ONG BAK 3
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Tony Jaa & Panna Rittikrai
What's it about
Picking up where Ong Bak 2 had left off, Tien is captured and almost beaten to death before he is saved and brought back to the Kana Khone villagers. There, he is taught meditation and how to deal with Karma but very soon his arch rival returns for a final duel.
Is it good movie?
You know, I really liked the first Ong Bak. The second one took place in ancient times though and didn't have the budget of the first one and ended up looking hokey. Tony Jaa's previous effort the Protector wasn't overly good either, with bad sound effects and a lackluster (I know plot is secondary) plot that didn't help things.
Tony Jaa is an unbelievable athlete, without a doubt. He's one of the most incredible martial artists I've ever seen and I hope he gets absorbed into American movies sometime soon.
Anyway, on to the flick. This one starts right where the last one ended and Jaa has been captured by the enemy. Anyway, this is a big fight scene that ends up being quite impressive and Jaa's character Tien gets his butt kicked when he succumbs to the sheer number of the gang. I hope you really, really like the opening fight scene because it's the last one you see for far too long.
The rest of this flick (and by that I mean almost another HOUR) is Tien learning about himself and the spirits and the gods and becoming enlightened after he is scooped up by some villagers. All of the action is really limited in this first hour or so. When he finally does go through his body reincarnation or whatever, Tien is a new man and has to relearn everything and reset his bones before he fights again.
Most of the action stuff comes from Dan Chupong while Tien is down. Chupong once again plays the deliciously evil Crow Ghost. This is more of a flick to watch this guy shine. He's an awesome martial artist and deserves his time in the spotlight. As a negative, the 'annoying comedy sidekick' is back and still isn't funny. Oh, and there is more 'elephant fu' in this one although I felt it came off a bit silly.
When Tony finally learns his new style, it makes me miss his Muay Thai. The big battle between Tien and Crow ghost is disappointing, and doesn't seem to deliver as much as it should given how long the audience waits for it. As I mentioned previously, Tien's new style involves dance moves and although it can look pretty it doesn't hit as hard. It isn't as brutal and can look a bit silly from time to time.
So, if you're really into Tony Jaa and need to see everything he's done then you'll probably need to pick this up. There are a few cool action sequences but nothing to really blow your mind if you've seen the last two films. I didn't care much for the last one and this one hasn't exactly won me over either. Luckily, this is supposedly the last film for Ong Bak so hopefully something better can come next!
Video / Audio
Video is presented in 2.35 : 1 widescreen and looks pretty sharp and clear.
Audio comes in Dolby 5.1 and sounds okay, but isn't anything special or overly dynamic.
There's a 10 minute Interview with Tony Jaa, who really puts over the silly bit of 'elephant fu' as some of his favorite stuff in the movie.
There is also a 14 minute documentary about the making of the film that isn't overly memorable and is more or less just raw footage edited together.
Finally, a trailer for Ong Bak 3, Ong Bak 2, Merantau, Chocolate, The Grudge: White Ghost/Black Ghost and Kamu
I think this one ends up being for faint only, unfortunately. There just wasn't enough action in this one to keep me interested. Unfortunately, Jaa should likely stick to acting instead of acting and directing. Again, this seems for die-hard fans only.