Jam-packed with crazy stunts & insane action choreography, and introducing Tony Jaa as the next major martial arts star after Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan, Ong-bak (also known as Ong-bak: Muay Thai Warrior or simply The Thai Warrior) is more an exhibition of the famous combat style than anything else, for the story it packs in is barely serviceable.
Directed by Prachya Pinkaew, the plot is paper thin yet many of the storytelling shortcomings are brushed away by the acrobatics & martial arts on display here as every action scene is thrilling & fascinating to watch. However, it is also overdone, as evident in the different angles employed to capture the same stunt multiple times throughout the movie.
Tony Jaa is what makes Ong-bak highly refreshing on so many levels. His acting may not be up to the mark but watching him destroy his opponents with the combat skills, speed & athleticism he has in his arsenal is an absolute delight. There are a few moments the story could’ve done without but majority of its action segments carry zero complaints. The background score however is a total letdown.