Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)
When the head of Ong-Bak, the sacred Buddha of a poor village is stolen, the population is plunged into misery. The Buddha was the focal point of an anniversary vigil believed to bring rain to the drought-stricken area. Young Ting is selected by the villagers to travel to Bangkok to rescue the relic and retuen it in time for the ceremony. Ting has an affinity with the statue as he was left on the temple steps as a baby and raised by monks, who taught him muay thai, but forbade him to use it in combat. But now he is forced move into a seedy underworld and he must continue to strive to avoid the temptation to fight.
Note: Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior is, also known in the United States as Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior. Ong-Bak proved to be Jaa’s breakout film, with the actor hailed internationally as the next major martial arts star. This movie brought the film industry of Thailand into the spotlight, and was a Thai Film Festival winner. It was the first film to featured Thai kickboxing in a highly stylized form utilizing muay boran’s brutal, full contact techniques, and Tony Jaa never holds back, using elbows, knees and kicks that are devastating to watch. Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior was the movie that opened the door for countries like vietnam, malaysia and Indonesia to showcase their countires martial arts in film.
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Writers: Prachya Pinkaew (story), Panna Rittikrai (story)
Stunt choreography by Panna Rittikrai
Stars: Tony Jaa, Petchtai Wongkamlao and Pumwaree Yodkamol