Ong Bak Muay Thai Warrior Sequel

I will never forget the first time I saw the jaw dropping Ong Bak Muay Thai Warrior with the sensational Tony Jaa. It was in Toronto and Bubba (Todd over at Twitch Film) brought it by and said I just had to sit down, shut up and watch this. And watch it I did. For those of you who have never heard of this movie, you’ll just have to trust me that it is the most awe inspiring spectacle of martial arts and stunts in a movie EVER. The most amazing part of it is that Tony Jaa did all of his own stunts… with ZERO special effects and ZERO wire work. It’s totally unbelievable when you see half the stuff this guy does. You just end up re-winding a dozen times saying “I didn’t just see that!!!!”

Now, the good folks over at AICN have received an update on the follow-up entitled Tom Yum Goong. My mouth is in high drool mode:

In Ong-Bak, he plays a country bumpkin who travels to Bangkok to retrieve a stolen Buddha image. In Tom Yum Goong, he plays a country bumpkin who travels to Sydney to retrieve a stolen elephant (!!!!!!). The culprit is a femme fatale who runs an evil empire out of her Thai restaurant called, you guessed it, Tom Yum Goong, named after the famous shrimp soup.

From what i gather, it should be ready to release around January in Thailand. With the director claiming to make this a Thai film with an international standaqrd and promisisng to raise it to the next level, I can hardly wait for the action to explode once more on the big screen. They also promise to continue to uphold the Ong-Bak motto of no stuntman, no wirework for the lead actor.

This guy is the evolution of Jackie Chan. Now, take all this with the grain of salt that Ong Bak was actually a horrible film from a story/acting/plot point of view. But the pure action, stunts and martial arts make up for all that in spades and creates a thoroughly enjoying viewing experience. Oh man I can’t wait.

12 thoughts on “Ong Bak Muay Thai Warrior Sequel

  1. Ong-bak made me believe in martial arts movies again. I’m also a huge Donnie Yen fan, Donnie Yen has always talked about how he hates too much wire work and CGI! he’s been saying for along time now how he wants to get back to basics with martial arts film making! So I bet he’s happy about Ong-bak’s success. I hear that Donnie’s up and coming movie called “Sha Po Lang” starring Sammo Hung & Wu Jing, is ment to be a ‘back to basics’ with good old raw hard fighting! YAY I can’t wait! I too am sick to death of CGI & wire work, most of the time it looks stupid and it always takes me out of the film, because once I see a wire-work move or a CGI effect, I go “Oh look wire work!whoopy doo NOT” Matrix123, crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, House of flying Daggers, STEP ASIDE coz you’re borring! it’s time we get serious!
    P.S “Born To Fight” is a great Thai film too, it’s directed by Prachya Pinkaew the same guy who made Ong-Bak. check it out!

  2. !!ong bak is the first movie i liked from my heart it is just like i fullfilled my heart with street fights in that movie with action moves and stuff this is the greatest movie in the world!!!!!!!!!!1

  3. ong bak is one of the greatest martial arts films ever and if tom yum goong is as tasty as its namresake i believe it will be a cult classic watch out world cinema thailand is on its way

  4. Published on Nov 23, 2004

    Will ‘Tom Yum Goong’ be a flavourful action film in its own right, or just a second helping of ‘Ong Bak’?

    It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon in downtown Sydney, but the dozens of Thai and Aussie crew members had no time to appreciate the laid-back city’s many charms. Much still needed to be done.

    With only four hours to work with, they were racing to finish shooting the many scenes with Darling Harbour and the Prymont Bridge, which was crowded with tourists, which was threatening to wreck shots and delay their work. Such was the harried spectacle witnessed by some 100 Thai reporters and guests visiting the set of the Bt200-million film “Tom Yum Goong”.

    The hectic schedule made serious and reticent director Prachya Pinkaew appear rather more serious and reticent than usual, as he oversaw the shooting an important fight scene between “Ong Bak” action hero Phanom Yeerum, aka Tony Jaa, and villains led by an American-Vietnamese actor Johnny Nguyen.

    Several rehearsals and takes took place over the frantic afternoon earlier this month, which became more hectic still with reporters asking questions and taking pictures in between shots. Attracting particular interest from the journo pack were Jaa and Nguyen, other leading actors in the film including Phethai “Mum Jokmok” Wongkhamlao and Bongkot Kongmalai, and action choreographer Phanna Ritthkrai.

    After somehow ending up with most of the shots he needed, at day’s end Prachya finally had a chance to relax at a party with the crew and the reporters. Even after sundown, though, Prachya had a lot on his mind, and before long was unleashing complaints about what he felt to be the burdensome rules and regulations for shooting in Sydney, where the shooting began earlier this month, and is due to be wrapped up by December 1.

    “It’s different than when I was here years ago to shoot a music video. They were more open and welcoming then,” Prachya said.

    In the story, a young man named Khon (Jaa) who grows up with an elephant named Kham tries to help rescue Kham’s brother, who has been sold by Thai gangsters to Australian thugs. Khon ventures to Australia, where with the help of a Thai prostitute (Bongkot Kongmalai), he endeavours to find Kham’s brother and bring him back to Thailand.

    It has been two years since the search for the Buddha image Ong Bak entertained audiences in such far-flung movie markets as France, South Korea and Hong Kong. With such success comes high expectations for Prachya’s next project. Yet the plot for “Tom Yum Goong” seems almost too familiar.

    As “Ong Bak” did, “Tom Yum Goong” features Jaa as the protagonist on a grand search. Mum Jokmok, who also appeared in “Ong Bak”, also pops up again in a buddy role, this time as a Thai policeman.

    “It’s not the second episode. Actually, we worked a lot to develop a new plot so it shouldn’t seem cliche,” said Prachya in countering the inevitable questions that such similarities have raised.

    And in order to head off gripes that too much muay Thai might make the new film too similar to his last one, the director has spiced up “Tom Yum Goong” with different martial arts like wuzu and kung-fu, which are practised by the villains.

    This time, the muay Thai hero played by Jaa squares off against a bad guy played by Australian Nathan Jones, a former wrestler and contestant in the Strongest Man in the World competition, who previously appeared in Jackie Chan’s “First Strike” (1997), and more recently in “Troy” as the guy who gets stabbed by Brad Pitt early on in the film.

    Also appearing as a mafia boss is transvestite Jing Xing, who was the first Chinese ballet dancer to get a scholarship to study in New York with the famous Martha Graham. Today she has her own ballet team and performs around the world with them when not portraying pretty but scary villains on the big screen.

    The film is named after the Tom Yum Goong restaurant owned by Jing’s character. The director explains that as with “Wasabi”, a French action movie set in Tokyo and named after the fiery Japanese mustard, “Tom Yum Goong” borrows the aura of the famous Thai soup to indicate that viewers can look forward to some peppery fight scenes.

    “Director Luc Besson uses the title ‘Wasabi’ to easily tell you that his movie has a Japanese setting. ‘Tom Yum Goong’ tells people this is a spicy Thai action movie,” explained Prachya, who ranks Besson among his favourite directors.

    Jaa said that the film’s action scenes, which he helped his mentor Phanna to choreograph, will use an ancient muay Thai style loosely based on the movement of elephants.

    “In the movie you will see martial arts that remind you of the elephant,” he said.

    With the two action masters taking good care of the fight scenes in detail, Prachya had more time to develop other details for the film, and has been working especially hard in achieving what he hopes will be stunning visual effects for the film.

    Not that the creative forces always agree – at times the director wasn’t always sure about the fight scenes as designed by Phanna and Jaa. “We had a lot of arguments, because sometimes I didn’t agree with them on what they thought were the best action sequences,” he said.

    Sometimes Jaa and Phanna also worked with Nguyen, who did stunts for Tobey Maguire’s character in “Spider-Man”, and also did stunts and light acting in American TV shows including “Alias” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Building on his martial arts background in wuzu, aikido and kung fu, Nguyen is taking on his first main movie role in “Tom Yum Goong”.

    “Jaa is a pretty talented action actor. He knows how to jump and kick. I’m amazed at what I see Jaa doing even off the set.

    “I’m surprised how he can jump that high! He seems to have hollow bones like a bird,” said Nguyen.

    Just how high “Tom Yum Goong” flies we will find out in early 2005 during the Chinese New Year, when the movie is released.

    Parinyaporn Pajee

    The Nation

  5. I’m definatly seeing this movie, I’m a HUGE fan of martial arts movies, and there just doesn’t seem to be enough good quality ones

  6. Tom Yum Goong isn’t actually a sequel to Ong Bak … same star and director, unconnected story. There will be an Ong Bak sequel, but this one aint it … Jaa’s next one won’t be it, either, as he’s apparently gone on record saying he’s making a historical film where he’ll be fighting with weapons … we’ve got some behind the scenes pics and things over at Twitch … just do a search for Tony Jaa …

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