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ONG-BAK: THE THAI WARRIOR
USA: Magnolia Pictures
UK: Contender Entertainment Group
Cast: Tony Jaa, Petchthai Wongkamlao, Pumwaree Yodkamol, Rungrawee Borrijindakul, Chetwut Wacharakun, Wannakit Siriput, Sukhaaw Phongwilal, Chatthapong Pantanaunkul, Pornpimol Chookanthong, Chumporn Teppitak, Sukanya Kongkawong, Bunsri Yindee, Woranard Tantipidok, Sawang Rodnuch, Sutin Rodnuch, Udom Chouncheun, Arirat Ratanakaitkosol, Woravit Tangchitsirikul, Chalongsak Sirimahasan, Nudhapol Asavabhakhin, Somjai Gunmoontree, Somchai Moonma, Taworn Tonapan, Chupong Changprung, Chaiporn Gunmoontree, Don Ferguson, David Ismalone, Hans Eric, Paul Gaius, Nick Kara
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Language: Thai (English subtitles)
USA: 105 mins
UK: 108 mins
USA Rated: R for sequences of strong violence, language, some drug use and sexuality
UK Certificate: 18 contains strong violence and hard drug use
USA Release Date: 11 February 2005 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 13 May 2005
In every decade, world cinema has produced a new breed of martial arts action hero. In the 1970s, Hong Kong gave the world Bruce Lee, the kung fu hero who still casts a long shadow over the industry. In the 1980s Jackie Chan injected the genre with humor and jaw dropping stunts. In the 1990s, Jet Li came to America and added a new, acrobatic strain that revolutionized martial arts movie-making. Now, the first decade of the new century has already spawned a unique superstar. He hails from Thailand, and his name is Tony Jaa.
One dark night a former native of a rural Thai village has his men steal the head of the town's Ong Bak (Buddha statue) to win favor with ruthless Bangkok crime boss Khom Tuan. The locals regard the theft as a catastrophe, and seek a champion to retrieve their lost treasure. They find their man in Ting (Tony Jaa), an orphaned youngster raised at the local temple, and schooled by Pra Kru, a kindly monk, in an ancient system of Muay Thai: 'Nine Body Weapons'. Ting travels to the mean streets of Bangkok, where he's forced to compete in illegal street fights, taking on both local and foreign opponents to win the head of Ong Bak from the pitiless underworld kingpin.