Tony Jaa is a name that is quickly increasing in popularity, and it’s no wander that his name is now synonymous with Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. A man that rose from the most humble of origins in Thailand, his story is indeed one of inspiration of drive. When you watch Ong-Bak and feel that passion that emanates off the screen, as lead actor and stunt man, Tony Jaa performs, death defying stunts, this film quickly becomes legendary!
No strings, no stunt doubles, and with a minimal budget, somehow Ong-Bak is now a classic, worthy of ‘Must-See’ status. You can tell the pride taken by the entire crew, so much so that when amazing stunts are performed, you get a repeat of the stunt from multiple angles, sometimes even up to three times! Everybody knows how impossible these stunts really are, making it essential that we bathe in their awesomeness a few more times. I say Tom Cruise sure has some stiff competition here. In fact, Tony Jaa Vs Tom Cruise in an Ong-Bak meets Mission Impossible cinematic universe cross-over is what we need to freshen things up a bit, don’t you thin?
Then we get to the bike car chase scene and what is called the Tuc Tuc Car Chase Theme, this surely feels like the epitome of this film, the grandeur and status of blockbuster has against all odds been reached, and glorious music accompanies it. This scene surely sends chills up my spine each time! Ong-Bak is raw and pure energy, and if there was such a thing as an Oscar for best achievement in Stunt Coordination it would surely have to be backtracked and given to Tony Jaa. Just watch the film, you’ll understand.
Tony Jaa was a fan of the martial artists his name has now become synonymous with, and at an early age he aspired to be like them, so it is only fitting that Ong-Bak pays true homage to the quirky and fast paced martial arts films of the nineties, of which Jackie Chan became legendary for. Truly, it doesn’t feel like a 2003 film. From the start, the action is gripping but believable, and although the story is so simple that, you tend to forget what the big fuss is over, you just go with it, because the characters and the bonds that form are unforgettable. As a bonus, once the film establishes itself, you get to witness some of the most epic stunts. Foreign film at it’s best!