Why every sequel turns out be bad, infact very bad? Why the makers are even trying to make these sequels? And why does the story goes more pathetic whenever they deliver a new installment? I guess nobody has any answers to this, and if has then there might many mixed views to it. The first installment of ‘Ong Bak’ was super and enthralling, the second part was an average, and now the third part can’t be even qualify to its series.
In this 3rd part of the "Ong Bak" series; Tony Jaa has at last given conclusion and transparency in comparison to "Ong Bak 2". If we start with “Ong Bak” part 1, it was set in 15th century Thailand evaluated to its modern ancestor, where we saw Tony Jaa as the orphaned son ‘Tien’ of a decent family whose parents were brutally killed by the power-starving, Lord Rajasena. Grown up by a cluster of warriors, Tien grows up to become a fearful warfare machine himself. "Ong Bak 2" finished on a cliffhanger, with Tien snowed under by the complete number of Rajasena’s soldiers and taken away to be angst-ridden to death. After that the mysterious voice-over signifies that Tien may find a line of attack to trick death once again, and the closing shot of him footing in front of a marked Golden Buddha statue. Picking exactly after the actions of "Ong Bak 2", this sequel commence with an horrible sequence where Tien is crushed and assaulted which in all is in ways apparently too confusing. His bones fully broken down, Tien is saved from putting to death by a palace order, though it’s not clarified why, and later he is been taken care of to his health by a crowd of villagers. From there he starts a ride of meditation, in cooperation with physical and divine healing. This meditation draws him profoundly on Buddhist wisdom of mercy versus revenge, assisted by his tutor cum mentor Phra Bua (Nirut Sirijanya) and his childhood love Pim (Primrata Det-Udom). In the meantime, Rajasena is troubled by a curse set upon him by the Crow Demon (Dan Chupong), the baffling sprightly warrior whom Tien had fought with in brief in "Ong Bak 2", who desires the throne for himself. His body is sheltered with lots of evil tattoos; and soon the Crow Demon uses his ghostly powers to bind the villagers, setting the arena for an epic war of words with Tien. The climax thus decides the end of that evil and cruel Crow Demon.
Genre of this movie is action, but action fans may experience a bit of let down in this chapter, if compared to their previous versions. Among the entire 90 minutes, the very 1st hour we only have partial fight sequences. This includes where Tien is totally broken and just as he's about to be put to death, Tien gets saved and brought back to the village of Kana Khone, where one more fight arises involving his new saviors against Rajasena's assassins. Then after that remaining one hour gives you an average feeling, where Tien goes throughout a rebirth of sorts, concerning body squashing, spiritual chants, Master Bua (Nirut Sirichanya) spinning to monk-hood and teaching pearls of insight, the healing of body, mind and soul, time for romance with Pim (Primorata Dejudom) his support of strong point, planning of karmic values and the circle of life, and just so on. So in short, Tien has to unlearn what he has learnt, and essentially has to join all the bones of his body back in place before he can put into practice of his martial arts again, which brings us a bearded Jaa followed by a schooling montage in a tree, under water, screening off a bend over though scratched body, and etc.
A disappointment in the movie comes when they both, Tien and the evil Crow Demon, finally get together to do combat. On the whole I found their cut and thrust quite feeble compared to what had been done previous in the film involving other supporters. Also the concluding blow was quite a disappointment too.
The only constructive coming out from this installment is that this new Tien has his new fighting skills. Comedian Petchtai Wongkamiao granted some slapstick comic relief in a film that took itself quite sincerely. Also not to forget the direction was really very impressive, especially during the fighting sequences which were fine supported by the first-rate special effects.
Ong Bak 3 overlaps the martial arts and values very honestly and tried to beat a fair sense of balance between the two, Ong Bak and Ong Bak 2, but unfortunately it came off as fairly an average film, which is just because some fine fighting sequences and direction. I hope the makers will put an end to this series, and are not thinking for its next sequel, Ong Bak 4, and if they are then they better come with a bang action on it.
For audience, skip it if you have or haven’t watched its previous version also, it’s not worth watching just for some good action aka fighting sequences or for some good direction.
2.25 / 5