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Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)

Ong-bak (original title)
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When the head of a statue sacred to a village is stolen, a young martial artist goes to the big city and finds himself taking on the underworld to retrieve it.

Director:

Prachya Pinkaew

Writers:

Panna Rittikrai (story), Prachya Pinkaew (story) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Jaa ... Ting
Petchtai Wongkamlao ... Humlae / George (as Mum Jokemok)
Pumwaree Yodkamol Pumwaree Yodkamol ... Muay Lek
Suchao Pongwilai Suchao Pongwilai ... Komtuan (as Suchoa Pongvilai)
Chatthapong Phantana-Angkul Chatthapong Phantana-Angkul ... Saming (as Chatthapong Pantanaunkul)
Wannakit Sirioput Wannakit Sirioput ... Don (as Wannakit Siriput)
Cheathavuth Watcharakhun Cheathavuth Watcharakhun ... Peng (as Chetwut Wacharakun)
Rungrawee Barijindakul Rungrawee Barijindakul ... Ngek (as Rungrawee Borrijindakul)
Pornpimol Chookanthong Pornpimol Chookanthong ... Mae Waan
Chumphorn Thepphithak Chumphorn Thepphithak ... Uncle Mao (as Chumporn Teppitak)
Sukanya Kongkawong Sukanya Kongkawong ... Waitress
Boonsri Yindee ... Yai Hom (as Bunsri Yindee)
Woranard Tantipidok Woranard Tantipidok ... Pra Cru
Sawang Rodnuch Sawang Rodnuch ... Noi
Sutin Rodnuch Sutin Rodnuch ... Jamnean
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Storyline

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 astroboy2k

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No stunt doubles, no computer images, no strings attached See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of strong violence, language, some drug use and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Thailand

Language:

Thai | English

Release Date:

11 February 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Daredevil See more »

Filming Locations:

Rat Burana, Bangkok, Thailand See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,334,869, 13 February 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,560,061, 24 April 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Ting and Humlae are running from Peng and his gang, Humlae jumps over a spear and rips his pants. The rip disappears and re-appears from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

Big Bear, a Fighter: Come on! Fuck Muay Thai!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Two cuts were released in Hong Kong. The theatrical release was identical to the Thai cut except the now infamous "bone-breaking" shots were both cut to receive a "Category II B" rating. This cut of the film is also used for the EDKO Hong Kong VCD. However, the original uncut version, with both the arm and leg breaking shots, was given a DVD release in Hong Kong, but received a "Category III" rating. See more »

Connections

References Wong Ka Si Sei IV: Sik Gik Sing Yan (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Street Fabulous Bounce
Written by Street Fabulous and Vincent Tulli
Performed by Street Fabulous
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Very basic plot, pretty poor acting but amazing action and some amusing moments
23 May 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

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.


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