From a small Thai village the statue of the revered deity Ong Bak is vandalized ... his head is stolen. The film shows how the eight moves of Muay Thai are executed by Ting, the best maritial arts fighter in the village who is sent to the city to find and return this sacred object. The local priest admonishes Ting to use only peaceful means because the moves can be deadly. Ting is given money and valuables by the villagers who aresimple and poor but faithful he will succeed ... He is advised to seek the help of a cousin, who lives in the city. Ting finds his cousin who is less than enthusiastic to receive a visitor from his village. The cousin is ashamed of his village roots, he has taken on an American name and has a girlfriend whom he likes to impress that he is "cool" ... unfortunately, he also has a gambling habit that has gotten him into deep debt with the underworld bosses.
After the cousin stole Ting's money and gambled it away, Ting ends up fighting goons sent by the local gangster to put fear into his cousin, essentially pay up or risk permanent injury. Ting's fighting prowess impresses his cousin who gets the idea to have him fight at a local arena against the best fighters where betting takes place. The cousin is certain he will recoup his losses ...Ting agrees on the condition afterwards his cousin will help find Ong Bak. While the story line is basic, the fighting scenes captivate and capture the viewer's attention and hold it throughout the film.
The scenes where Tony Jaa jumps over several produce carts during a chase in the city while knives are thrown at him is astonishing. Another phenomenal scene involves a huge number of three wheeled taxis which are driven by Ting's would-be captors as he fights them off while he is riding in a moving taxi. When they come to the end of the freeway there is an unexpected drop off ... like the edge of a cliff, the freeway is under constructed and incomplete. There is an explosive ending related to the capture of the gangster boss and the *surprise* location of an unprecedented number of Buddha heads which were stolen. This DVD has great extra features, such as a live performance of martial arts by Tony Jaa on stage in Paris during the opening of his film. It also has a rap music video which incorporates phenomenal martial arts performed by Tony Jaa. Some behind the scenes footage features the creation of specific stunts within the film. Erika Borsos [pepper flower]