Reviews by Country
After exploding onto the international action scene with Ong Bak, star Tony Jaa and team return in an attempt to top their own bone-crunching hit.
Originally called Tom Yum Goong, the version we get in Australia comes by way of the Weinstein Company, most recently infamous for their stripped-down version of Snowpiercer. This time significant changes were made, beginning with the title. The Protector is actually not too bad — as it references the theme of the … (read more)
Ten years ago in 2005, Hong Kong action film SPL arrived, suggesting a triumphant return to the sort of film that Hong Kong has always done better than pretty much any industry on the planet; beautifully cheoreographed and edited hard-action cinema, the sort that’s only possible when you have a cast of martial artists and an experienced crew that knows how to shoot them to maximum effect.
In the intro to my write up back then, I called it:
A … (read more)
The news arrived last week that celebrated Thai action choreographer Panna Rittikrai has passed away, at the far too young age of 53. He had been the driving force behind Thailand’s new wave of action movies, touched off by his work with his student Tony Jaa in 2003’s Ong Bak. Amidst a cinematic sea of elaborate fantasy wirework, CGI-enhanced stunts and elaborate, unrealistic weaponry, Panna’s films brought a grounding in reality back to modern action cinema: hard-hitting Muay Thai, … (read more)
Tony Jaa returns to our screens in another Ong Bak film, released here in Australia on DVD by Eastern Eye. And unlike Ong Bak 2, which shared nothing with its predecessor but the name and the lead actor, volume 3 picks up directly where the last one left off (so the rest of this review contains spoilers for that one — you can’t say I didn’t warn you!)
We begin the film with our hero Tien (Jaa) in chains, … (read more)
Back in 2003, a little film from Thailand introduced international audiences to a unique form of martial arts known as Muay Thai and a promising new action star called Tony Jaa. That film was of course Ong Bak. It became a blockbuster in its native country and went on to become an international hit. With no CGIs or wires, the movie simply relied on the amazing physical abilities and athleticism of its main actor – Tony Jaa. It made … (read more)
Ong Bak caused more than a stir when it was released to the megaplexes in Bangkok (I know, I was there at the time) and when it was released into international markets it caused an even bigger stir, in fact Ong Bak is one of those outstanding films that have brought massive recognition of the Thai film industry.
Ong Bak has an undemanding story at best, and before I go any further I’ll let you know that this doesn’t matter … (read more)