Sunday, January 23, 2011
Ong-Bak (The Thai Warrior)
In both movies, in trying to recover the object he's after, Jaa's character falls into a much bigger web of criminal activity. He ends up facing off against a corrupt crimelord and his martial arts trained right hand man (Johnny Tri Nguyen in The Protector and Atthapong Pantanaunkul in Ong-Bak).
While these similarities are certainly not to the credit of The Protector, which came after Ong-Bak, the two movies are very different in the way they unfold and the kinds of fight sequences that are delivered. Ong-Bak isn't the sheer frontal assault that makes The Protector so amazing to watch, but that fact also means Ong-Bak is a more economical film (and that has pluses).
There are some amazing acrobatics on display in Ong-Bak, most notably in the scene where Jaa and co-star Petchtai Wongkamlao (who also appeared for comic relief in The Protector) are running from a crowd of goons. Also, there is an early scene in the village where Jaa is 'practicing forms', which is a nice way to have him show off his skills early on. However, the movie also contains the straight fight scenes fans of the genre want, most notably between Jaa and several adversaries in an illegal Bangkok fight club.