Movie Review: Ong Bak, Thai Warrior


This was shockingly good. Simple story of a young man from a small town in thailand traveling to Bankok to recover a stolen budda head. The protagonist, played by Tony Jaa is placed in a bewildering array of fight scenes and chase scenes. Jaa's acrobatics are stunning, jumping over, through and onthings, climbing huge walls, mmmm good. No wire-fu here. The fight scenes are similarly good, in the vein of Kickboxer/Bloodsport, but quite bit more interesting. The whole film was, dare I say it, compelling. Tony Jaa is a very soft spoken and intense actor. His musculature is very understated. He flys through the air with the greatest of ease. This movie beats the pants off of the recent, excellent Heroand Hizzle Flizzle Dizzle, not to mention the bizarrely over the top Kung Fu Hustle. The DVD features are OK, but the movie stands up to repeated watchings in one weekend and is well worth the 10 bucks amazon is charging, I will probably add it next time I buy something from them, just so I can watch the "oh god, mad dog" fight over and over again.

After seeing this, I rented Tony Jaa's next movie The Protector, but found the movie severely lacking. I have read that the US release (which I got as disc one from netflix) is 27 minutes shorter than the original. It seems like it as some of the action scenes, especially in the beginning, are without setup. The DVD features on this one are excellent, but it might be worth getting both DVD's of the US release or buying it so you get both the original version (on Disc 2) and the excellent features. Damn you netflix and your crappy disc one/disc two policy.

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