7 February 2010

HOLY SHIT! Dumbo meets Rambo...

Ong Bak 2 - Tony Jaa

Coming into this film, i had doubts, because of massive speculation of Tony Jaa leaving production half way through and living in a forest for 6 months. That little story had me worrying if the sequel will live up to the awesomeness that was Ong Bak. We’ll this isn’t a sequel; it’s a prequel, maybe the furthest prequel every in terms of years apart. Ong Bak was set modern day, Ong Bak 2 is centuries ago. It’s strange, it doesn’t feel like the same movie, where Ong Bak had very distinctive Hollywood influences, where as this has a strange cocktail of Tony Jaa’s warped mind along with traditional Asian cinema. You can see why he lost it, if he did, but he sure makes some great fighting sequences. Animal lovers beware, there are a few scenes which will make you want to kill Jaa and put his head on a stick in front of thousands of animals to prove a point. He fights on elephants; i shit you not!

The plot follows in the year 1421, a boy named Tien watches as his whole family dies, and he runs away from the King who ordered his Father’s death. Tien is then captured and tested when he is thrown into a pit of crocodiles by slave traders. Whilst Tien fights off the crocodile, he is saved by a leader of a pirate gang. The leader sees potential in Tien as a fighter and begins to train him in several different techniques of fighting, leading him to become one of the strongest fighters ever. It’s a typical martial arts film plot where a man first is weak then becomes the best and defeats a shit-ton of people. And there are a lot of people that get killed by Tien. And i mean a lot. A ridiculous amount. It almost feels like he is taking on a whole army. Just by himself; it’s amazing to watch but it becomes repetitive. The fight sequences are memorable for the great technique and flair Jaa possess.

Ong Bak was remembered for its humour and it’s no effects, no strings fighting, the breaking of bones and the real danger of people getting hurt. It what made it a cult success. Ong Bak 2 does this, but less on the humour, and it suffers for it. The fights will always be the draw for this type of film, even with Ong Bak 3 being released this year, it seems like Jaa just wants to punch and kick a lot of people and not break the stereotype of being Bruce Lee’s new protégé.


Simon Childs

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