Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ong Bak 2 Review

Ong Bak 2, 2008
Reviewed By: Dan S.
Directed By: Tony Jaa, Panna Rittikrai
Written By: Tony Jaa, Panna Rittikrai
Starring: Tony Jaa
Language: Thai

Lacking any literal connection to the original Ong Bak, this is a historical piece with some interesting Thai costumes, jungle settings, and natives. However, the boring camera work, bad storytelling, and sloppy editing ensure you won’t enjoy your stay. An infamous troubled production noted for Jaa’s increasingly unstable behavior and financial short comings, this is one seriously unwatchable mess. Lacking any type of emotional resonance, the narrative is impossible to follow as cryptic mumbo jumbo and non linear flashbacks attempt to convey some sort of decade spanning spiritual revenge story with an abrupt non-ending as the money ran out. Most of the action is saved for the last half with some painfully slow pacing that makes the movie feel much longer than it really is.

Jaa has some impressive moments when he runs atop a real herd of elephants but there are precious few eye catching stunts. Ultimately the fight sequences are soulless and detached, void of any drama or suspense as our stoic hero is continuously rushed by waves of faceless enemies from some unknown origin off camera. Some scenes are more ambitiously filmed than others, most likely the ones original director Rittikrai finished before he quit. Much like Jaa's enemies, supporting characters appear and disappear with no explanation throughout the head scratching narrative. The most noteworthy being some sort of ghost that appears out of nowhere, kicks Jaa’s ass, steals his elephant, and leaves him for dead during the climax. Yes, you read that right, and its way more boring than it sounds.

One fist out of five

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