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Ong-bak
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Reviews & Ratings for
Ong-bak More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A star is born

9/10
Author: Macholic from Copenhagen, Denmark, EU
3 April 2005

What do you do if you are a small drought stricken village in Thailand that just lost the head of its religious shrine to theft, the Ong-Bak Buddha statue? And of cause it happens just the week before the biggest religious feast in 24 years. Answer: You send your best Thai boxer to Bangkok to recover it and kick butt on the bad guys. Ting is your basic boyscout: He won't fight for money and he would rather run than fight. But fate wants it otherwise: Ting get to fight a lot, for his life, for his friend and for Ong-Bak and he gets to run a lot and in the process of doing just that he displays the most amazing martial arts skills it an almost endless series of breakneck stunts, all done by himself without wires, stunt doubles or special effects. If you thought Johhny O & co. from JackAss were doing wild stuff, take a look at this. I don't recall having seen Jackie Chan or Jet Li doing crazy stuff like this. This is an action orgy glued together by a decent story, amazing direction and photography.If action and martial arts is up your alley you will want to see this amazing movie. Tony Jaa starring as Ting is a rising star. Seatbelt for your armchair is optional but recommended, buckle up and let the ride begin!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Perfect action movie

10/10
Author: dragonne-1 from France
30 March 2005

If you love this perfect movie with no trick at all, see "Banlieue 13" with David Belle, the initiator of the "Parkour", the art of moving fast and anywhere in big city. You will love it ! no doubt !

The adepts of the "Parkour" are capable to clear any obstacle in a city while passing by the walls, the roofs, the bridges etc... all it to a mad speed and with a big dexterity Hollowing, this sport requires, as in Ong Baks, big physical quality and good notions of cascade. These 2 movies are the best of action I never see ! Maybe one day, the first two actors of these movies will meet and will offer us a astonishing spectacle

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Promise for the future the present is a work in progress

7/10
Author: kergillian (kergillian@hotmail.com) from Montreal, Canada
27 March 2005

There's no denying Jaa's talent - one merely has to look at the foot chase through the streets of Bangkok, with Jaa leaping, nay FLYING, through the air over everything and everyone, through hoops, under cars, between-over-under-around obstacles everywhere, to see the grace and flow of his movements, and the raw potential that lies within his body, untapped.

But first he needs to work on the other side of film-making - you know, the acting? Jackie Chan has the clownish charm, Jet Li has the smile and the presence - the charisma, Chow Yun-Fat has the eyes - that disturbing glare and the sense that he is none-too- stable, Chieu Shek has the raw emotion and the on screen pain, and Lao Ching-Wan has the whole package put together. Tony Jaa needs to find the emotion, needs to let it out. Because although this film is essentially an action-packed showcase of his ability as a raw fighter, Wongkamlao steals the screen in almost every scene.

When Jaa finds his role, he will take his place among the greatest Asia martial arts/ action stars of today. But he has quite a ways to go before reaching that level. 6.5/10.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Return of the Martial Art Genre

Author: bantouman from Tennessee
25 March 2005

As a youngster, I was so enthralled with Bruce Lee films that I enrolled in Martial Arts. Jackie Chan carried the Martial Arts Genre for a while, but he seems to have abandoned it. After watching Ong-Bak, I have no doubt that Tony Jaa can bring new life to martial arts film making. This guy is simply phenomenal. In Ong-Bak, Tony Jaa plays the role of Ting, a young man who strives to retrieve his village sacred relic that was stolen by big city thugs. The action in this movie is on-going, and it is genuine because Tony Jaa is your special effects. What a welcomed relief from the unrealistic, digitally mastered, computer game action sequences inflicted upon us in today's action movies ! If Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan made us enjoy Chinese Kung-Fu, Tony Jaa brings us something new in Martial Arts: Thailand's Muay Thai, a style that emphasizes the extensive use of knees and elbows, and Tony Jaa brings it to light, in Ong-Bak, with mind numbing athleticism. This movie is worth your every penny and then some. It's been a long time since I watched a movie where you could hear moviegoers gasp in awe of the action. I highly recommend this film.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A little bit to hyped, but still good

7/10
Author: Gregg Raffa from CT, USA
24 March 2005

From the first time I viewed the trailer I was blown away and knew I had to see this movie. I wanted to see it in the theater, but it stopped playing near me the day I had planned on seeing it, so I bought it on ebay. While waiting to see this movie I watched the trailer at least once a day.. .which wasn't a very good thing, since most of the best parts of the movie are in the trailer and it kind of ruined it for me. Obviously, the acting and plot are not a reason to see this movie, though it can be very humorous and fun to watch. I had expected the action to make up for the other parts, and it mostly did... but there actually was too much space in between the action, and there really wasn't enough to make it worth watching as many times as I thought. the instant replay in the fight and stunt scenes was slightly over used, but it was cool to see some stunts from a different angle. One thing I can say about the fights is that they were the most physical and intense fights I have even seen (something I was expecting). It's a nice change from all the more choreographed, little-contact fighting style that many martial arts movies have. The fights in this movie are pretty brutal and fun to watch, especially the scene where the opponent uses everything he can to win, including the kitchen sink.

I had expected to be completely blown away, but really wasn't as much as i hoped. It just wasn't paced as well as some of the more popular martial arts movies (my favorite is Fist of Legend), but it did have some great acrobatics. I think future movies from Tony Jaa will be more amazing and polished than Ong-Bak, and Jaa will hopefully rise as the new martial arts movie master. He just needs some acting lessons and a better script to work with.

Overall 7.5/10

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The House of Flying Knees!

8/10
Author: aPONNAMP from Scarborough (Toronto), Canada
19 March 2005

The single greatest action movie ever made! I can't guarantee that no one was hurt during the filming of this movie though. What this movie lacks in plot, it makes up in flying knees! Tony Jaa definitely knows how to throw them 'bows. If you're looking for pure action with "no strings attached" then this is the movie to watch. It's funny even if you're watching it with subtitles. The supporting cast is quite amusing to watch and listen. They keep it interesting. The action begins right from the start and doesn't let up until the end. It's the fastest 105 minutes of movie you'll ever see. I can only hope for a sequel or at least other movies with Tony Jaa. Ong-Bak is worth watching several times - I know I will!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Amazing

10/10
Author: jasonpierce80 from United States
14 March 2005

If anyone doesn't like this movie or at least appreciate what you see, you shouldn't be allowed to watch movies. This is one of the best martial arts movies I have ever seen and Tony Jaa is jaw-dropping amazing. Can't wait till I see him again!! There can only be one Bruce Lee, one Jet Li, and one Jackie Chan. Now, there is only one Tony Jaa. He has made a name for himself in my book. This movie is so real, you can feel every punch, knee, elbow, kick, and head butt. You can just sit in your seat and let out that "ohhhhh oh my god are you kidding me". I think this guy is gonna be around for a while and it's only gonna get better.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Incredible Muay Thai showcase, totally baddass flick!

9/10
Author: cupofgreen from United States
13 March 2005

This film delivers. In full. From the very first breathtaking scene, to the poetic justice of the villains' demise. Fantastic cinematography, a lot of original techniques, completely unparalleled martial arts display, and the most baddass fighting and chase scenes ever. The story is hackneyed and completely besides the point. Reading the description of the plot gives completely the wrong impression seeing as how it's painfully cliché, and despite this fact, Ong Bak manages to entertain and amaze, without being cheesy. This is a serious martial arts film, displaying many human virtues, the sacred notions of faith, family and honor, of the highest sort. Not to mention a completely kick-ass soundtrack to boot!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Action Genre Film

10/10
Author: Sapphira Gratz (sapphirag@yahoo.com) from Tampa
11 March 2005

This is probably the best straight action movie I've seen in a long time. I'd read a lot of disappointing reviews of it but I think that's because people were expecting to see some kind of artistic cinema like 'Hero' or 'Crouching Tiger'. None of that here - this is old school Bruce Lee stuff and it's straight bad guy vs. good guy. There is a working plot that makes perfect sense and I think American audiences have been a bit harsh because we don't know much about Thai culture. Tony Jaa shines in the film and does some awesome feats WITHOUT the use of wires or camera tricks (so they say, hey I believe it). It's just him kicking butt and some really good editing. His body is lean, flexible, and he has a cool camera presence that lacks the humor of Jackie Chan - this guy means business with his Muay Thai fighting style. I loved it and the other people in my theater were oooing and ahhhing as well. That guy puts POWER behind his punches. No choreographed dance moves like the Matrix either - you see him throwing his body into people. If you are a fan of Bruce Lee films then this is the one you have to see. It's awesome!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Excellent film

9/10
Author: Mike Helfield (Invictus) from Montreal West, Quebec
10 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ong Bak is an excellent film. It is a true martial arts masterpiece. It was able to relay Thai cultural values at the same time as deliver great action sequences.

To my knowledge, this was the first film to combine Muay Thai with a Jet-Li/Jackie Chan type fighting sequence. Of particular significance was the opening training scene, where we see Ting yell out the names of the ancient moves. These names (which are based on animals) are reminiscent of early Kung Fu movies which (such as Iron Monkey and Chinese Connection) which also overtly display the names of ancient techniques. Ong Bak shows how Thai history and culture, deeply entwined with Buddhism, has evolved, and how Thailand also has a place in the history of martial arts in general.

Towards the end of the film we have a fighting sequence with a bo, which seems like a tribute to Bruce Lee's fight scene in Enter the Dragon. The sudden inclusion of tonfa, seems to be a recognition of Okinawan Karate, and its influence in martial arts stage and screen acting.

The overall plot of the film is predictable. Nobody will have trouble following the story. The contrast between country and city life is a theme that goes back to the Roman poet Horace, who wrote a poem about a country mouse and a city mouse.

It is evident, however, that Ong Bak was able to introduce something new (aggressive and explosive thai fighting) while managing to pay its respects to its predecessors. Moreover, it did so in a stimulating and eye-popping way.

Four Stars

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