Ong Bak 2 is a sequel to Ong Bak in a title only as I vaguely remembered that the first Ong Bak was set in modern Thailand, while in this film, it is clearly sets in a land ruled by feudal landlords where violence and raging war for land-expansion is a common. Thus, no previous knowledge of Ong Bak film is required, as you could eliminate the “2” or changed the title entirely and it is still relevant.
Tony Jaa is back again, but this time, he’s also producing, writing, directing (action and co-directed the entire film), as well as be the leading man. Not really much in a story department, Tony Jaa as Tien, a relatively silent (I counted more grunts and snarls from his character than syllables) but versatile martial artist (swords, spears, triple-sticks, bare-hands, wrestling, you name it, he wields it with deadly proficiency) is forced to flee as a child when his father, a feudal lord, betrayed by the other feudal lord which of course, relatively common practice in the era sets in the film. After seeing the boy Tien’s courage in a crocodile pit, an organized Bandit took him under their wing and quickly rose in ranks and favor. But of course, even so, Tien’s mind was ever sets toward his loss, toward revenge. To sum it all up, it’s actually about Tien kicking bad guys up, Tien slashing bad guys up, Tien killing bad guys up, Tien snarled and grunted while giving a various violent punishments to the bad guys. I mean, what do you expect from Tony Jaa and a film called “Ong Bak” anyway? If you know either one of them, you bought the ticket fully aware and fully expecting to see Tony Jaa flying, beating, and kicking some asses. Everything else, came in second.
The story is menacingly simple, even simpler than the first Ong Bak that even if the subtitle is written in Klingon, you’d understand the whole thing even come up with solid guesses that doesn’t made you jumped up and down of your seat when the film decides to throw you some surprises. But again, this is not why I bought the ticket for “Ong Bak 2” I bought the ticket for its action choreography and to certain extents, the obligatory of slow-mo-ed scenes and for that reason, the final forty minutes of this film, at the very least, delivers the expectation and had I wrote the film myself, the ending given by this film is how I would chose to end the film as well.
My rating: **1/2 / **** If you could enjoy Martial Arts film, and at least enjoyed the first Ong Bak, and have a moment to spare, then I’d say, why not? Else, you won’t missed a thing.