Mayhem! (2024)

Matching the perfect title to the movie it’s attached to is trickier than it sounds, and “Mayhem!” actually accomplishes that twice over. Released internationally under the title of “Farang”, the movie tells a harrowing underdog story of a former gang member from France trying to begin life anew in Thailand (with “Farang” being a term in Thailand for Westerners).

Meanwhile, the movie’s title for its Western release, “Mayhem!”, also gets the job done of telling the audience what they’re in for – namely, a one-man army of a fighter going to war against the criminal underworld with a lot of Muay Thai mayhem being unleashed!



Nassim Lyes plays the protagonist of “Mayhem!”, Samir, with Loryn Nounay playing his wife Mia.

Olivier Gourmet portrays the villainous crime boss of the movie, Narong, with Chanantica Chiapa playing Samir and Mia’s young daughter Dara.

Vithaya Panringram also appears in “Mayhem!” as Hansa, with Sahajak Boonthanakit playing Sombat.


Many moons ago, Samir lived a life of crime in his native France, but eventually elected to turn over a new leaf and relocate to Thailand, competing in local Muay Thai fights while working in a hotel and marrying the love of his life, Mia.

Samir and Mia raise the latter’s young daughter Dara and make plans to save enough money to relocate Mia’s restaurant to one of Thailand’s scenic beaches, but their ambitions run head on into not only the bureaucracy of local property development, but also sinister crime boss Narong.

Narong uncovers Samir’s criminal past, and offers to let Samir and Mia buy the land they need in exchange for Samir using his skill set to complete an illicit courier job for the developer.

Unfortunately, the job goes south with Samir finding himself on the run from local Thai authorities and the day ending tragically with Narong’s gang arriving to kill Mia and burn down their home.

After recovering from his injuries, Samir embarks on a mission to avenge Mia’s killing and rescue the kidnapped Dara.


“Mayhem!” Keeps its Action in Check for the First Half

One might expect a movie entitled “Mayhem!” to kick off with the craziest action scene it can conjure up, but the movie actually takes a relatively conservative approach to its fight scenes in its first half.

“Mayhem!” places its immediate focus on Samir’s family life with Mia and Dara in Thailand and his efforts to leave his rough past behind him, and the movie handles his low-key life with such deftness and care that it’s easy to forget one is watching a gritty action flick in the first place.

Nassim Lyes brings a youthful empathy and likeability to his somewhat soft-spoken portrayal of Samir as a devoted family man, and one who has gotten a mostly raw deal ever since the bad situation that forced him to leave France.

Samir’s quiet, idyllic life with Mia and Dara makes for a heartwarming introduction to a family that is just trying to play by the rules to achieve their professional and economic dreams but who continue to have to navigate an obstacle course to get there.

That’s not to say that “Mayhem!” is completely quiet in its first half, though, with the movie delivering a few appetizers of the intense action it has in store early on in Samir’s construction site brawl that led him to flee France and a few of his semi-pro Muay Thai fights.

While all of them get the job done on their own terms, none really rise to the “mayhem” level of intensity, but viewers shouldn’t feel shortchanged either – because that’s very clearly by design.

“Mayhem!” Goes Bonkers in its Second Half

Once Samir’s courier gig is botched, “Mayhem!” kicks into overdrive with hard-hitting, fast-paced, and gripping action scenes.

Samir’s failed attempt to defend his family and homestead is a true hero fighting a losing battle action scene as Samir slams his enemies harder than ever out of sheer desperation, but ultimately failing to win the day.

“Mayhem!” subsequently switches into a different kind of emotional point-of-view with Samir powered by a combination of determination and fury on his dual revenge-rescue mission, which the movie’s fight scenes continue reflecting.

Samir’s hotel Muay Thai brawl with a band of henchman shatters glass cases with the zeal of “Police Story” as he and his enemies (including a cameo by Dutch superkicker Ron Smoorenburg) unleash knees and roundhouse kicks upon one another. A splendid martial arts brawl on its own, to be sure, but the finale is where “Mayhem!” truly becomes mayhem.

Talk About a Final Showdown!

Side-stepping spoilers about a major plot twist in the movie’s final ten minutes, the final smackdown of “Mayhem!” gives martial arts movie lovers a delectable combo pack – a hallway fight worthy of “The Raid” and an elevator showdown worthy of “Merantau”, both with the gloves-completely-discarded approach of “The Night Comes For Us”.

Nassim Lyes really gets to put his kicking skills to work in the former, his roundhouse kicks the work of a Muay Thai Babe Ruth, while the elevator brawl follows that up with a mix of close-quarters Muay Thai, gun-fu, and blade-fu with the DNA of Indonesia’s patented action-horror hybridized approach to fight choreography.

As a bonus, it also sets up one hell of a bad guy demise that draws some surprising but clear inspiration from “Robocop” and does Samir’s cybernetic fellow protagonist proud.


“Mayhem!” takes a bit more time reaching top speed than you might expect, but saving the bulk of its mayhem for the second half serves it well as both an action film and a family drama.

The movie’s early story of Samir trying to restart his life in Thailand resonates well through Nassim Lyes empathetic and likable performance with the film showing everything that he’s fighting for.

Once “Mayhem!” goes all out in its second half, it gives action lovers everything they’re looking for and then some, including a finale that is among the wildest and most intense final showdowns in a long time.

“Mayhem!” keeps itself well-focused on its story and protagonist to not be completely out of control, and even with that kind of discipline, the mayhem it delivers is plentiful and plenty wild!

Favorite Quote

  • “I’m not going to lose a second son. I’m coming with you.” – Hansa (when Sam embarks on his revenge mission.)


  • Prior to his film work, Nassim Lyes was a competitive martial artist and French national kickboxing champion.
  • Nassim Lyes previously played Simyon Novak in the 2021 French Netflix movie “The Last Mercenary” alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme.
  • Action designer Jude Poyer has worked in stunts on other movies like “The Medallion”, “The Da Vinci Code”, “Ip Man 4: The Finale”, “Kingsman: The Secret Service”, “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”. He has also worked as a fight coordinator and action designer on Gareth Evans 2018 Netflix horror movie “Apostle”, the Netflix series “Furies”, and was stunt coordinator on “The Turtle and the Sea”, the movie debut of 34th generation Shaolin disciple and teacher of the Shaolin Temple UK, Shifu Yan Lei.
  • Charlie Ruedpokanon and Olivier Sa served as stunt coordinators on the film. Some of Charlie’s other credits as both actor and stuntman include “Ninja II: Shadow of a Tear”, “The Man with the Iron Fists 2”, Netflix’s “Marco Polo” and “Fistful of Vengeance”, and the Disney+ Marvel series “Ms. Marvel”.
  • Olivier has also done stunt work and fight choreography on such movies and shows as Netflix’s “Furies”, “Chinese Zodiac”, “District 13: Ultimatum”, “Spectre”, and “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”.
Mayhem! (2024) movie poster

Mayhem! (2024) – movie poster

Film Rating: 8/10

“Mayhem!” is now available on Amazon digital and VOD platforms!

Have you seen “Mayhem!” yet? What are your thoughts on the movie’s amazing, hard core action scenes? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

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Brad Curran

From the earliest days of childhood, Brad Curran was utterly fascinated by martial arts, his passion only growing stronger after spending time living in the melting pot of Asian cultures that is Hawaii. His early exposure developed into a lifelong passion and fascination with all forms of martial arts and tremendous passion for action and martial arts films. He would go on to take a number of different martial arts forms, including Shaolin Ch'uan fa, Taekwondo, Shotokan Karate and remains a devoted student, avid and eager to continue his martial arts studies. Brad is also an aspiring writer and deeply desires to share his love for martial arts and martial arts movies with the world!

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