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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 30 August 2005
Well from where can i start? This is one of those films that truly has to be seen to be believed, whether it be for the sheer madness of the tree climbing event the film opens with, the (already mentioned) chase through the alleys and back steets that will have all chuckling to themselves as Mr Jaa nods his head to the old master Jackie Chan with some excellent set pieces with trucks, panes of glass and of course the barbed wire.
Now there will be people who will moan that the plot is not what it could be, but let us remeber this film is not meant to spur your brain into overload with complex issues such as time travel or another example amnesia (hi donnie darko, memento) all this film asks for is for you to bear witness to what the human body is capable of when free of the insurance restraints hollywood movies are constantly dogged by, I defy you not to wince in sympathy for the spikey haired opponent that Jaa kicks so hard just below the kneecaps his legs are taken completely from under him, remember most of the blows in this film connect!
You will find that the female 'lead' annoys beyond all reason, just turn the volume down when she speaks (i'm conviced she has trouble with the local dogs when she talks, her pitch being that high) but Jaa's sidekick in the movie provides the comedy and also the ultimate sacrifice for the treasured Ong Bak, but like all great action heros Jaa steals the show with some amazing moves which haven't been seen on the big screen before and of course he gets the mother of all beatings before eventually emerging the victor.
So ladies and gentlemen with this film you are witnessing the dawn of our newest actionhero, so sit back and enjoy the ride because hopefully Mr Jaa and his amazing production team shall be around for a very long time to come. (Just one thing Tony, please don't go to hollywood to make your films, if you do we will have witnessed your amazing fighting abilities for the last time, sure you'll make a ton of movies, so did jet and jackie, but just don't let the money tame you).
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on 4 February 2006
I got this dvd for christmas after seing the trailer and being blown away by sheer amazement at Tony Ja's athletic ability.
The film is really good, and maybe it's true that the story isn't the best, but martial arts movies are not about the story, they are about martial arts!
Almost all of the stunts in this film are amazing, and you sometimes wonder how he does all those flips and kicks, and the action is well coreographed, keeping the kicks and jumps flowing.
The dvd itself is very good and well presented. You get the film, and also a great second disc with loads of special features including an amazing making of the stunts, so you can see the hard work that went into the market scene.
One minor niggle i have with the film is Tony Ja himself. People have likened him to Bruce Lee, and although Ja is very good, and his stunts and fights are amazing, he can not rival Bruce Lee. Ja has a lack of presence on the screen, whereas Bruce Lee filled the screen with presence. People wanted to BE Bruce Lee, whereas I get the feeling that people may just want to be able to do Ja's stunts.
That said, the film is a martial arts master piece, and definatly a film to get if you are remotely into anything martial arts.
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on 9 August 2006
Make no mistake this is the best martial arts fighting you will see in a film. There is no wires, no special effects and no holds barred. Jaa is simply amazing, the choreography is superb and all the stunts are fantastic. I agree the plot is a little fuzzy if you are not used to watching these types of films, but if you are then you can well understand that the plot isnt there to pull u in. Its the action that does that. The fight scenes are so realistic, it seems as if Jaa is not taking any prisoners. I normally hate movies where like 100 guys pile in ONE AT A TIME (likely in a real scrap?) and the hero defeats them all, which is why i like this film because Jaa just runs to fight another day. Really good film [...]10/10 no problem.
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on 5 April 2006
If, like me you are sometimes put off by far east, non-english speaking films because of the crummy dubbing or weak storylines then you have missed a real treat here. O.K, so the dubbing is crummy, up to the point of it being embarrasingly comical, but the storyline isn't too bad and the film has a humour to it that has a distingtive Western feel.
The film follows Ting, a young man (played by Tony Jaa) from a small Thailand village. Every 24 years the village celebrates the festival of Ong Bak; a religious festival that is supposed to bring prosperity to the village, however the evil Don has chopped of the head of their revered Budda statue and fled to the big city with it in his grasp. Cue for Ting to give hot pursuit. He arrives in the big city and seeks help from former friend George, but he finds George with problems of his own with debt and local gangsters. This is of course all just thinly vieled excuses for lots of fights and incredible set pieces.
What makes this film a cut above the average far east movie is the fact that the makers of the film are obviously fans of Western cinema. The humour in the film works on all levels and the storyline is recognisable to everybody. The support cast is surprisingly good, with George providing laughs, his friend and long suffering partner Muay backs him up very well, and the bad guys are all effective in their own unique way; in particular Mad Dog, he sends shivers down your spine even on screen.
Even with this strong support cast, Tony Jaa steals every scene. The whole gimmick of the film is based on the fact that no wires, trick photography or C.G.I was used; every stunt that you see him perform is really him doing it-and what he does is breathtaking. He says that he models himself on great Asian actors such as Jet Li, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, and you can see parts of them all rolled into one with Tony Jaa. He can be comically funny one minute and amazingly intense the next; or he could take a man out with a single move or he could use an impressive array of unique moves to totally destroy an opponent. Either way you will be glued to your screen with a look of complete amazment on your face.
When you watch this film you will wonder how any human-being could move in the way he does, and you will be left begging for more from Tony Jaa. You only hope that Hollywood can find a suitable movie in which he can showcase his unique ability.
Do yourself a favour though and watch the film in it's dubbed version...it really is much better.
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on 18 August 2014
This is one of my all-time favourite Asian films about martial arts and this release features the original Thai as well as the French remastered cut in disc one, and in disc two it's filled with plenty of extras which last for many hours.

People who're buying this know what this film is about, there's no need to explain, but it's somewhat important to state that the picture quality of the original Thai version looks subpar to the R1 (I think) and to the same French remastered cut which definitely looks a lot better (though it lacks the authentic Thai score).

As for compatibility it's for all regardless of being an R4 release.
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on 3 April 2006
You really have to see this guy to believe it with your own eyes. I believed all the hype only to be disappointed by the first hour of the film. Yes, there's some nice moves, some nice acrobatics, but that's about it. Then, you get to the caverns... Oh boy, are you in for a treat if you like your martial arts fast, furious and real (no wires, etc). This parallels Lee's 'Enter the Dragon' in many ways - the finale incorporating fights against mutliple adversaries, through caverns, using a variety of weapons, before the final one-on-one battle with the baddie. Jaa's style isn't as beautiful as Lee's, in general - lots of knees and elbows - but when this guy wants to kick! He just hangs in the air for about a day at a time, legs flying out in all directions. Incredible. And NO WIRES. The last 15 minutes is worth the price of the dvd alone.
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Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior bucks the trend of modern films featuring martial arts as an art form as much as a fighting style. I happen to love films like House of the Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but it's still a real treat to watch a martial arts film built on realistic moves and violence. There's nothing artistic or beautiful about the action in this film; it's just direct, efficient, sometimes brutal violence intended to take a given opponent out as quickly as possible. This particular style of fighting is significantly different than that of most films I've seen, featuring great use of the knees, elbow smashes that make Dusty Rhodes' old bionic elbow look practically harmless, and some incredibly aggressive jumps from a standing position that usually result in some seriously powerful blows. It's really in-your-face stuff, and it's just terrific. Tony Jaa is an amazingly fast, compactly devastating fighter with all manner of slick moves that make him as impressive in retreat as he is in the proverbial fighting ring.
The story itself isn't all that complicated. Tony Jaa plays Ting, a student of the Muay Thai fighting style, who puts the fate of his small village on his own back after a thief steals the head of the local Ong-Bak statue. Already suffering, the village believes that doom will fall upon it if the sacred head is not restored. Once in Bangkok on the trail of the thief, Ting meets up with Hum Lae (Petchtai Wongkamlao), a former resident of the village who survives in the city by conning others out of their money. Despite a written plea from Hum Lae's father, the con man is almost no help at all, only warming up to Ting when he discovers the guy is an incredible fighter. Ting had been taught not to use his skills, but there was little choice if he were going to recover the villagers' money that Hum Lae stole from him. Once he starts fighting, he can't really stop because all sorts of unsavory types are after him, including the guys he is after himself. Indefatigable in his cause, Ting is more than willing to sacrifice his own life for that of his village, and he may have to pay that ultimate sacrifice as his pathway to the stolen head of Ong-Bak leads through increasingly dangerous men in great numbers.
While pretty basic, it's not a bad story at all – but clearly Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior is really all about the fighting. You'll find no lack of action over the course of this film, each scene more intense than the last. Ting isn't a superhero who just saves the day; he takes a pretty good beating over the course of his quest. One unusual thing about this film is its proclivity to show slow-motion instant replays of much of the action. This is a little disconcerting at first, then it becomes pretty cool, and then by the end it starts to become a little annoying. Still, some of the moves are worth a second look, so I'm not going to quibble with the chosen style of directing.
Clearly, this is a film for martial arts fans. If you don't enjoy movies featuring martial arts action and plenty of it, Ong-Bak will not win you over. If you like a good fight, however, and want to see realism rather than wires and CGI pull it off, Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior is a breath of fresh air you will definitely want to check out.
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on 13 May 2006
If you're into your martial arts or martial arts movies you'll be hard pushed to find much wrong with this one. It builds up quite quickly into one of the most delightful frennetic and inspiring films of it's kind. You know from the start there are no wires camera tricks or CGI and that just makes this all the more impressive. That combines with the knowlage that every punch, kick, knee and elbow makes contact to make you wonder how they could afford so many extras.

But what I like most about this is it doesn't feel quite like any other martial arts movie I've ever seen before. Comparisons of Tony Jaar to Bruce Lee, Jacky Chan and Jet Li, though inevitable, somehow seem to miss the point. Though they are all outstanding martial arts masters, Jaars character seems more relatable to a western audiance. Less toung in cheek than Chan, but not so overly serious as Lee. He gives a fairly well rounded performance. As well as kicking seven bells out of most of the rest of the cast.

The other touch of genious is the films pacing. While many martial arts films rely on increasingly elaborate settings to bring a sensce of exitement to later parts of the movie this one begins more with a desplay of Jaars acrobatics and dexterity which is wonderfully choreographed and highly entertaining. It slowly moves into fight scenes but these are short to begin with and you only feel like you've gotten a real idea of what he might be capable of about half or even two thirds of the film. The end result of which you never suffer from fight fatigue or wish they would get on with it already. another added bonus of which is it NEVER feels stale or contrived.

This one has gone straight to the top of my action movie list. cringe-makingly brutal at times but engaging and so very watchable. It's not as pretty as some of its chop soki counterparts but it has that rare thing in movies today. Class through and through. If you havn't seen this yet, stop reading and get it.
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on 24 August 2005
If you love chop socky then you will love this movie. Directed by Prachya Pinkaew, who obviously knows what martial art fans want, and doesn't disappoint. Tony Jaa who plays our hero has many potential threats to contend with, apparently broke a leg in one fight scene which includes a refrigerator and various items of furniture being pounded against his being. This is serious stuff and the load is lightened with humour and amazing stunts that Jackie Chan would be proud of. If you have ever ridden in a rickshaw then this humble vehicle takes on a whole new concept, a must see. Prachya Pinkaew directorial debut is a gem, definitely one for any discerning martial arts fan, for others probably a fuss over nowt.
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on 10 April 2017
All action acrobatic Thai boxing fest, with spectacular fight scenes and some great humour. Disk two reveals the amount of work and what seemed like a thousand takes which went into its making. Loads of fun.
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