Cut to the Chase – Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior

200px-Ong-bak5 Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior is an action film starring Tony Jaa, who is supposed to be the next big martial arts movie star. Tony Jaa typically stars in movies about a warrior trying to get something back. In The Protector, it was an elephant. In Ong Bak, it is a Budda head.

Jaa’s character Ting is from a rural village in Thailand that is training to become a monk. In the beginning, his Muay Thai instructor says to him, “Ting, now that I have taught you the ancient secrets of Muay Thai, I ask you never to use it.” Ting agrees, and the rest of the movie is about Ting using the secrets of Muay Thai when Don, a drug dealer from Bangkok, steals the village’s Buddha head.

Notable in the film is Ting’s tournament in a Bangkok fight club. There, Ting fights three guys in order of decreasing skill.

  1. First, he fights Big Bear. Big Bear is a very large Australian fighter who is shown beating everybody up. Ting defeats him in one move.
  2. Then, he fights Toshiro. Toshiro is a Japanese fighter and looks like an idiot and moves his feet very fast. Presumably he is very good at DDR.
  3. Finally, he fights Mad Dog. Mad Dog doesn’t seem to have any skill, but he does have tattoos and a bandana. Throughout the duration of the fight, he just seems to go around throwing stuff at Ting. This includes a chair, table, bottle, refrigerator, and a live electrical cable. Ting eventually beats him.

Also in the movie:

  • There’s a big low speed “car chase” with underpowered, motorized rickshaws.
  • Ting fights a Burmese fighter that injects himself with steroids before the fight. Presumably, the Burmese fighter also lifts weights and then supplements his diet with protein during his recovery period (otherwise, the steroids wouldn’t do anything), but this is not shown in the movie
  • In one of the final scenes, the bad guy threatens to smash the Buddha head with a sledge hammer. Ting’s friend George sacrifices his body and jumps on top of the Buddha head. I’m not sure why he decided to jump on the Buddha head when he was equidistant to both the Buddha head and the guy swinging the sledge hammer, but he does, and he later dies as an even bigger Buddha head falls on both him and the bad guy.

In the end, Ting returns to his village with the Buddha head, George is dead, lots and lots of people are very badly injured, and the villagers are happy because their symbol of peace is back. The end.

Coming up on my Netflix instant stream queue, I’ve got The Other Boleyn Girl. It’s the story of Jan Boleyn and how jealous she is of her sister Marsha.


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