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Ong-Bak (Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior)

Ong-Bak (Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior) (2005)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 105
Fresh: 90 | Rotten: 15

While Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior may be no great shakes as a movie, critics are hailing the emergence of a new star in Tony Jaa, whose athletic performance is drawing comparisons with Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li.

71

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 8

While Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior may be no great shakes as a movie, critics are hailing the emergence of a new star in Tony Jaa, whose athletic performance is drawing comparisons with Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li.

audience

84

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 68,656

My Rating

Movie Info

Thai stuntman Tony Jaa makes his starring debut in this martial arts action film directed by Prachya Pinkaew. Ja plays Ting, a young man living in a village in rural Thailand. Discovered as an infant on the steps of the town's temple and raised by monks who taught him the Thai martial art of muay thai, Ting is sent to Bangkok when the head of the town's statue of the Buddha, to which they pray to bring the annual rains to their drought-stricken region, is stolen. The country boy is plunged into

Aug 30, 2005

$3.9M

Magnolia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Ong-Bak (Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior)

June 1, 2010:
Tony Jaa Joins Buddhist Monastery
Bad news, Tony Jaa fans: the famously mercurial star has quit the film industry -- at least...
January 31, 2010:
Ong Bak 3 Teaser Posted
For Tony Jaa, making merely one "Ong Bak" sequel is not enough, and YouTube has the "Ong Bak 3"...

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All Critics (115) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (90) | Rotten (15) | DVD (24)

Ong Bak is not very good -- but Hollywood suits would be nuts not to give Jaa a role in every action flick they make from now on.

March 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jaa's moves are impressive, but the choreography ranges from bland to ridiculous (as when one dirty fighter resorts to using major appliances as weapons).

March 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Comment (1)
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No prizes will be awarded to anyone who guesses that Ting beats all assailants and recovers the artifact. What you might not anticipate is how viscerally exciting director Prachya Pinkaew makes the action scenes.

March 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What Jaa does is often mesmerizing.

February 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The artifice-free antidote to such F/X enervation -- a jaw-dropper of a star-making display from lithe fighter-artist Tony Jaa, framed by a plot as bare-bones as a backroom boxing ring.

February 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The best parts of this movie are the gritty and grisly fight sequences that have a power and intensity you don't find in many movies nowadays.

July 21, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

May be the supreme example of a filmic endeavor succeeding exclusively for one cinematic aspect.

September 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Film and Felt
Film and Felt

Knocked my socks off, and I was cursing myself for not seeing it sooner.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Genius. Perfection. Thai-style fighting with sequences that will make you shout at the screen.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Just a showcase for Jaa's athletic abilities.

August 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness | Comments (4)
Lessons of Darkness

Skittishly directed and haphazardly written, Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior is a bundle of old action movie chestnuts brought briefly to life only by Jaa's presence.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

While many martial arts movies rely on wires or computer graphics to pump up the action, this one is all natural.

March 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

I haven't been this thrilled by a new star since I saw my first Jackie Chan movie.

September 1, 2005 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Jaa combines speed, strength, and fluidity in a convincing bid to turn wire stunts into yesterday's fad and return simple physical prowess to the forefront.

August 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Suddenly The Matrix looks about as relevant as VHS tapes.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

The fights and chases ooze an authenticity that makes up for the lackluster and ridiculously underdeveloped story.

June 16, 2005 Full Review Source: FromTheBalcony

Ficarei muito espantando caso o fantástico Tony Jaa não se torne um astro internacional do gênero ação/artes marciais.

May 14, 2005
Cinema em Cena

It's too soon to tell if Tony Jaa has the the ability to sustain an interesting career, but he's off to a hell of a start, regardless.

April 17, 2005 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Jaa emerges as a worthy successor to Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li, dispensing brutality that has never looked so perversely beautiful.

April 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Has an authentic tone that makes its simplistic quest-for-redemption storyline surprisingly engaging.

April 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

About the only CGI illusion occurs when the bad guy exhales cigarette smoke through the blowhole of his tracheotomy. But Pinkaew isn't blowing smoke: this is the real deal.

March 18, 2005
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Watching Tony Jaa... provides the same thrill as watching those early Jackie Chan movies. This guy is the real deal.

March 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

The story is dumb and the paper-thin characters are motivated only by the needs of the plot. But man, those action scenes!

March 12, 2005 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

Its plot is pretty much standard-issue. But the action is spectacular enough to allow the audience to overlook that problem.

March 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Get a load of this guy, the way he leaps over cars, slides under SUVs. Experience the man bringing the pain and unleashing wrath. Gaze with wide eyes at his jackhammer fists.

March 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Audience Reviews for Ong-Bak (Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior)

I admit, I don't watch a ton of martial arts movies. I wouldn't have the first clue if this were a film full of cliches or a complete reinvention of the genre. What I did love was the simplicity of the story - true to Kurt Vonnegut's rule: every character wants something! - and the riveting chase and fight scenes. An adrenaline fest, for sure! I wanted to see it because of all the marketing - No CGI! No wires! - and choreography-wise, it didn't disappoint. It was also neat to see the little notes to Spielberg and Besson (maybe others, I only noticed the two) scrawled on the sets in certain scenes. Wicked guerrilla film-making, an absolute blast! Exclamation marks!!
June 11, 2013
danperry17

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
April 28, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Tony Jaa burst onto the scene with this high octane Muay Thai fighter which really turned my head, a long time fan of good old JCVD I knew of kickboxing and Muay Thai but this film really displayed it properly.

Its a silly film lets be honest, like all fighter action films the plot is childishly basic and revolves around revenge, as they all tend to do. From there on you obviously get many excuses for Jaa to fight many guys who are much bigger and to show his prowess whilst remaining firmly faithful and good to his religion at all times.

The film is slick and well made with decent stunt sequences but its all about Jaa and his abilities which are impressive and very well choreographed. Could of done without the constant cheesy replays at different angles of virtually every little thing Jaa does, but if your a fan of these films you'll be used to that.
January 15, 2012
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

A young country man travels to Bangkok to recover the stolen stone head of Ong-Bak, the Buddha statue of his village. Though he is an incredibly skilled Muay Thai fighter, his master asks him not to use his dangerous skills, in an effort to keep him from accidentally killing someone and being forced to live the rest of his life in regret. Circumstances and the corrupt people of the city force him into situations where he must fight, though, and he's willing to do anything to bring the stone head back to his village, which is cursed by its absence.

The fight sequences in Ong-Bak are so fun that they completely make up for the fact that the rest of the movie is fairly dull. That won't matter at all, though, as you're watch Tony Jaa deliver endless flying elbows and kicks,
while pulling of some absolutely insane stunt and fight choreography. Sit back, relax, and grin while you watch him literally kick the dust off people's heads.
August 23, 2011
lewiskendell

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (DE)
  • Ong-bak (UK)
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