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Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Morgotha, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. Morgotha

    Morgotha Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2012
    Likes Received:
    And before you ask, "no", karate movies aren't my thing. However, I did see this one.

    The story starts in a small, poor, country village. The village looks terrible, and the ground looks sterile. Obviously they are having hard times, and have a problem with their young men leaving to pursue their futures in the Big City. Unfortunately for them, one of these young men is a criminal, and he returns to town to buy an amulet that his crime boss wants from the village. The owner doesn't agree to sell though, and so the man decides to steal the head off of their Buddha statue and give *that* to his boss instead. Tony Jaa is the IRL name of the hero in the story and a Muay Thai martial arts expert who volunteers to get the head back from the gangsters and return it to the village.

    The baddies live in Bangkok, and it really demonstrates the cultural difference between the small rural Thai village and the big city. It also introduces us to another expat from the village, Humlae, who is an all-around deadbeat and conman. You'd really have to look long and hard to find a redeeming quality in him, and Jaa really has his work cut out for him being patient with this guy, but his lack of good character does lend itself to connections in and knowledge of the underworld, which is what Jaa needs in order to find the stolen head.

    There were multiple fight scenes, and I can't say any of them were very memorable (to me, at least). However, there is a sequence that lasts awhile where Jaa is running away from a bunch of baddies through the city streets where Jaa does things like jump through a hoop of wire that's just about as big as his diameter, jumping over moving cars, climbing walls, and generally doing athletic things that is fun to watch, and impressive as an athletic display.

    The climax of the show takes place in a cave where the baddies are trying to remove the head from a giant Buddha to sell it, and after a bunch more fighting, the giant head falls on the chief bad guy, killing him in a display of cosmic justice. Unfortunately, Humlae also dies in the sequence, and while that's bad, he did sort of redeem himself at the end, so overall he probably ended up better off than he would have if his life continued the way it was, and it lent a bit more gravitas to the scene than if everyone would have dusted themselves off and walked away.

    The last scene takes place in the village and is a colorful procession that even has a couple of painted elephants. It seems like what one would expect for a fancy rural celebration, but unfortunately I don't know enough about Thailand to know if it was the celebration for the return of the head/ prayer for a good harvest, or if it was for the funeral of Humlae! I'm assuming it was the former, but don't know. In any event I enjoyed seeing their outfits. LOL, I've got to say I feel a bit guilty thinking that I might have been enjoying a funeral, but what can you do?

    Should you see this movie? I think so. The plot of the movie isn't really profound or anything, but it gives you a fascinating look at various aspects of Bangkok and the Thai countryside as well as getting to watch some athletic and stereotypic men "fighting" in many different ways using many different things.

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