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

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Critic Consensus: 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.

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Movie Info

Exhilarating fight sequences highlight this action-packed martial-arts adventure about an orphan (Tony Jaa) who embarks on a quest to recover the head of a Buddha statue that was stolen by a Bangkok drug lord. Petchthai Wongkamlao, Pumwaree Yodkamol, Rungrawee Borrijindakul. Directed by Prachya Pinkaew.

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

All Critics (108) | Top Critics (28)

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.

Mar 4, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4

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).

Mar 3, 2005 | Rating: 2/5

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.

Mar 3, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

What Jaa does is often mesmerizing.

Feb 17, 2005 | Rating: B-

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.

Feb 16, 2005 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

I think you have to hang a plot and some suspense around this. It was just so dopey and so endless and so repetitive. The guy's got talent, but thumbs down for this movie.

Feb 14, 2005

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

Like so many martial arts movies out there, it lacks in structure and is clearly more an excuse to show great fighting scenes - and great they definitely are, with Tony Jaa performing all his spectacular Muay Thai stunts without the use of wires or special effects.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

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!!

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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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.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

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