Late to the party here I know but I finally saw Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior in the theater. It must be on its last legs because it is only showing once or twice a day. The movie has made about 4 mil. after a month in the American market... not bad for a foreign action flick but not great either... I expect it will be a bigger hit on DVD) But I'm glad I trekked in for a 9:40 PM show risking tricky subway shutdowns after the showing (the trains these days -argh!) because "wow". I'm not speaking of the movie of course, which is pretty much a rough by-the-numbers action vehicle. The "wow" is for the star (Tony Jaa) showcased therein. The ads for this movie promise:
"No Stunt Doubles"
"No Computer Graphics"
"No Strings Attached"
which is a pretty simple advertising hook...but the truth of it packs more of a punch than you might think. Instead of the no-longer magical (because of ubiquity) "how'd they do that?" special effects reaction to movie sequences... you now get a "How'd HE do that?" genuine engagement and curiousity. Jaa's physicality is pretty showstopping.
Ong Bak? C+/B- Tony Jaa? More please! And quickly...