Jen’s Cinema is where I review a TV show or movie that is available on Netflix or Hulu Plus. Got a request? Comment below and I’ll give it a whack.
Ong-Bak is available on instant Netflix.
A small simple poor village in Thailand becomes unhinged the morning when they find out their sacred statue of their deity’s head is stolen. One villager, Ting (Tony Jaa), goes to the city to bring back the statue. While trying to find the statue, he is forced to defend himself by using his skills in Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing).
I’m a huge fan of Tony Jaa. I’ve been doing Muay Thai for about 4 years and this movie only motivates me to be a better fighter. Off the bat, the plot is weak. Unless if you are into Asian culture, you aren’t going to understand why it’s important for this village to get their statue back. Villages actually believe that not having a deity to watch over their village, can cause major suffering, which is kinda touched in this movie. The only reason why this movie is even worth watching is the fighting. Just like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li (sorta), Tony Jaa does all this fight scenes. And we aren’t talking simple, either. I’m talking about elaborate death and gravity defiant fighting scenes. The great thing about the fight scenes is that it’s not only slowed down, but even repeated, just to make sure you caught it. Some cinematographer/directors may frowned on that, but as a viewer, I loved it. I didn’t have to waste time rewinding the DVD.
The clip above is one of my favorites. It’s not the best fight scene of the movie, but it’s fun to watch. Sorry I couldn’t find the translation, but when (or if) you watch the movie, this scene’s dialogue is really funny. I swear, Tony Jaa is like a cat in this scene. It’s amazing he could do all this without any wires.
In the movie, Tony Jaa’s character fights Muay Baron, which is the predecessor to Muay Thai. Layman’s terms: Muay Baron is ancient style, which is not taught except for a small handful of temples in Thailand. I (and everyone else in the Martial Arts community) trains in Muay Thai, the modern or ring style of Muay Baron. It’s actually pretty hypnotic to watch his fight scenes.
For a Thai movie, it’s a really impressively good movie. The quality is not the greatest, but the action scenes are way better than any American Martial Art movie I’ve ever seen.
8 out of 10
A really good action movie with a semi-weak plot, but that can’t take away the fact that Tony Jaa brings it. All and all, a fun time.
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