Ong Bak films have always been super light on plot so I will give you a basic rundown before we dive into the meat and potatoes of this review. Tony Jaa gets his bones broken and goes through recovery, then trys to decide whether or not he should fight anymore. Then he hears some wise words then he starts training, re-unites with his lost love, and begins his mission for revenge. This movie picks up right after the second and puts you right into action. He is captured tortured but still fights back. Ong Bak 2 received a lot of negative comments, so martial arts fans ware waiting for Tony’s return to redeem himself. I’d say he succeeded due to the fact there is more to this film then just action scenes. For example, Ong Bak 3 makes sure that more attention was given to the martial-arts discipline of nattayuth, which combines meditation techniques.
Fight scenes are very well done except the last and most important one. The final fight is really disappointing because it is short, and lacks the flamboyant style of Tony Jaa and the other guy shows absolutely nothing. We’ve all grown up seeing a lot of different takes on the martial arts genre, but the Ong Bak movies take things back to the basics so there’s just not enough fat here to maintain a hungry audience. It’s a fantastic peak of violence with a more subtle approach and a fitting way to close out the trilogy. I seriously don’t understand the hate for Ong Bak 3 at all, I saw Ong Bak 3 in it’s actual theatrical release at Fantastic Fest in Austin,Tx and I have to say that I liked it better than 2.
Although the reports that Jaa is a diva on set are true, Tony Jaa is still a talent we can’t afford to lose. Tony Jaa once again writes, directs and stars which is something you rarely see. Tony Jaa has reportedly retired from film-making, and that is a shame. There were also rumors that Jaa was kidnapped at one point and he even appeared on television and broke into tears. Perhaps he will change his mind in the future and return with a clear head.
Another minor gripe is the villian Crow Demon. The Crow Demon clearly uses wire-work to perform some of his moves which I had never come to expect from the ‘Ong Bak’ films. Instead of continuing the format of Ong Bak 2, as we experience the main plot of Tien attaining Nathayut we are subjected to flashbacks, dream sequences, and shoddy CGI. The fighting represents the one major element that simply must work in order to earn entertainment value. Complaints aside, it works well as a film. Jaa’s experience as a filmmaker combined with his noble ambition has resulted in Ong Bak 3 to translate a lot better to the big screen. You will see what I mean when the film opens nationwide in January 2011.