Ong Bak 2 (Tony Jaa) 2008

I wish I didn’t have to give this movie the time of day.  Some movies are just so bad they don’t even deserve the effort to say “This movie sucks”.  Ong Bak 2 is one of them.  But I suppose I have to give some kind of clarifications.

For one this movie is not a sequel; it is a prequel.  Now this is confusing for two reasons.  For one, the original Ong Bak was not exactly a story that needed more expansion.  The plot was about as basic as you could get: bad guys take sacred statue head for ransom, mute kung fu guy takes it back.  This isn’t like Batman or Star Trek/Wars where we have lingering questions or want to see more about the characters.  I could give two shits about the characters in Ong Bak so why would I care to see two more movies about ancestors of theirs?  Secondly, the movie features elephants as mythical creatures and the characters nearly worship them.  Gee, if only there was a movie where the characters worshipped elephants and starred Tony Jaa…um the Protector?  But trust me, this is just the beginning on a long list of confusing bullshit that is Ong Bak 2.

The movie is kind of the Thailand version of Conan the Barbarian.  Tony Jaa plays, um, Gruntie.  Yeah he has a name but all he does is grunt, show his yellow teeth, and give his war face so I don’t really know his name.  Gruntie is apparently the son of some lord but the land is conquered by the local Thulsa Doom and blah blah blah Gruntie is trained in the martial arts by a group of freedom fighters.  Gruntie becomes the head of the clan but before taking leadership he goes on a revenge spree on whoever killed his father.

And in case you forgot Gruntie’s backstory, you see it twice.  Yes, we get two 20 minute flashbacks where we see the exact same bullshit retread to us all over again.  Yet still after seeing this movie I still have no idea how in the blue blazes this has to do with the original Ong Bak.  I take it back, I know what this has to do with the original: FUCKING NOTHING!!!  Troll 2 has more continuity with the rest of it’s series than Ong Bak 2 does with its.  Just admit it Tony, you slapped on the title Ong Bak just because it was the only popular movie you had in America and wanted to capitalize on the minimal success you had.  There, I’ve just saved you all the trouble of wondering (all two seconds).

The one thing that truly pissed me off about the movie was the criminal use of slow motion.  I swear if you removed all the slow mo in this movie it would be 40 minutes.  Not even Oliver Reed or Peter O’Toole would take you up on the drinking game of taking a shot whenever characters are leering at each other in slow motion rainfall.  Then there are the random WTF moments Jaa throws in that makes you wonder how much opium they smoked on set.  For example Gruntie is fighting the evil emperor in the final confrontation when all of a sudden what can only be described as a bird woman comes down and kung fu fights Gruntie.?  We never see her prior to this nor is she mentioned.  Who is she?  What is she?  What is she doing?  Where did she come from?  Why is she fighting him?  Why can she fly?  Why is she interested in Gruntie’s elephant?

But let’s forget all that bullshit.  And believe me that is a lot to forget.  I’m sure many of you are saying “Yeah the plot sucks (it is rare a kung fu movie that doesn’t).  I just want to see Tony Jaa kick mass amounts of ass like in Ong Bak 1”  Well that is where you are going to get the biggest disappointment.  Tony does not use the same hard hitting fighting style he uses in Ong Bak one.  Instead he uses a more conventional chop socky (Crane, Tiger, Snake style) kung fu you see in old kung fu movies.  Tony does okay during those fight scenes but it’s not what I wanted.  It would be like me seeing Drunken Master 3 and seeing Jackie Chan busting out MMA moves.  Seeing Tony bust out Tiger style kung fu is, well, pedestrian and isn’t worth my freaking time.  It is dull and when you have to sit through so much story bullshit to get to the few fight scenes I really hate this movie.

Skip this movie.  I don’t care what kind of martial arts fan you are or how much you like Tony Jaa or any of that stuff.  This movie is embarrassing.  Ong Bak 2 makes the Protector seem like Enter the Dragon.  It is not even ‘so bad it’s good’.  This movie is just bad.  Tony Jaa is so far the biggest bust in martial arts and it is embarrassing he has even got this much attention.


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