Ong Bak 2: The Beginning [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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Tony Jaa stars in and directs this epic tale and prequel to Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior. Jaa returns in this story of revenge set hundreds of years in the past. An orphan boy raised by bandits is trained to be a killer and prophesied to be the conqueror of an empire. Trained in countless styles of weaponry and martial arts, he is a one-man-army hell bent on avenging the murder of his parents. This prequel takes Jaas skills to the next level, showcasing him as a master of a wide range of martial arts styles as he flies through the air defying the laws of gravity while performing his own jaw-dropping stunts.
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Top Customer Reviews
His new movie title is slightly misleading as it has little to do with the original Ong Bak. The statue from Ong Bak seems to be the only connection which may refer to Buddhist belief in reincarnation???
The film itself is set in the past and concerns a young prince(or important official's son) taken prisoner to a slave market , who ends up training to be a pirate (not the kind at sea). As he grows up he becomes a skilful fighter (as you'd expect) but his past still haunts him, crossing his path decades later.
There's plenty of quality martial-arts, stunt work and action sequences, it's also very different to Tony Jaa's previous efforts with him trying his hand at various kinds of martial-arts not just his traditional Muay Thai. I felt the story was a little confusing and perhaps I didn't take it in on the first watch. But on second viewing I enjoyed this film tremendously.
Okay it's no Ong Bak which let's face it Tony Jaa is going to struggle to equal or surpass that movie, yet I found it a very good martial-arts film. I should also mention that this is only the first part of the story and the conclusion will be told in Ong Bak 3 ( which will be hitting Thailand cinemas in April 2010). So don't be surprised when the story ends abruptly. I can't comment on the DVD itself since I haven't seen it but I would recommend watching the film, whether renting or buying.
Superb cinematography,which is done justice by the Blu-Ray version.
High production values,which are head,and shoulders,above Tony Jaa's previous two films.
A good storyline which is more than one of revenge.
Excelllent direction,by both Tony Jaa,and his replacement.
Sequences,such as the Court dancing,which stick in the mind.
The fight sequences,in the main,appear to be artificially speeded up.
I don't know if Tony Jaa was out of his comfort zone fighting with weapons which necessitated fights being staged more slowly,and thus required subsequent artificial speeding up,but the sequences do look unnatural,especially when compared to the sequence featuring the masked figue performing Muay Thai before the court.
This latter sequence has speed,power,and grace that looks entirely natural.
Unfortunately there is a down side- the story, though it seems to flow well, gets a little messy and confusing towards the end. The saving grace though is the immensely gratifying end fight sequence, which takes our minds off the sudden loss of direction in the film. Although the movie would have benefitted from a better ending, those of us who are less concerned about being critics and more concerned with entertainment, will relish this lovingly made tale of martial arts fantasy escapism.
Do not take my word for it though, watch it yourself and make up your own mind, Mr Jaa deserves the benefit of the doubt at the very least!
Unless this is the first of a 3 part Ong Bak the beginning trilogy or something - or perhaps the subtitles were translated wrong, but seriously, it has nothing to do with the original film.
That said - it's more of the same - impressive Thai fighting, and this time a lot of ground work too. This is between a 3 and 4 stars for me - but today I'm feeling generous, so 4 it is.
PS: If you found this review helpful at all please give it the thumbs up as I'm trying to raise my reviewer stats - thanks.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As someone who holds Tony Jaa in the very highest of esteem, I'm very disappointed to say that this is amongst the worst martial art films I've seen for a very long time. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Jay Thackery