Monday, July 23, 2007

Ong-Bak: Tony Jaa (2003)

ong-bak, muay thai, thai movieTo fight for the honor of his village, he must unleash the ancient art of Muay Thai: 9 Body Weapons.

Ong-Bak is a Thai movie that any martial art movie enthusiast would enjoy watching.

Ong-Bak -- In a village in rural Thailand, the head of a small Buddha statue called Ong-Bak was stolen by a businessman because of the profits that he could get when he succeeds in selling the statue. The whole village is grief-stricken because it is their belief that Ong-Bak brings them rain and saves them from any danger that might befall the village.

A boy from the village, Boonting (Tony Jaa) was given the task of retrieving Ong-Bak's head in Bangkok. Using his muay thai training, Boonting goes through many difficult tasks and adversaries in order to take back what is rightfully theirs.

What makes me like Ong-Bak does not rely on the story but on the fight scenes. The story can be found in any generic Asian movie about bravery, patriotism and all that. What sets it apart is, as I mentioned, the fight scenes.

Tony Jaa uses the traditional Thai martial arts, muay thai, in creating his fight scenes. How is it different? To quote the creators of the movie, "No computer graphics. No stunt doubles. No wires." Yep, extreme fight scenes without any safety wires, nets and whatnot. That, for me, is the best thing about Ong-Bak that would make you want to watch it over and over again.