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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 1 August 2017
Great movie 🎦
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on 28 April 2017
Bonkers film ,loved it
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on 12 June 2010
Well, i just watched this film today and i have to say, it was enjoyable. People are entilted to how they rate something, but it's by no means awful. Ong Bak made Tony Jaa an international martial arts star, being a great film, it's hard to pass expectations especially when it really doesn't follow Ong Bak, unless the 3rd film will tie the two films together, who knows.

Fight scenes were great, which was to be expected, cinematography captured it more 'epic'
I disliked a couple of fights. Just mainly the bird lady on the elephant, you'll know what i mean if you see it.

In this film you see weapons used and it's all rather well done, I don't know how much Tony has trained with weapons in that past, or just mainly for this role but it seemed hit and miss. What comes to mind is the three section staff. Compared to Jet li for example, it didn't seem all that clean. But, i'm not really going to go there. It was still skillful and fun to watch.

It probably would if helped if i was paying full attention to the film as i had some friends round, which makes me think was it all that entertaining if i was getting distracted. I noticed that i lost a bit of interest towards the end almost. But then was surprised at the abrupt ending, it worked quite well looking back. I feel the story was more decent than a lot of other martial art films i've seen. A lot better. I guess this just wasn't what some people wanted, or expected.

Tony Jaa fans will enjoy this in some way or another. I've collected quite a few martial art films over the years and i'd say this is one of the more decent ones i now own. As this film has become cheaper, it won't effect you to hard if you LOVE or HATE this film. har har.

Hope this was of some help.
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on 15 May 2017
After all the 5 star ratings and effusive praise washing over this film, I was rather disappointed overall. Apart from one or two highlights (the opening tree climbing scene being one) I wasn't that impressed as I thought some of it rather naive, but given its age perhaps I am being a bit harsh. For me, however, John Woo's Red Cliff, (and one or two others), although a differing culture and era, is absolutely miles ahead in overall quality, dialogue and action scenes.
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on 31 January 2010
Tony Jaa returns in his third leading role continuing his domination as the best on screen martial artist of the last five or so years. Since wowing audiences with his debut lead role in Ong Bak Tony Jaa has been a bright light in the world of martial-arts movies. With former heavyweight like Jackie Chan and Jet Li past their peak and unable to perform to the same levels now their bodies are ageing, Tony Jaa has taken on their mantle performing amazing feats of grace, power and agility.

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.
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on 3 August 2010
Its not a big deal but just to let you know, this is not related in any way to Ong Bak. The ONLY similarity is that Tony Jaa is the lead role. Oh and a couple of cameos from the other characters. I did enjoy this film but that's just because I love martial arts films. Ong Bak and Warrior King are right up there with my favourites but this is nowhere near as good. Story a bit lame and I think it lacks what Tony Jaa's other 2 main hits have which is the brutality of the combat with hits you can almost feel through the tv. It's just a bit messy. Overall if you like Tony Jaa's stuff then go get it, it's worth adding to the collection but don't expect something to the standard of Ong Bak or Warrior King.
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on 11 March 2010
Firstly,the good:
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 bad:
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.
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VINE VOICEon 13 March 2011
Ong Bak - The Beginning is nominally a follow-up to Ong Bak (and Warrior King) starring the amazing athleticism of Tony Jaa. The similarities between Ong Bak 2 and Ong Bak are as follows: Tony Jaa is the star. Everything else that was great about Ong Bak is entirely absent in Ong Bak 2 with no character development, no comedy, no charmingly naive plot. What Ong Bak does provide is outstanding choreography that the ardent martial arts fan will want to admire for the technical detail and for the atempt to represent many styles of martialism. Some may appreciate the cinematography but the massively increased budget for lighting and effect is far less aesthetically pleasing to this reviewer than the low-fi Ong Bak production.

The plot of Ong Bak is somewhat difficult to discern. In part this is because there are very few lines of dialogue to drive the message of that plot. Ostensibly, the purpose of the story is for the main character Tien (Tony Jaa) to gain revenge for the murder of his family when he was a boy. The plot starts out fairly reasonably with Tien as a child taken under the wing of a group of outlaws who are impressed with his fighting spirit. The child Tien is not too bad as he learns different skills and combines various fighting elements together. The adult Tien is clearly meant to be filled with rage. He leads the outlaws into many daring raids and fights battles against many opponents. He says so little though and with a fixed facial expression of determination, the lack of nuance in personality makes it very difficult to empathise with or care about Tien's quest.

A couple of the supporting players put in decent efforts. Petchai Wongkamlao has a one-scene cameo and it is the only moment of humour in the entire film. It is a really good scene combining comic timing with the metaplot issue of bringing together different styles. It is a reminder of what this film is so sorely lacking. Sorapang Chatree has gravitas as the leader of the outlaw group but has little to work with. Primorata Dejudom is pretty enough but there is no romance here so she is merely window-dressing. The scene in which she performs traditional Thai dance is a little awkward as it is clearly a difficult routine for her. The leader of the slave traders has amazing features and makes for a fantastic martial arts villain because he looks so unusual.

The main appeal of Ong Bak 2 is for the fight sequences and they are in the main very good. Tony Jaa is a truly incredible athlete and can do things that very few others can. However, this was displayed better in Ong Bak so for pure Tony Jaa admiration it is a nice addition rather than breathtaking. The fight sequences range over many different styles. Some are clearly more suited to Jaa than others. The brief stint of wrestling for instance is really clumsy. The weapon fighting is nice but not top class. The sequences where Jaa takes styles from other parts of the world (especially China and Indonesia) and adapts them for Muay-Thai are excellent. This is what Jaa does better than anyone. His speed and agility work so well with the Muay-Thai style and he is intelligent enough and athletic enough to be able to use elements from elsewhere while still retaining the essence of the Muay-Thai effectiveness. The adaptation of Drunken Fist to Muay-Thai is an outstanding sequence of choreography.

Scenes of pitched battle are also well rendered. The sequence in the river with the reed boats is fantastic and while the setting and lighting are a little reminiscent of films about a much more modern war in a nearby country, the explosive sequence is carried out expertly.

Unfortunately though, Ong Bak 2 simply pales in comparison to Ong Bak or to the other great modern martial artists. The films of Jackie Chan or Jet Li are not just fight sequences. Their best features are always shown with lashings of comedy and the choreography tells part of that story. Ong Bak 2 has the fight sequences as the aim in themselves rather than as part of the characterisation or the plot development. It is a greatly missed opportunity.

Part of the reason this opportunity was missed is clearly readable between the lines of the DVD Extras. The message is reinforced time and time again in the talking head interviews that the purpose of the film is to give Thailand the unifying hero it deserves. The film's true audience is not the West and perhaps not even beyond Thailand at all. Tony Jaa is the man in charge of everything and the interviews repeatedly describe his personal greatness. This greatness is definitely true of his physical abilities which are utterly amazing. It is not true of his directorial experience or ability with plot/character. The most interesting Extra is the sequence featuring in-sequence action. It shows far more charm and personality than the film does itself. It is particularly interesting to see the physical toll of the film on Tony Jaa and on his stuntmen with two of them being taken away on stretchers following serious injury while another minor character loses his front teeth.

For those who enjoy the technical aspects of martial arts there is still enough to enjoy here. In terms of athletic feats it is impressive. It is not as impressive in its display of Tony Jaa's athleticism as Ong Bak was. It is nowhere near the same class of physical awe that a show of Shaolin Monks or Cirque du Soleil produce on a nightly basis. The lack of character or of comedy makes this a difficult film for those who are not ardent followers of martial arts. Ong Bak kept the interest throughout but Ong Bak 2 has much less mainstream appeal.
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on 27 November 2010
After watching Ong Bak and Warrior King I was looking forward to watching this new installment of the Tony Jaa saga and I'm pleased to say that I thought it was much better than his previous movies. Set in feudal Thailand rather than the usual modern-day settings and beautifully filmed in exotic locations and period costumes, what really makes it so great is, as you'd imagine if you're familiar with Tony Jaa, Ong Bak, Warrior King and Panna Rittikrai, the martial arts action. The fight scenes in Ong Bak and Warrior King were phenomenal but this takes it to a higher level. I noticed use of techniques from Wing Chun, Shaolin Kung Fu and drunken fist all combined with Tony Jaa's trademark Muay Thai elbow and knee attacks and this to me is a modern evolution of Bruce Lee's Tao of Jeet Kune Do philosophy of martial arts, which is that it doesn't matter what style of martial arts or where it comes from, if it works it works. In the case of movie martial arts, if it looks good- use it! Tony Jaa obviously has a real talent and passion for martial arts of all styles and this is apparent in his incredible performance. A spectacular martial artist, athlete and performer, Tony Jaa also develops his acting skills a bit more in this movie (although it's still mostly action-based) and also directs. Once again Tony Jaa has given an incredible, kick ass performance at the same time paying homage to the Hong Kong cinema industry and proving that Thailand can produce action movies of an equal, if not superior quality. A masterpiece of martial arts cinematography.
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on 22 February 2012
Mervyn Catley [22-2-2010] I imported this film 2-3 months before it was out in UK cinemas. Tony Jaa had alot of problems on this film as the other reviewer mentions at one point i think they didnt even have enough funding for the film or they went over budget I think..

I actually really enjoyed this film im a huge fan of Tony Jaa & the other chinese fighters Bruce Lee,Jackie Chan,Donnie Yen,Jet Li,Sammo Hung,Yuen Baio. I only mostly watch martial art films. You might have to watch this film a second time to get the story. Its really confusing at times & random characters pop on screen then they just vanish :S I follow Tony Jaa & his other films on TonyJaa.org on the forums people say that Ong-Bak 3 will explain the loop holes & stuff that didnt make sense in Ong-Bak 2 even the ending of Ong-Bak 2 was a strange one... The story is not what these films are all about the fighting is soo well choreographed i enjoyed rewinding & watching how the pulled some of these moves off truly epic. the final fight in the village was just off the hook... all those weapons guy getting owned 1 by 1. So to sum it all up if you really liked Ong-Bak 1 you will like this film cause of the fights,if you want to understand the story wait till Ong-Bak 3 that is why I added, Good film.
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