Photo source: OngBak.co.kr
If any of you are old school martial arts fans then you must watch Ong Bak, which is currently running in theatres around the island. I watched it last night and it is too good. It's easily the best martial arts flick I've watched since Jackie Chan's Drunken Master 2 came out way back in 1994. And just like early Jackie Chan films, Tony Jaa (the star of Ong Bak) uses no wirework or CG effects.
One of the things I hate about recent martial arts films is that each combo is chopped up into way too many different camera shots, zooming in on a body part, and then the face, and then the spectators, then to the opponent, and so on. So we never get to appreciate the beauty of the combo in its continuous entirety. Ong Bak however does it old school. Each of the really amazing blows, jumps, or combos are not only presented in one full camera shot, but we get to see slo-mo double takes from different camera angles to really enjoy Tony Jaa's amazing skills.
Another reason why I think I enjoyed the movie so much is because I have never seen Muay Thai used in a (good) movie before. Most people are by now quite familiar with the Kung-Fu/Wushu featured in countless martial arts films, but this is brand new. There's alot of knees and elbows which means very close contact fighting, and the skull-cracking is something you won't see in "Muay Thai Kickboxing" matches on TV.
And best of all the movie is packed with fighting and stunts... the plot is secondary. Tony Jaa is being billed as the next Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan, and there is talk of him being picked up by Hollywood. But God I hope he doesn't go to Hollywood, where he'll be forced to do stupid movies which put the plot before the action. But he's definitely good enough to be Lee's and Chan's successor.
So anyways, if you're sick of all the rubbish Wire-Fu and Hollywood-Fu martial arts movies then definitely watch Ong-Bak.