'Ong Bak 2': Who's the best martial artist alive? Tony Jaa, no doubt | EW.com

TV | Ken Tucker's TV

'Ong Bak 2': Who's the best martial artist alive? Tony Jaa, no doubt

Check your local On Demand listings; via Comcast, I watched the new Ong Bak 2, now opening in theaters nationwide. Read Lisa Schwarzbaum’s review of it here.

As a big fan of the first Ong Bak, from 2003, I remain in awe of Tony Jaa’s stunning fight-work and choreography. His use of his elbows and knees as frequently as his fists and feet create a bone-crunching believability to his in-close fighting, even as his daring leaps in long-shot have a touch of Buster Keaton-style comedy, elegance, and danger.

Unfortunately, Ong Bak 2 takes place hundreds of years before Ong Bak and is weighed down with a soggy (literally – almost every scene seems to take place in a rainy forest or jungle clearing) plot about a boy growing to be a warrior. And as in all Tony Jaa movies, a lover of elephants:

Me, I like Jaa in a contemporary setting. I would much rather see him dispatching villains in a neon-lit convenience store than in a Thai forest. But I'll take the forest if it gives me moments like this:

What do you think of Tony Jaa? Will you see Ong Bak 2?

More from Our Partners