Starring : Tony Jaa / Dan Chupong -2008
Copyright © Sahammongkolfilm 2008
So this is it what every martial arts film fan has been waiting for .Right Ong Bak 2 has no relation to the first film apart from the name and that's where it ends .
Tony Jaa plays Tien a young man who as a boy see's his father and mother slain in front of him ,now this is set in a ancient mythical time and the young Tien is captured by slave traders who also use the slaves as fodder for there game of crocodile fighting .When he puts up a fight he is thrown into the pit to fend for himself and at each possible escape is pushed back in.
Until the leader of a band of pirates come to his rescue and kill the traders and give the young Tien a knife to kill the crocodile with.To the leaders surprise Tien kills the crocodile and is taken to there village where he is offered to stay and learn all about martial arts from Kung Fu and Muay Thai and wrestling to Samurai swordsmanship or leave and fend for him self .Well he stays as you would 'your parents are dead and what you going to do 'so begins his training until he comes of age and we see him as a young man Tony Jaa.
The pirates go around battling slave traders and the such like and get attacked from such people .This opens the story for some great fight scenes featuring all sorts of martial art,but this not before Tien is put to the test to see how well he has progressed .
Battling kung fu experts and samurai swordsman to a cave dwelling Vampire woman from what i could make out each battle is a real treat for the eyes.So when he is offered leadership next to his Savior ,he accepts but he must first do one thing for himself,Find his parents killers and his child hood sweetheart and get revenge.The rest i will leave to you to find out.
So is it any good well we all know this was a long and troubled shoot and Panna Rittikrai the man that made Jaa look so good in his first films fell out with Jaa and left him to it as Jaa was directing the film himself with help from Panna .
Tony Jaa went Awol for two months as costs spiraled and the stress got to much for Jaa.Yes it's good but not as good as the first Ong Bak or Tom Yum Goong in that some of the fight scenes are shot a bit close and the action is missed and two of them it looked like they were sped up whether they were or not it could just be the way they are shot.
You can tell the beginning fights are well put together with lots of long shots and as it progresses fast editing and stylised shots take over These are great for American flicks but when watching this type of film we want to see the action .So should Tony Jaa direct ,well no because he can't do it all unfortunately he's not Jackie Chan or Sammo Hung they were trained to do this ,there Peking opera training set them up for everything .
Even Jet Li admits his Directing debut was not a good one ,a lot of people know this it's the film he hurt his back on doing a stunt and doing everything is hard to do. Jet Li's back plagues him till this day.He does not direct anymore .
So back to Ong Bak 2 even though i enjoyed it very much it did not blow me away like the first film.Panna Rittikrai is a master director and has shown this in the film Chocolate and had he had control of the film i think it would be brilliant.But i do think it unfair some reviews of this film has slated it rotten and even though the story is not finalized in places it's not that bad.
The thing is a lot of these reviewers don't do martial arts they don't know how hard it is to pull off something that looks good on camera so i take there slating with a pinch of salt, had it been Tony's first film they would all be praising him.There are some dreadful fight flicks out there look at Death Bet.Here's to the next one Tony.
One of Five main posters from Ong Bak 2 above
Ong Bak 2 promo poster above