Blatant imitation and shameless spoof take the “Charlie’s Angels” genre back to its jiggle origins in “Chai-lai: Dangerous Flowers,” a shoddy but fun espionage romp from Thailand. One of several low-budgeters directed by Poj Arnon over the past couple of years, pic racked up decent local B.O. earlier this year. Its sheer silliness could help steer it into midnight fest slots.
When the daughter of a Japanese karate master is kidnapped for her knowledge about a giant pearl kept on the ocean floor, armchair crimefighter Somrak (Thai comedian Petchtai Wongkamlao) enlists his five beautiful agents — Rose, Lotus, Poysien (as in Ivy), Spadix and Hibiscus — to save the day. Collectively known as Chai-lai (Thai for “gorgeous”) Dangerous Flowers, the quintet joke, kick and strike cheesecake poses as they endeavor to retrieve both the schoolgirl and the precious pearl. Film maintains a crude charm thanks to slapstick comedy, amiable perfs and an unwillingness to take itself seriously.