Booting lives in a small and peaceful village. One day a sacred Buddha statuette called Ong Bak is stolen from the village by an immoral businessman. It soon becomes the task of a voluntary young man, Boonting (Phanom Yeeram), to track down the thief in Bangkok and reclaim the religious treasure. Along the way, Boonting uses his astonishing athleticism and traditional Muay Thai skills to combat his adversaries.Written by
Tony Jaa trained extensively in the ancient form of Muay Boran (the predecessor to Muay Thai) for four years in preparation for this film. See more »
Dummies are used in tuk-tuk's explosion scene. See more »
I have an exam tomorrow.
An exam? You never go to college. Are you screwing the teacher?
See more »
The Hong Kong VCD released by EDKO has Thai and Cantonese soundtracks and includes Chinese and English subtitles. The Hong Kong DVD version from EDKO doesn't have English subtitles. The Thai DVD doesn't have English subtitles either. According to Bey Logan's commentary on the UK DVD release, this is deliberate to make the film's accessibility much more difficult. See more »
Written by Romaric Laurence See more »
Very basic plot, pretty poor acting but amazing action and some amusing moments
Ting lives in a village where they worship the statue of Ong-bak. When an unscrupulous young man comes to the village to buy valuable goods, he steals the head and returns to Bangkok where he gives it to his boss a crime lord who presides over illegal pit fights and steals historical artefacts. Ting goes to Bangkok to join up with former villager Humlae (who now is a street hustler and calls himself George). However, once there, he finds that the only way to get the head back is to kick and elbow people. Lots.
Before I talk about the main (only?) reason to see this film, let me at least pretend that it is meant to operate like a normal film and look at the traditional aspects that give a film value plot, acting, characters etc. First off, the plot is very basic, so basic that really I could have done it in a sentence and still given you more than you needed to know. Happily it only really last 15 minutes before we are given the first of many, many action scenes. Within this basic frame it is no surprise that none of the characters work or are developed to a point were we care about them this is a given, but why then did the film still labour under the idea that we did? I didn't care that much for any of them, because none were written as people only action figures or one-note characters (ie the girl who is suffering due to crime, the crimelord, the middleman etc etc).
With this, perhaps it is no surprise that the performances are roundly average. Wongkamlao is pretty funny but can't do much more than that but he looks like Brando at his best compared to the wooden and unconvincing Yodkamol. The rest of the cast fill their genre cliché shoes well enough; leaving us with the reason we are here Jaa himself. Now, as an actor, he needs work he can't really deliver a character, seems unsure of how to handle comedy and, despite having a good screen presence, didn't convince delivering dialogue neither. However, none of this really matters does it? I didn't come for plot, narrative, script, acting or directing I came to se people get kicked and, by god, that is what this film delivers.
Without wires and without special effects, the fight scenes had the cinema audibly reacting with gasps and groans as Jaa did things that did not seem possible but also delivered some very, very brutal moves that made even the toughest in the room wince. Of course, a film that relies solely on action is never going to be one that manages to win praise beyond the bounds of the genre, but it helps that, within that genre it blows away a lot of competition and justifies its UK wide cinema release. Rest assured, it is stunning at times and, although it niggles that the film is set around the action (as opposed to vice versa) it is forgivable when it is this enjoyable! Overall, not a brilliant film by any means but one that really delivers in terms of what it sets out to do. Action fans will love it and those that thing martial arts started with the Matrix will find out just how much more compelling action is whenever it isn't being produced on a hard drive somewhere. With a plot so basic, acting so poor and characters so thin, it speaks volumes about the quality of the action that I was engaged and entertained from start (well, ten minutes in) to finish.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this