February 18th, 2005


Ong-Bak (the Thai Warrior)

Remember the good old days, before CGI, special effects, and The Matrix? When guys like Jackie Chan just did amazing things using only their muscles and bones and reflexes?

Well, those days are back, at least in Thailand. Ong-Bak is reminiscent of old Hong Kong films like Drunken Master and Return to the 36th Chamber. However, be aware that Thai kung-fu isn't the same as Hong Kong kung-fu. It's gritty. People die from drug overdoses. Good guys die, period. There's real blood. The jokes are more ironic than silly. But there are some, and some of the best are visual: In two different scenes, there is grafitti which says: "Hi Luc Besson we are waiting for you" and "Hi Spielberg, let's do it together." And a chase scene involving three-wheeled Thai taxis? Tell me that's not comedy gold. But man...the grace and artistry in some scenes, mixed with Run, Lola, Run cinematography? If you like watching Asian guys kick and punch the crap out of each other in a mesmerisingly stylish way...Tony Jaa is the next Hero.

I am curious about one thing, however...there's a scene where the three main characters are eating food from a Bangkok street vendor, using chopsticks. But Thai restaurants don't give you chopsticks to eat with. Why not?
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