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|Index||43 reviews in total|
Pretty much everything I have to say is already out there in different reviews, but I'm going to say it anyway. The acting is bad, the dialogue atrocious and the storyline confusing. This I wouldn't care for, if they hadn't spent so much bloody time on it. I expected to see Tony Jaa kick ass, but as many of you pointed out, there's almost none of that as well. Especially the final fight is very disappointing and if you've watched the previous Tony Jaa movies you know all his moves by now. While I appreciate the effort to make a "real" film instead of an action flick, it was done horribly as the cinematics are awful: numerous completely pointless close-ups and weak special effects make it look like a college project at times. Special mention goes to the Comic relief character; never have worse humorous attempts been put to film.
Picking up directly where we last left off in that cliffhanger ending
in Part 2 after an opening credits montage to quickly jog our memory,
we see how Tien gets systematically broken down by the many minions of
his nemesis Lord Rajasena (Sarunyoo Wongkrachang). Here's where I think
the Thai audience have the last laugh with their recent censor ratings.
Ong Bak 3 is rating an 18+ there, and over here, we got by with an
NC16. Not so bad I thought to myself, until the first 5 minutes saw a
number of badly executed butchering of the film, that I balked. We
should have gone M18 to be in line, and perhaps those torture scenes
would have survived the censors scissors. But no thanks to the
distributors who decided to try and make this film appeal to a larger
Jaa audience. Surprisingly though the more violent moments later on in
the film were left untouched, scenes that I felt were violent enough
with the likes of a decapitation, and face/head stomp to warrant an axe
under the NC16 rating. But I guess I'm not a censor.
Anyway, action fans may feel a little bit disappointed with this installment which ran just over 90 minutes. For the first hour we only have limited battle sequences involving our hero, so savour whatever you can in his fight for survival against hordes of weapon wielding enemies who have the unfair advantage of strength in numbers against a badly beaten (just came off those numerous fights from Ong Bak 2) Tien. Totally broken and just as he's about to be executed, Tien gets saved by the bell and brought back to the village of Kana Khone, where another fight ensues involving his new rescuers against Rajasena's assassins.
Then it's a good plod onto the hour mark, where Tien goes through a reincarnation of sorts, involving body wraps, mystical chants, Master Bua (Nirut Sirichanya) turning to monkhood and imparting pearls of wisdom, the rehabilitation of body, mind and soul, time for romance with Pim (Primorata Dejudom) his pillar of strength, discussions of karmic philosophy and the circle of life. Tien has to unlearn what he has learnt, and basically has to snap all the bones of his body back in place before he can practice martial arts again, which brings us a bearded Jaa and a training montage in a tree, under water, showing off a lean though scarred body, and is that a little paunch I see as well?
So while Tien takes a breather of sorts for his transformation, the duty of keeping the action junkies entertained fell on Dan Chupong's shoulders, as his very short supporting role as the Crow Ghost got expanded here, with his motivation fully revealed. His character soars to evil heights here, taking over the mantle as chief villain, and allowing Chupong to reintroduce himself as an action star to be reckoned with in his own right. Those who have seen Born to Fight and Dynamite Warrior will know what he is capable of, and I really salute him for daring to take on a negative role just to spar with Jaa on screen.
But what a letdown when they finally get together to do battle. Overall I found their sparring quite weak compared to what had been done earlier in the film involving other exponents, and the finishing blow was quite a letdown. Already the number of fights and spars here were limited to begin with, one even involving the architecture of the mind (sorry, Inception still fresh), and this one just didn't pack enough oomph. It's built up to be something like Tien being a Moses to lead his people, captive by the Crow to be slaves getting constantly whipped, back to their promised land, and hey, he even comes with a staff that got dropped off after a magical moment got executed, in time for fisticuffs.
The only positive coming out from this new Tien, is his new fighting ability. Tien is now more graceful, thanks to the fusion of dance to his moves, and the many moments when this parallel that dance brings to the table, got heavy emphasis, meshing what we usually think of as effeminate, to giving that suppleness to the more masculine moves involving elbows and knees to bone-crunching effect. This to-the-point moves were not forgotten of course, and come in the form of very economical, sometimes comical, but always simple, strikes involving forearms and a rigid body trained to be as hard as steel. I still miss those drunken fists moves from the earlier film, and the insanely choreographed finale battles then, which this one had tried to emulate, only to be a pale shadow of its former's glory.
Comedian Petchtai Wongkamiao provided some comic relief in a film that took itself quite seriously, and I think in light of some of the themes that were handled in quite a verbose manner, this was much appreciated. Ong Bak 3 straddles martial arts and philosophy very openly and tried to strike a fair balance between the two, but alas it came off as quite a schizophrenic film very much like True Legend in spirit. I hope the Ong Bak 2 and 3 episodes don't tank Tony Jaa's career, because I'm sure he has enough in reserve to wow audiences once again, should the right story come along that pushes his physical boundaries.
The cursed Lord Rajasena orders his warriors to beat up on and break
the bones of Tien (Tony Jaa). When Tien is ready to be decapitated, a
messenger from King Ayothaya arrives bringing a pardon and Tien is
released and transported almost dead to Kana Khone village. Master Bua
heals Tien and teaches meditation to help him to resolve the issues of
his Karma. While Tien recovers, the evil Bhuti Sangkha defeats
Rajasena's soldiers and beheads the king to take his power and
treasure. Bhuti self-proclaims king, initiating a kingdom of cruelties.
When Tien returns to Kana Khone, he finds the village destroyed and the
villagers abducted. Now Tien has to fight against a powerful enemy to
release his friends and stop the kingdom of fear of Bhuti Sangkha.
"Ong Bak 3" is a boring, messy and unnecessary sequel of "Ong Bak 2". The plot is confused, brutal and more dramatic but shallow, disappointing fans of the action of the previous two films. The slow- paced story presents fights too long and excessively violent and it is really time to stop this franchise. My vote is three.
Title (Brazil): "Ong Bak 3"
I like Tony Jaa. I like most of his films. This one though was very
bad. A waste of 130mins of my time. story was awful. not enough fight
scenes which is the main reason for watching such films. the end fight
scene was disappointing.
ong bak came out 7 years ago that and his other films were great. so sad because Tony Jaa isn't getting any younger and he wont be able to do these moves forever. To become a star in the US and Europe he needs to up his game on the usual knees and elbow moves and elephants while not making awful films like this. tick tock.
A long wait for this film and I am very disappointed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I watch Tony Jaa's movies I'm expecting for action, lots of action, it doesn't matter if the story is nonexistent... Well, here we have no story, and the action is nearly nonexistent too. If you saw the long trailer (5min) you saw 90% of it... Unbelievable but true... Basically there are 4 fights in the movie: one short at the beginning when he's chained, a second one where you see fighting the crow-guy, but you don't understand very much because it's too dark, a fight in the courtyard (basically what you see in the trailers) and finally the fight with the crow guy. The final fight, which should have been epic, is really disappointing because it is short, it has nothing spectacular, it lacks the flamboyant style of Tony Jaa and the other guy shows absolutely nothing.
Well, picking up where part 2 left you hanging, the 3rd installment of
the "Ong Bak" movies was somewhat of a disappointment. Why? Well...
The storyline was almost non-existent, and whatever story was being told there was told in a really confusing and weird way, so it was difficult to make any sense of the movie.
It seemed like this was a showcase of how cool can we make Tony Jaa look? Let's put him in front of all these wonderful, beautiful scenic locations and have him work out his martial arts there. That was what most of the movie was about. Sure, the scenes were nice, and sure Tony Jaa sure knows how to fight and show it, but it is a very weak broth to make soup of.
The action and fight scenes were top of the line, as always with Tony Jaa movies. And there is something very dynamic and energetic to his movements and fighting style. So, if you like that, then this movie doesn't let you down in that department.
As for the acting? Well, not much of that actually going on here, to be honest. It is mostly just showing off Tony Jaa and have these really cool images of ancient Thai traditions shown off on the movie. Honestly, I liked seeing those cultural scenes, but again, not really something that can carry a movie.
I think "Ong Bak 3" is pretty much as weak as the 2nd part, except the story in this one is more confusing. They should have stopped after the original "Ong Bak" movie which was a blast of an action movie.
I was disappointed with this movie, and I was actually just sitting through it at the end to watch Tony Jaa fight and show what he can do. The movie lost me somewhere in the beginning already, because it was way too confusing and didn't really come together in a greater sense. Lots of action, but that is about it that this movie has to offer. Which is a shame.
With this third installment in the "Ong Bak" franchise, Tony Jaa has
finally given closure and clarity to "Ong Bak 2", an in-name only
sequel to the original and much superior first chapter. That sequel,
which was in fact a prequel set in 15th century Thailand compared to
its contemporary predecessor, saw Tony Jaa as the orphaned son Tien of
a noble family whose parents were killed by the power-hungry Lord
Rajasena. Brought up by a group of warriors, Tien grows up to become a
fearsome fighting machine himself- which is really an excuse for Tony
Jaa to show off his bone-crunching moves.
"Ong Bak 2" ended on a cliffhanger, with Tien overwhelmed by the sheer number of Rajasena?s soldiers and taken away to be tortured to death. Then came the enigmatic voice-over suggesting that Tien may find a way to cheat death once again and the final shot of him standing in front of a scarred Golden Buddha statue. Picking right up after the events of "Ong Bak 2", this installment begins with an unpleasant sequence where Tien is beaten and brutalized in ways apparently too disconcerting even for an NC16 rating (yes, it's cut). His bones completely broken, Tien is saved from execution by a palace order- though it?s not explained why- and subsequently nursed to health by a group of villagers.
There he begins a journey of meditation- one of both physical and spiritual healing- that draws heavily on Buddhist teachings of forgiveness versus revenge, aided by his mentor Phra Bua (played by veteran Thai actor Nirut Sirijanya) and his childhood sweetheart Pim (played by Primrata Det-Udom). Meanwhile, Rajasena is haunted by a curse set upon him by the Crow Demon (Dan Chupong), the mysterious agile fighter whom Tien had fought with briefly in "Ong Bak 2", who wants the throne for himself. His body covered with tattoos, the Crow Demon soon uses his supernatural powers to enslave the villagers, setting the stage for an epic confrontation with Tien.
True enough, like "Ong Bak 2", audiences will be treated to a no-holds-barred vicious climax with plenty of jaw-breaking, head-cracking and knee-crunching action. Like its predecessor too, Tony Jaa will go up against dozens of enemy warriors in the midst of an elephant herd. And once again, like its predecessor, you can be sure that you'll be left in awe at Tony Jaa's physical agility and martial arts prowess- which was the very reason his name was mentioned among the greats Jet Li and Jackie Chan when "Ong Bak" was first released.
Here, Tony Jaa also showcases the 'nattayuth' fighting technique, a combination of traditional khon dancing with mixed martial arts, as his character Tien goes up against the Crow Demon. That showdown is simply poetry in motion- Jaa's 'nattayuth' moves equally graceful and brutal- made even more impressive when one starts to see the parallel between that and the dancing movements Tien had earlier learnt from Pim.
But credit must also go to his co-star Dan Chupong, who proves his mettle as Jaa?s equal in not just the climax but in almost every fight sequence that he appears in. In fact, while Tien is off meditating, Dan Chupong gets to steal the show in a thrilling fight against Rajasena's men as his Crow Demon character goes about smashing their skulls through thick brick walls. (There is certainly a real-life parallel to be drawn here, as Tony Jaa's decision to join the monkhood in May shortly after this film was released can only mean that Dan Chupong may steal his thunder as Thailand's most famous action star.) Of course, there is a good reason for Tien's (or Tony Jaa's) departure, for "Ong Bak 3" tries- though rather clumsily- to be a film about the redemptive potential of forgiveness. Whereas Jaa's Tien was driven by revenge in "Ong Bak 2", here he is driven by something different, something less destructive and ultimately liberating.
In the hands of more experienced directors, this noble ambition might have translated better to the big screen- but co-directors Tony Jaa and Jaa's mentor Panna Pittikrai (who are also action choreographers and action directors in the film) are unfortunately out of their league here. And that is where "Ong Bak 3" falters, not just for taking itself too seriously, but for doing so too maladroitly. Indeed, it's especially telling when one of the best things about the film is the levity that Phettai Wongkumlao's village idiot Mhen brings, especially during Tien's fight when he first emerges from his self-imposed solitude.
Much has been said about the production troubles surrounding "Ong Bak 2" and "Ong Bak 3"- Tony Jaa disappearing from the set for two whole months during filming for "Ong Bak 2"; subsequent studio pressure leading to the rushed production of "Ong Bak 2" and the decision to make this film "Ong Bak 3" partly to complete the story and partly to recoup costs. For all its travails, "Ong Bak 3" isn't the unnecessary three-quel it may seem, bringing a befitting conclusion to the story that Tony Jaa began in "Ong Bak 2" and left off so abruptly. At the very least, it's an excuse to watch Tony Jaa fight on screen again and probably for the last time in a long while. That alone is worth the price of admission.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After a few scrapes here and there throughout the course of the film, my little one tugged at me saying "When do we get to see Tony Jaa fight?". If I'd known, I would have replied "about the 70 minute mark" but never mind. by that time he (my son) had been beaten senseless my boredom and was fast asleep by my side. Shame really as he missed a half decent fight by the crow man (watch Born to fight for a real idea of what Dan Chupong is capable of) and then the final fight between Jaa & crow man's followers which is somewhat cut in half & ruined by the fact that it's just a flashforward sequence that gets reversed.
Overall. Worst fight movie I've seen in ages.
I registered onto IMDb just so I can tell you that this is the worst
martial arts movie I've ever seen. I saw and enjoyed both the other
movies. I had low expectations for this one, and they weren't met. In
fact, the movie made me angry. The story seems to have been written by
a random word generator - it involves nonsensical curses, a king who
has unintentionally funny hallucinations, a crow woman who sounds like
a female transformer, and things that happen that didn't really happen.
I tried to understand what was going on, and I did not succeed.
There's also scenes of graphic violence and torture that is a lot more mean spirited than what we've seen in Tony Jaa's other movies. This isn't fun, and it's not like the movie has any deeper meaning or interesting characters to justify it. Do we really need to see an uninterrupted shot of a person's throat being slit open and blood spewing out? How about two?
The fight scenes? There's only one or two long ones, late in the movie, and that's when I perked up. Unfortunately, they're a disappointment. They're obviously sped up and sometimes there are wires involved. The moves Jaa does are the same ones he does in all his movies, except not as good and sometimes obviously choreographed. As expected, everyone attacks one at a time, but this time you can see them standing in the background waiting their turn. Tony Jaa's gotta make some better choices - the guys career has been going downhill after his first movie. The guy's got talent but it's being completely wasted.
Tony Jaa is an incredible athletic specimen, and his last three films
"Ong Bak" (2003), "Tom Yum Goong" (2005), and "Ong Bak 2" (2008) were
fantastic exhibitions of buttkicking. Considering the production hell
that "Ong Bak 2" endured, it seemed like Jaa could do no wrong. But
then something unexpected happened. He pulled a Dave Chapelle on us and
stuck a big middle finger at his fans. Instead of sucking it up like a
man and simply enduring the last few years on his contract, Jaa chose
the crybaby route and ran like a child into the woods. I was still
looking forward to "Ong Bak 3" (2010) despite the horrible online buzz
it has been getting, because deep down inside I was hoping that Jaa
would give us one last exhibition of glory before taking a (hopefully)
temporary vacation for the next few years. Unfortunately, he left us a
fluff piece that's merely watchable.
This picks up immediately after "Ong Bak 2" ends, with Jaa being captured, tortured and beaten. Much of the first hour is dedicated to his rescue and recovery, which might get on the bad side of action junkies but this part of the film is actually decent despite a weak storyline (pretty environments and good scoring do help to hold one's interest). The script basically sucks, and is actually a downgrade from "Ong Bak 2" (which at least had a number of cool characters and scenarios). I seriously question the whole "king curse" element that was introduced in this film. I guess it could have worked in theory, but the execution leaves much to be desired.
Of course, no one watches Jaa's films for award-winning scriptwriting, which means that the fighting represents the one major element that simply must work in order to earn entertainment value. One thing the viewer will notice in "Ong Bak 3" is that the degree of difficulty of the martial arts choreography is not nearly as high as Jaa's previous works. There's quite literally not one awe-inspiring exchange in the entire film, and it's obvious that Jaa was sleepwalking through this because his presence feels superfluous. It's no exaggeration to say that any B-grade Thai action star (e.g., Mike B., etc.) could have been inserted into the lead role and the film would have lost very little. The choreography itself is too simplistic to be memorable, and for the first time ever I felt like Jaa's take downs got repetitive after a while.
Now that's not to say that the fighting completely stinks. "Mediocre" for Tony Jaa is "good" for everyone else, which means that the action in "Ong Bak 3" is engaging enough to be moderately entertaining. One big blunder though was having Dan Chupong carry the load as the lead antagonist. It irritates me that people are talking this guy up like he's gonna be the next big thing when in reality he's only slightly above average in his athleticism and skill. "Dynamite Warrior" (2006) was terrible and "Born To Fight" (2004) was entertaining more for its other half dozen protagonists and unintentional hilarity than Chupong's physical skills. His punches and kicks look incredibly flimsy and weak when captured in wide camera angles and he doesn't have much in terms of diverse moves. If you want to rely on someone while Jaa is gone, check out Indonesian action star Iko Uwais who recently gave us the impressive feat of awesomeness known as "Merantau" (2009).
"Ong Bak 3" comes with a very reserved, marginal recommendation. In reality it's on the same level as something like "The Sanctuary" (2009) or "The Bodyguard" (2004) and comes off like a poor man's version of "Ong Bak 2." Jaa's typical critics you know, the people with awful taste in action films will have a field day lambasting this one while giving it a 1/10 rating. Jaa's fans will be justifiably underwhelmed, and could probably skip it entirely without missing much of anything.
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