Bullet Points: Muay Thai Warrior
Ong Bak was a pretty kick ass movie back in the day. It pretty much brought the Muay Thai fighting arts to the forefront of action cinema. This movie follows in the footsteps of Tony Jaa and his boys and adds some of the historical flavor along with it. It’s currently streaming on Netflix and even though the subtitles are somewhat delayed compared to the dialogue, it still looks good and is worth a watch. Let’s check out the Bullet Points.
The Gist: Based on a true historic figure during the Ayothaya Era, the film depicts the life of Yamada Nagamasa, a Japanese samurai adventurer who gets attacked and wounded by his own people and then saved by a group of badasses from Ayothaya. They take him back to their crib and nurse him back to health and he understands that you don’t have to be born somewhere to be from that place…or something. Anyways, he becomes hardcore just like them and eventually learns the art of Muay Thai and goes after the traitors that attacked him.
The Cast: Seigi Ozeki plays our lead character Yamada. He carries most of the movie as it pretty much follows his story exclusively for the duration. Yamada was a samurai who pretty much became a volunteer mercenary fighting outside of Japan. Most of the movie is him deeply looking inside himself and becoming more virtuous and shit. He has a little dime piece that he never gets with named Jumpaa (not according to the subtitles but according to imdb). She takes care of him when he is wounded and pretty much is like the Japanese chick from The Last Samurai. In fact, this entire movie is like The Last Samurai only instead of an American soldier in Japan it’s a Japanese samurai in Thailand. All of the royal bodyguard’s dudes are super badass with their flat-top Mohawks and handlebar mustaches.
Cool sword bro.
The Villain: There was a bald Japanese dude who was the bad guy here who just seemed to have a legion of masked ninjas running around getting killed. I don’t remember his name and even IMDB couldn’t help me in that one. He finally owns up to his villainy by going toe-to-toe with Yamada at the end but by that time he’s got no chance. The Ayothaya people were pretty much in constant threat of being invaded and at one point some of the royal bodyguards take on like 200 hundred tribesmen. It was pretty cool…
Yeah, he looks like a proto-typical bad guy, that’s for sure.
The Action: There are some pretty sweet hand-to-fights between all of the cool-haired mustachioed Ayothayan people. Their training pretty much consisted of kicking the shit out of each other, and then when they finally went to war it was like fighting a bunch of 8 year olds. The Japanese Yamada was bad enough with his karate or whatever but when he finally learns their Thai boxing he starts laying the smackdown even harder. The character named Sua is probably the baddest of them all as he trains the other tough guys and beats the snot out of Yamada for a while. They all become bodyguards to King Naresuan and get to go out and take care of his assassins in a scene that had both good and bad. The good was when they totally sword-raped 200 assassins. The bad was when you actually look closely at some of the CGI stabbings…they aren’t good. Swords just disappear and CGI blood flies in random directions.
In order to be one of them you have to look totally sweet!
Take it Home:
- Favorite quote: “Brave men do not yearn for long life.”
- History: The text at the beginning basically says that the movie is based on both historical facts and made up stuff to make it seem more cinematic.
- Muay Thai: I always love hearing people describe Muay Thai as fighting with 8 weapons; 2 hands, 2 feet, 2 elbows, 2 knees.