we get to see Jaa and Lundgren at their most impressive martial arts skills. What a chase this scene offers with speeds through the streets and alleys of Thailand. It ends with an awesome all-out exchange of blows between the two.  Stuff like this makes the movie impressive.

Tony and Cassidy figure out the traitor, come to terms and work together to take down Viktor, including the human trafficking ring.  More hand-to-hand combat occurs, keeping the movie all action. At the same time, the story shines through and is better than most movies of this genre. The acting is good. All in all, the movie is worth watching.