Ong-Bak (2003)

Come on! Fuck Muay Thai!
–Big Bear

I heard about Prachya Pinkaew’s Ong-bak for a couple of months now from different podcasts. I wanted to check out the movie. I thought that it was a good movie, but I have some hang ups with it. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. I’m not Thai or Buddhist in any way, but some of the themes of the movies were completely lost on me.

The story revolves around a young Muay Thai warrior, Ting (Tony Jaa) sets out on a journey to Bangkok to retrieve the stolen head of Buddha that Komtuan (Suchao Pongwilai), a Bangkok drug dealer, stole in the middle of the night.

It’s important to get the head back or their holy village will face imminent disaster. Ting meets a scam artist and former resident of the village, Humlae/George (Petchtai Wongkamlao) which Ting calls “Dirty Balls.” The reason behind the nickname is never explained.

Dirty Ball’s shrieking harpy of a partner in crime, Muay Lek (Pumwaree Yodkamol?) tags along on their journey.

Ting is so determined to find the head and get back to the village that he stumbles into an underground Muay Thai fighting ring where the local crime boss and muscle-head henchman watch overhead.

The movie is so cool with the action sequences, but I thought showing the cool acrobatic moves in three different angles really irritated me to no end. The women in this movie were yelling so much that I wanted to go deaf than hear them cry like banshees.

If this sounds prejudiced– I’m sorry– but why do some people in Southern Asiatic countries have to scream all of their lines?

Some of Ting’s opponents have some of the most ridiculous hairdos I have ever seen. They look like reject members of Twisted Sister.

Judgment: If you want to see a tuk-tuk chase, a guy smoking from his trache hole or flaming legs of fury, then see this movie. Preferably in a low volume.

Rating: ****

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About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on February 18, 2009, in 2003, Action, Crime, Drama, Foreign Language and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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