Tony Jaa has returned to inflict massive amounts of pain on himself and others, all for our enjoyment. Only this time, he sits in the big chair as well.
This is the trailer for Ong-Bak 2, Jaa’s directorial debut. Originally intended to be a proper sequel, it instead became a fantasy-tinged historical epic. Jaa plays Tien, a nobleman’s son who witnesses the murder of his parents. He is saved from slave traders by the leader of the Pha Beek Krut, a group of legendary martial artists from all over Asia.
Released in Thailand last year (and bootlegged shortly after that), the reviews for the film have been … not so kind. The general consensus is that the plot is completely nonsensical and the action is just not good enough to make up for it. This may be due to the recut, but more than likely it has something to do with the falling out between Jaa and director Prachya Pinkaew (Ong-Bak, Tom Yun Goong), which led to the action star to take the helm. The production has been plagued with problems, from Jaa suddenly walking off set for two months and CRYING ON THAI NATIONAL TELEVISION, to the production company requesting a new director before they gave any more money (Jaa got action choreographer and mentor Panna Rittikrai to take over). The film still went over budget, forcing it to end on a cliffhanger and the story to continue in a possible Ong-Bak 3.
Then again it was number one at the box office (beating Tom Yun Goong) during a period of political upheaval, so who knows?
So chances are, the trailer is better than the movie for once. Oh, before I forget, the alligator is real. FYI.
Fun fact: Tony Jaa had to turn down in a Jackie Chan picture because of Ong-Bak 2, even though Chan (a hero of Jaa) personally requested him. The movie? Rush Hour 3. Talk about mixed blessings.
The DVD is due out in October.
(By the way, who is going to review Chocolate? Seriously, who?)