Ever wonder what the Rain Man would've been like if, instead of math, he'd been a ball-punching savant? And he had to fight an evil Rain Man at the end? Wonder no more!
Chocolate is the heartwarming tale of a mentally handicapped girl trying to save her ailing mother by extorting businessmen out of their hard-earned money via kicks to the neck.
It's all going great until the Thai mob enters the picture. They send out Yakuza assassins, and the mentally handicapped protagonist, Zen, has to fight an endless wave of mob goons using only the power of Weaponized Autism. Just when it seems as if nothing is going to stop her, the bad guys decide to fight fire with fire...
Meet Thomas, an evil mentally challenged kung fu master. What, exactly, his disability happens to be isn't clear, but it doesn't really matter: Having any kind of special need in this film translates into martial arts mastery. He's literally the only character that gives Zen a run for her money, but it's OK because his Epilepsy Style is no match for her Social Withdrawal Style.
In that clip, Zen beats Thomas by using her autistic disability to imitate his disability, which is basically just twitching in a way beneficial to fighting. You know what they say: The only way to beat a cripple is to become a cripple. Oh wait, nobody says that, because that's fucking horrible, Chocolate.
There is literally no joke we can make about this scene that won't instantly damn us to hell.
So why is the movie called Chocolate? Because the main character likes chocolate. Oh, and probably because they didn't want a title that accurately reflected the fact that their film is about people with mental disabilities beating each other to a pulp. Any theater displaying that on the marquee is probably getting burned to the ground.
2Heart of the Dragon
So, before today, how many movies about mentally handicapped martial artists could you name? Well, congratulations, after today it's two.
In Heart of the Dragon Jackie Chan plays Tad (wait, really?), a cop who works with the SWAT team, who gives up his dreams of sailing the world in order to support his brother, Danny. Danny is played by Sammo Hung--a huge star most well known in Hong Kong for his movies, and most recognized in the States for his hit series Martial Law (what do you mean "what's Martial Law?" Grow some fucking culture, heathens).
Hung is the mentally challenged one, by the way. Honestly, is this a whole genre over there? Does "handicapped" mean something different in Asia? Do roving gangs of mentally disabled just terrorize the streets in Hong Kong?
This film attempts quite a bit of dramatic bonding between the characters in between the kung fu, and we quickly learn that this is not a great genre for learning important lessons about the mentally challenged. One minute somebody's struggling with balancing life goals and supporting their handicapped brother, the next they're getting a back-kick to the groin.
For example, when we first meet Danny, he's goaded into ordering all kinds of food from an expensive restaurant for his friends, none of which he can pay for. He's embarrassed and wants to go home. This is a mentally challenged man who's been taken advantage of by people he thought he could trust. Tragic.
At least, it would be if the staff at the restaurant didn't respond by instantly kung fu-ing the ass of a clearly disabled man, complete with wacky sound effects--every punch to his stomach sounds like Moe beating up on Curly.
Danny eventually locks himself in the kitchen freezer at the restaurant and won't let anyone in. When he's finally brought out by Jackie Chan, he's cartoonishly frozen--but the surrounding characters treat it all very seriously.
It's all just so, so wrong. It's like they never sat down and had a meeting about whether they were making a slapstick kung fu comedy or a heartfelt Best Picture nominee. Serious predicaments are treated with comical beatings, and the cartoonish antics are treated like high drama. And the thing is, you don't feel right laughing during any of it, because at the end of the day you're watching a guy with a malfunctioning brain get kicked in the gut.