Much has been written about Tony Jaa, who was almost immediately
granted entry worldwide toTony_jaa_014
the rarified martial arts movie pantheon of Bruce
Lee
, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li. based on the buzz on his first
film—Ong-Bak: Muay Thai
Warrior
.

When you see him in action, it’s clear that he’s absolutely
fearless, particularly once you realize that he does his own stunts: no wires,
no special effects. His is an
electrifying combination of physicality and grace. Because of that, he’s a game changer: For some time, we’ll be
left comparing every subsequent martial artist who hits the big screen to
him. If calling him the “Michael Jordan of
martial arts” sounds like hype, it’s not. But then, you could reasonably call Jordan the Charlie Parker of
basketball. They both pushed their
respective forms so far ahead of where/how their contemporaries played that it
took a significant time for the rest of the field to catch up. A case could be made for Jay-Z in hip-hop,
as well.

As someone who loves martial arts—both as a filmgoer and a
practitioner—there are a couple simple criteria I have. First, I love seeing physicality that
approaches the impossible due to a combination of inspiration, mastery,
fluidity and natural ability. This is
part of the reason I never really took to Sonny Chiba—his moves were too
stiff. Second, I’d like to walk out of
that movie knowing that if I devoted my life exclusively to training, it’s
within the realm of possibility that I might be able to approach such a level
of mastery. Now this second requirement
precludes such feats as. . .performing any moves while flying through the air. For this reason, large portions of Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon,
many early Jet Li movies and much of the Hong Kong
martial arts oeuvre are unwatchable.

That inspiration and excitement, that sense that I’m being taken to the mountaintop, is exactly what I feel when I see Tony in action.  Of course, no man is an island, and some credit must be given to the fight choreographer and stunt trainer who gave Tony his start in the Thai film business, Panna Rittikrai.  I take it from Variety.com’s Asian film blog Kaiju Shakedown, that Panna Rittikrai will is on his way to being famous amongst aficionados, the same or greater than Yuen Woo-Ping

Now, in case you’ve not seen Tony Jaa in action, take a look at the clip from his next movie,
Tom-Yum-Goong. Already released in
Thailand, the film is the 2nd most successful film in Thai
history. It hasn’t been released yet
here. Look for it in the UK in July,
with a US release slated for December. It may be retitled “Warrior King,” which is lot better than “Thai Soup,”
the current translation. This clip is
courtesy of YouTube.com.

You might want to send any minors out of the room before you
press play. Suffice it to say that the
bad guys are getting what they deserve.  This is poetry in motion and, in addition to his good looks, the reason why Tony Jaa is set to be a big star.

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Posted by Rob Fields

  • pavankumar

    i have saw your every film in teater and am a big fan of you….
    you doing actions very well and best of luck your next movie…
    from
    pavankumar
    india
    karnataka
    shimoga