Friday, April 08, 2011

"Ong Bak 2" is a lot of kicking ass with not an interesting story

If you have yet to experience Tony Jaa in a movie you are missing out.  He brings new meaning to pain and suffering when it comes to martial arts action films.  Some of the stunts he pulls off are even more crazy and painful looking than Jackie Chan at his best.  Many of the fight scenes in his movies are so full of bone crunching moves that I find myself wincing and moaning at the sight of it.  That is actually a good thing.  It is pretty awesome to see him in action.  You still don't entirely believe he can take on the onslaught of foes that get sent at him, but he is the closest to date.  Now if we could just get him to be in movies with interesting stories...

First off let me say that Tony has a thing for elephants.  They have played a major part in a bunch of movies already and there is a a few great scenes from this movie that utilize this enormous beast.  Why does he favor them so?  It might be because of the power they exude.  Tony is a powerful man and he in many ways reminds of a charging elephant.  He has a wild look about him.  He is literally like a jungle animal in this film.  A look of pure energy and fire seer through his eyes into his opponents.  I really have no problem watching him fight hoards of bad guys in graphic and bloody ways.

The story in this film centers around a young boy who is captured by a slave trade and forced to fight a crocodile.  A group of bandits who attacks the slave camp notices his prowess in the art of fighting and takes him under their wing to train him.  He learns all about the art of kicking ass with every known weapon including fists and feet.  Then sets out to exact revenge on the people who destroyed his life.  It sounds simple enough, but the is told in a very confusing way.  It jumps back and forth to show flashbacks of a childhood before he was taken.  Many of these flashbacks are silly and really give no huge story point that makes this interesting.  In fact, they really just slow the story down.  I found myself bored.  I am all for a story supporting the action, but you HAVE to make it an interesting story.  Also, if you are going to make a sequel, maybe it should have something to do with the original.  I could be wrong but I really saw no connection to the first film at all.

The action sequences are really amazing.  They are shot very well and are beautiful and brutal to watch.  I found myself involuntarily moaning "ooooooohh" when some of the hits took place.  This is brutal action that is still graceful and almost like a delicate dance.  Ok delicate is the wrong word.  There is so much sweet, blood, and testosterone in this film.  It is truly a sight to behold.  The scene surrounding an elephant as mentioned above is one of the most interesting.  They are literally bouncing off the animal.  It is quite a feet.  Every American action director should take note on this film!!  It was absolutely refreshing to see the camera stay in one place so we could see more than two seconds of a fight before it cut away.  You get to see everything.  I love it!!

In the end I was happy I saw the film.  It is pretty and I am a sucker for a good martial arts flick.  I just wish I could have gotten into the story a bit more.

6 out of 10 stars

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