Let’s take a moment and applaud Xavier Gens for bringing back the old days of close combat action films in his latest action thriller, “Mayhem!” also known as Farang. The color grading, intention, plot, everything takes us back to the glory days when films like “Ong-Bak” used to leave a long-lasting imprint because of their perfectly designed hand-to-hand combats. Gunfights are okay for the thrill, but in hand-to-hand fights, the audience goes through an adrenaline rush at times.

I am definitely not comparing “Mayhem” to “Ong-Bak” because, you see, “Ong-Bak” is the benchmark of action films, while “Mayhem” lacks the depths of the character, and the plot does not get any better with a very predictable twist at large. But, the film is a must-watch because of its action sequences and the camera movement. The hallway fight scene, however, could have been better, but the sequence in the lift is something you ought to see for yourself…brilliant!

Spoilers Ahead

Mayhem! (2023) Plot Summary and Movie Synopsis:

The film starts with our protagonist, Sam, practicing boxing while a fight breaks out in the gym. Sam stays away from the trouble as he soon gets the day parole from jail. When he gets out, his old friends from Farhat want him to deliver something (drugs or some stuff) to some place, to which he does not respond. He does not want to get himself into any kind of trouble as he registers himself as a construction worker. Later, while returning, the same group of Farhat’s men chase Sam as he hides himself in one of the buildings of a construction site.

Later, he confronts Farhat’s brother, who hits him with a stick, and Sam is bleeding. Sam tries to block his kicks. But Farhat’s younger brother is relentless and does not hold back for a second. Seeing there is no option out there to stop the kicks from him, Sam finally kicks him once, and Farhat’s younger brother loses his balance completely. Sam is trying to avoid any trouble. However, he sees Farhat’s brother falling from the floor to the ground and dies in an instant. Sam runs away from the scene, and we see him in Thailand five years later.

How does Sam meet with Narong?

Sam has totally changed his identity to protect himself from Farhat’s rage as he has settled here in Thailand with Mia and their daughter, Dara. Mia works for Sombat, owner of a local restaurant, and Sam works at the airport. Sam, however, wants to earn more money for the family by boxing part-time. Hansa, his trainer, sees Sam as his own son and takes very good care of him. Mia dreams of opening a restaurant close to the beach, which is an ideal spot for tourists. However, they are outbid by a guy named Narong, who owns almost half of the beach. Seeing disappointment and frustration in Mia, Sam asks Sombat to fix a meeting with this Narong guy.

Sombat does so but warns Sam that Narong is a very dangerous person. When Sam meets him, Narong gives him a vibe that he has known Sam for a long time. Anyway, Narong agrees to give the land to Sam, but he lays one condition. He says that since Sam works in the airport, he needs to deliver a package for them, or else he will have to pay a huge amount of money to buy the land from him. Sam, to fulfill Mia’s dream, decides to deliver the package. The following day, Sam receives the package from Narong and sees that he wants him to deliver cocaine placed inside a doll. Narong tells him that a security guard named Kim will be there to guide him once he crosses the security posts.

What does Narong do to Sam and His Family?

Sam, drenched in sweat, somehow crosses the security checkpost with the package and sees Kim inside. All the steps are done, and he needs to follow Kim to place the package, and then everything is sorted. But, out of nowhere, the police catch Kim while the sniffer dog shouts at Sam. Sam realizes that someone has already given the news to the police, and he runs without wasting much time. Sam comes to his house and asks Mia and Dara to pack up as they need to leave as soon as possible.

However, by that time, Sam’s house is filled with Narong’s men, and when Sam tries to fight them off, they injure him badly by cutting his forehead with a blade. Narong’s right-hand man, Kasem, takes Dara with him while Sam watches Mia being murdered mercilessly. Kasem burns the whole house down as they leave Mia and Sam on the floor to die. Soon after, we see Hansa recover Sam from the fire and try to heal his wounds. As time progresses, Sam’s physical wounds start to recover. But he is in shock, knowing that his family is gone forever.

What does Sam learn from Kasem?

Mayhem (2023) Movie Ending Explained
A still from “Mayhem!” (2023)

After recovery, Sam visits Sombat straight away, and he tells Sam since everyone thinks he is dead, he should just disappear from Thailand and settle somewhere else. Sam has only one thing on his mind, and that is to find his daughter, Dara, and kill whoever is responsible for the death of Mia. He goes to the place where he first met with Narong and learns that Kasem can be found in town. From town, Sam learns the exact place where Kasem will be. Sam enters the property without fearing the number of men on the opposite side.

He kills every one that comes in his path to get to Kasem. Right before he is about to shoot Kasem, he tells Sam that Dara is alive. Sam removes the gun for a second, and when Kasem catches the barrel, Sam accidentally shoots him dead. Now, Sam does not know how to find Dara. Therefore, he starts questioning every girl who is working as a sex worker there. One of them tells Sam that younger girls have moved to Bangkok, and he may find Dara there along with Narong. Sam returns to Hansa and he realizes that Sam has got himself into big trouble.

Mayhem! (2023) Movie Ending Explained:

Does Sam find Dara in Bangkok?

Hansa has decided to help Sam on his quest as he does not want to lose another son. Together, they reach Sombat for help but there they find out that he has sold his restaurant to settle in a different place since Sam has killed Kasem. So, Sam and Hansa reach Bangkok in search of Dara, and in one of the places, Sam confronts an old woman who tells them about where Narong can be found. Hansa creates a distraction while Sam enters Narong’s place, as he confronts a young woman who asks him to follow her.

Sam sees children being used to put pills and drugs inside lobsters as he fights with the guards and sets them free. Sam learns that Narong is inside the building, so he goes after him. In between, Sam fights with almost ten people to reach Narong. When he reaches there to face him, he is left with very little strength to face him. Narong then reveals that it was all part of Farhat’s plan, as he had sent Kasem to track Sam so that he could seek revenge for his brother’s murder.

Sombat gives up the information about Sam, and finally, they are able to destroy his family to complete Farhat’s revenge on him. Later, Narong tells Sam that Dara never left Bang Chan, the place where Sam used to live with his family. Sombat has his daughter from the beginning, and now Narong tries to kill Sam by choking him to death. However, with the little willpower to see his daughter, the last tears of Mia rejuvenate Sam’s spirit. During previous face-offs, he had one of his bones sticking out of his skin, he put it into Narong’s throat resulting in his death.

Is Sombit Dead or Alive?

Sam returns to Bang Chan and sees a restaurant opened near the beach, where Dara’s name is on the outside. Sam confronts Sombit, where he confesses that he was in love with Mia even before Sam came into town. He only wanted Sam removed from the equation, but things got out of hand. He never wanted anything bad to happen to either Mia or Dara. To lessen the regret of losing Mia, he takes good care of Dara now.

Sam fails to shoot Sombit as he hears Dara crying for him from far away. Sam runs toward Dara and hugs her. He picks her up and starts walking when he hears a gunshot from behind. Sam realizes that Sombit has shot himself, and just like Hansa, he is dead, too. If there is a sequel, it will all be about Sam’s revenge on Farhat, as he is the main culprit behind everything. However, there will be no Hansa this time around unless the makers decide to somehow bring him back again. The chemistry between Hansa and Sam is one of the best things apart from the fight sequences in Xavier Gens’ “Mayhem!”

Read More: Top 15 Action Movies of 2023


Mayhem (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd
The Cast of Mayhem (2023) Movie: Nassim Lyes, Loryn Nounay, Olivier Gourmet, Vithaya Pansringarm, Mehdi Hadim, Kenneth Won, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Chananticha Chaipa, Boonsong Nakphoo, Sawanee Utoomma, Narilya Gulmongkolpech
Mayhem (2023) Movie Genre: Action/Mystery & thriller, Runtime: 1h 49m

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