Posts Tagged ‘Muey Thai’

Last night I was in the mood to watch some martial arts so I logged into Netflix to view “Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior” starring Japanom Yeerum, better known internationally as Tony Jaa, in the lead role of Ting.  Ting is a villager studying to be a monk – which I guess means learning to be a martial artist.  When the village idol is stolen, Ting goes to recover the religious artifact from a big-city gang.  Blah, blah, blah…  lots of fights and chase sequences, bad acting and little plot.  I believe I have seen the movie before, several years ago, but I didn’t remember it until very late in, so it’s possible I’ve only seen the fight sequences on YouTube.
This movie is a showcase for the martial art of Muey Thai.  As near as I can tell without a great deal of background in the art – it is very similar to the stronger forms of Gung Fu and Karate with a lot of close contact elbow and knee strikes.  The movie doesn’t have very much of a plot – like I said, just enough to string the action sequences together.  The key, of course, is whether or not the action is worth the price of admittance.  It is.  Jaa has tremendous screen presence and is an incredible athlete.  It is difficult to believe the sequences are done without wire (like most Chinese gung-fu movies), but they are not.  It’s just a shame Jaa isn’t given more of a chance to actually “act”.
As for the fighting itself, a purist will complain the human body can’t survive the pounding meted out in the movie and, of course, they are correct.  But let’s not forget, this is just a movie…  And that doesn’t make it any less entertaining to watch.
Final recommendation:  see this for the action (martial and acrobatic) only – it’s terrific.  The acting is terrible and the plot is predictably poor, but you’re not viewing this for Oscar performances.  There are a few “bad / swear” words in the movie and there is obviously a lot of fight violence so this is not appropriate for young viewers (under 13).  Strong recommendation.
On This Day In:
2014 Actually
2013 Unfortunate Evolutionary Accidents
2012 Tense (Past, Present And Future)
2011 What Is Your Preference?

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