Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Beating People In New And Exciting Ways: The Ong Bak Trilogy

When TONY JAA first appeared in 2003, nobody had any idea of what to expect from this guy. Once the press releases stating that he was '... the strongest successor to Jackie Chan than anyone in the world...' and '... Performs all his own stunts...' began to appear, folks began to take notice. Despite this, the chuckles and giggles from the international film community continued. After ONG BAK finally hit the scene, Sahamongkol Film finally began to catch the world's attention, and all the laughter stopped.

Fast forward.

During the filming of ONG BAK 2, the press had a field day when massive production problems plagued the set (Tony Jaa lost control and retreated into the mountains; some say he was practicing black magic--- Production costs spiralled out of control--- A sobbing Jaa appeared on national television confessing that he was in over his head as a director--- and so on.). The production passed into the hands of up and coming action director Panna Rittikrai (BORN TO FIGHT) and the production was finally completed. In December 2008, ONG BAK 2 was released to Thailand theaters.

What a difference a year can make.

MAGNOLIA PICTURES, who released the original film as well as the martial-autistic actioner CHOCOLATE (thru their Magnet genre label), will be releasing the long awaited Jaa fight flick here in America... At the same time we're getting the U.S. version of 2, Sahamongkol Film is preparing ONG BAK 3 for theater release this December in Thailand. Of course, talking about the strange paths of Tony Jaa's filmography means nothing in comparison to watching him kick the living crap out of people onscreen in new and exciting ways, right?

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