September 9, 2006

Ong-Bak - $1

Ting is a kind young man who lives a simple life in a peaceful village. He is forced to venture into the big city after his village's sacred Ong-Bak statue is stolen. Many fights, chases and stunts take place in Ting's pursuit of this statue as he runs into increasingly hokey and stereotypical bad guys along the way. For some reason everywhere he goes people are evil and seem to want to fight him just because he’s nice. The only things in this movie of any entertainment value are the action, amazing stunt work, and fight scenes. This is really the only factor saving this movie from a $0 rating from me. The reality is that even the action gets repetitive and not enough care was taken to make the fights realistic; more than once I noticed a fight opponent wearing a helmet under their wig.

Ong-Bak is also full of cheesy attempts at humour by Ting's sidekick, a distant cousin he stays with in the city whose character is as poorly written as it is acted. The plot in this movie is brainlessly simple, a cookie cutter action movie plot where the good guy fights dozens of bad guys for a noble cause and meets a girl along the way. It would be a challenge to find anything redeeming about this movie other than the occasionally impressive action sequence. The directing is uncreative and dark, and the stunts while impressive, become predictable; oh look those workers carrying a ring of barbed wire just walked directly into Ting's path, whatever will he do?

It is worth noting that Ting is played by an actor named Tony Jaa and despite the many failings of this movie there is little doubt that Jaa is the next Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan. He will never wow us with his acting but action movie fans out there who can overlook a bad plot, bad writing, bad directing and bad acting will surely flock to any movie starring Jaa.

I cannot in good conscience recommend this movie to anyone. My time was wasted by watching it and I came out feeling a little bit dumber than when I pressed play. I urge you, if you are at all curious about this movie, to simply download the trailer, all the action sequences worth watching can be seen there.

I put this movie on my 'Don't Watch It' list and give it a value of $1.

1 comment:

Coutts said...

haven't seen a movie in a while eh? maybe ong bak killed the interest for awhile. i would never have watched this movie anyway as the genre doesn't appeal to me really to begin with, but thanks for the review. you know how it is in movie stores. one minute you are going in to rent a classic and the next you come out with ong bak. you have saved us all from that mistake. too bad you had to make it yourself first.