Monday, February 9, 2009

Ong Bak 2 [2009]

Director: Tony Jaa, Panna Rittikrai
Starring: Tony Jaa, Nirut Sirichanya, Sorapong Chatree
Points: 30 out of 100
Rating: Teen (violence, blood and gore)
Comment: "A martial arts exhibition wrapped around a terrible story..."

Despite the title, this film is actually the prequel to the previous installment. Up to this point, however, one can't really see how the two are connected. Perhaps you are better off if you simply disregard this movie for you could pick any other films starring Tony Jaa and it will be twice better than this one. Not that there are that many to choose from, but you get the idea. It is a shame really, considering that this is Tony Jaa's directorial debut and it will go down in history as one of the most poorly structured stories ever.

The story revolves around Tony Jaa's character, caught within a political turmoil in middle-age Thailand. While trying to escape from being assassinated, he got lost in the jungle, only to be 'rescued' and to be sold as a slave. However, he shows defiance to his captors, bringing the interest of a bandit leader to train him in martial arts.

The premise is promising enough, for martial arts has more reason to exist in feudal times rather than today. And in true Tony Jaa fashion, the action sequences are wireless and CGI-free. Sadly, that's the only thing worth watching in the entire movie.

Storywise, there are too many things lacking. However, a bit of research revealed that the reason behind the poorly constructed plot is due to complications during the production stage. It has been reported that Tony Jaa went missing in action for two months, bringing the production to a halt. In order to finish the film on time, the production team resulted to a cliffhanger ending, giving way to a third installment - which I doubt I'll be watching on the silver screen.

All in all, a decent effort from Tony Jaa, but perhaps fourth time's the charm?

Points Calculation

The Good [+100]
- Tony Jaa kicks butt!

The Bad [-70]
- Everything else

100 - 70 = 30 points

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