Ong Bak

Ong-Bak Finale

My friend Ben came over tonight for dinner and then we watched Ong Bak. This is absolutely one of the most intense martial arts movies I’ve ever seen. The main character (Ting) is acted by Thai boxer Tony Jaa. He does all of his own stunts (like doing a splits under a moving car) and absolutely wreaks havoc!
Some moron stole his village’s Buddha statue, Ong Bak. So Ting goes looking for it, beating the tar out of anyone who gets in his way.
I’ve blogged the cave fight scene. It’s insane. Check it out.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Ong Bak

  1. Tim Challies

    I’m not sure where the line is between violence and gratuitous violence. But I’m pretty sure that crosses it!

  2. Ian

    I dunno. To me gratuitous is when appendages are flying, blood squirting, people being maimed with swords. Ong Bak didn’t really have that.
    When I think of movies like Kill Bill Vol. 1 or Gangs of New York I think of gratuitous violence. Ong Bak is just amazingly choreographed kung fu!!!

  3. Christian Grewal

    It’s more about marveling at the athleticism. When we watch these types of movies we’re all too well aware that they are choreographed and take for granted that the “story” is only meant to string together these dances. Kind of like a musical, only with more Asians kicking each other and fewer racial stereotypes (I said FEWER).

  4. Ian

    What’s a kung-fu flick without stereotypes?? ;)
    Even the scene where Ting is attacked with a saw blade, there no blood. You don’t even see a wound. For me, the worst part of the movie was the swearing. But I wonder if those words were in the original, or if the translator put them in the sub-titles to appeal to a western audience.
    But watching Tony Jaa is to marvel. All of his stunts were done without wires swinging him around and no special effects. He was incredible.
    As well, there are redemptive themes to the flick, such as Hum Lae’s turn-around right before he dies. Of course, it’s all Buddha, all the way.

  5. Mel(ody) Grewal

    It’s true. The athleticism required for these stunts is amazing. When I saw this movie, I hardly even remembered what the plot was (and Christian’s right, the plot is pointless anyway). Westerners do these stunts with strings and camera angles. This movie was about work, work and more work. Imagine how much the fighters had to practice to get theis coreography down. Beautiful. One day I hope to see thai boxing become an Olympic event.

    And also, I don’t see anything wrong with telling stories using violent scenes as long as good is good, and bad is bad. One could say God is overly violent in the Old Testament. Sometimes we have to fight to overcome evil. If church elders went to save a battered wife from her abusive husband, and he came out drunk and swinging, would you not block his punches? This man was fighting for the good of his entire village!

  6. Ian

    Uh, “westerners”? What about Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Or House of Flying Daggers?
    I didn’t realise Ron Howard directed them!! ;) Hehe.

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