Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior - 拳霸

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (拳霸) is a 2003 film out of Thailand. The movie stars Tony Jaa and propelled him to international stardom. First in Thailand, than through the rest of Asia and than to the rest of the world.

The head of a Buddha is stolen from a rural village. Ting is tasked with finding and returning the head to the village. Ting heads for the bright lights of Bangkok. Ting meets up with a former monk from his village there, Humlae. Together, they search for the head and all hell breaks lose as they close in on the guys behind the thief. Ting takes on anyone and everyone that's in his way.

I recently watched this via TNT. It was the English dubbed version, but it was all action. From the bar scene to the tuk tuks. I remember back in 2003 when I watched a Chinese dubbed version of this. It was recommended to me at my local rental place. I was blown away because it reminded me so much of 1980s style HK films. Where the action was fast and furious. Where the story was an afterthought. It was also my first glimpse into muay thai being demonstrated to the extent it was. Tony Jaa was given many labels, such as the next Bruce/Jackie/Jet. However, Tony isn't Chinese, but Thai. I didn't like the labels. I would have liked Tony Jaa, this decades answer to bone crunching martial arts!

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