Friday, August 2, 2013

Movie Review - Ong-Bak (2003)

A sacred statue's head is stolen from a small village.  Ting (Tony Jaa), one of the local villagers, sets out on a quest to recover the priceless spiritual piece.  What follows is numerous stunt sequences and unique martial arts choreography.

Sadly, this is still Tony Jaa's best film to date.  He carries every action scene with one stunt topping the last.  Though he carries less charisma than a young Jackie Chan, he makes up for it by doing things you have never seen before.  Ting runs on top of standing people, jumps through a small barbed wreath, and slides under a vehicle, all in one sequence.  Each stunt on screen is boasted to not have the assistance of any wire work or special effects.  The main attraction is Tony Jaa, and he has all the physical flair to carry this movie out of its generic story and cheesy acting.

Ong-Bak puts a spotlight on Muy Thai Boxing.  The style is straightforward and carries a lot of power with it.  Knees and elbows are thrown with blunt force, and it doesn't seem like these stuntmen let up on the blows much.  If you are in the mood for some good martial arts and stunts in a day and age where Jackie Chan is old and Bruce Lee is dead, have a go at Ong-Bak.

Ong-Bak is currently available for stream on Netflix.

Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language, some drug use and sexuality


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