Tony Jaa

Rhatha Phongam in THE PROTECTOR 2

For a brief while there in the first decade of the 2000′s it looked like Thailand’s Tony Jaa was laying claim to the title of best action star of the 21st century. Ong Bak introduced him as a viable and extremely capable action lead, and the next few years saw that status confirmed with two sequels and The Protector (aka Tom Yum Goong). And then he went nuts. In his defense he was trapped in an incredibly restrictive contract and his ego had grown to elephant-sized proportions, but that’s a long story for a different day. The good news is that he looks to in the process of making a comeback. He’s currently filming Fast & Furious 7, has two Dolph Lundgren films in the can and is rumored to be attached to sequels for The Raid and SPL. He also made a sequel with the same people whose tight grip almost drove him mad. The Protector 2 begins similarly to its predecessor with Kham (Jaa) living a bachelor’s life in rural Thailand with his pet elephant Khon. Trouble starts when the pachyderm is abducted by some ruthless thugs for nefarious purposes forcing Kham to once again leave home to rescue Khon and kick some ass along the way. A repetitive plot is bad enough, but while the first film was loaded with fantastic fight sequences and visibly impressive stunts to make up for it the sequel limps along under the weight of action “assisted” by ridiculously obvious wire work […]

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trailer the raid 2 berandal

Oh, Gareth Evans, how you bring me pure joy. The Raid 2: Berandal is on its way, though not nearly quickly enough. March 28, 2014 feels lightyears away, but I take heart in the slow peeling back of the violent onion layers that are the most recent trailers for the sequel to 2011′s cult hit. The latest gives us yet another peek into the personal life of undercover police officer Rama, played by Indonesian superstar and pencak silat expert Iko Uwais, who in my mind is most certainly the heir apparent to Tony Jaa’s throne of martial arts beat ‘em ups.

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Kurt Russel

Might Fast & Furious 7 be taking a page out of the Expendables playbook? The upcoming sequel in the CGI-cars-driving-really-really-fast franchise has already cast Jason Statham, Tony Jaa and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey; now Kurt Russell may be the newest addition. Variety is reporting that Russell is in talks for a role that, while unnamed, is the same role the franchise previously offered to Denzel Washington. So it’s probably a pretty big part. And like The Expendables movies, all these newcomers are either actions stars, former action stars, or professional fighters. Perhaps they’ll band together to form their villainous celebrity crew that will rival the one led by Vin Diesel? The smart money would be on Russell as some kind of murderous driver a la Death Proof, but whoever he is, we know he won’t be the main villain. That slot’s already taken by Statham, who’ll be playing Ian Shaw, the older brother of Fast & Furious 6 villain Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). Or maybe Russell, Jaa and Rousey are the start of some brand new racing crew that’s being primed to take over when the regular Fast & Furious cast finally keels over from old age, or spin off into a sister series so Universal can churn these things out at double the pace. Considering that Fast & Furious 6 made more than $750M, I wouldn’t put it past them.

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Tony Jaa

Does anyone else remember when Tony Jaa walked off the set of Ong Bak 2 and into the jungle? He would later come back, of course, and finish not only Ong Bak 2 but a third movie, as well. It was one of those too-strange stories of production madness that seem to have followed the martial arts star throughout his career. Since the completion of Ong Bak 3 and its subsequent release in 2010, it’s been quiet-goings for Jaa, who has long been compared to action titans like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. The only major difference between Jaa and those other fine men is that while his films have travelled well into the United States, he himself has never crossed into Hollywood work. That ends soon for the Thai man of action, as he’s signed on to join Fast and Furious 7. Nope, that’s not a typo.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Tonight it’s a movie news column stunned by its author’s ability to find all that is cool and interesting in the world of film. Seriously, this might be the best one of these lot that he’s put together in over 150 tries. It’s almost as if he’s ready to graduate to a “mediocre” rating as a news aggregator. Then he can begin acquiring spells and executing more advanced quests before he can join a proper guild and go on raids. Gore Verbinski may finally have found his Lone Ranger in the form of The Social Network star Armie Hammer. He is currently in talks to take the lead alongside Johnny Depp, who’s already been cast as Tonto. He’s got the look (and damn, the voice as well), but the challenge for Hammer will be the fact that there’s only one character to play in the film. Unless Verbinski carries over the “multiple Jack Sparrow” sequences from his Pirates of the Caribbean work.

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This isn’t the kind of news we normally like to report here at FSR, namely because it’s almost entirely lacking in details. But it’s good news, so I’m bucking the system and saying the hell with the rules. Per the sexy folks over at Twitch, the word on the street is that Tony Jaa is prepping to return to the screen with a non-Thai production. The rumors contain no mention of the film, the role, or anything else aside from two very enticing details. It will be a Hong Kong production, and Sammo Hung will be handling the fight choreography. Hung is well known as an actor and director in his own right, but recent years have seen his work as an action director and fight choreographer take center stage. Donnie Yen’s excellent Ip Man films and Andy Lau’s fantastic Detective Dee & the Mystery Of the Phantom Flame are the most recent examples, and they bode well for anything he touches going forward. Jaa burst onto the scene in 2003 with Ong-bak, but over the course of six years and only three other lead roles he managed to lose almost as many fans as he gained thanks to odd outbursts, self-imposed isolation, and other behaviors that fall under the umbrella of ‘hissy fit meltdown.’ There’s no denying the man’s athleticism and fighting skill, but he’s at his best when those are his only concerns. (Well, he might want to dedicate a little bit of time to an acting class […]

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Never let it be said that I was someone who valued my pride over my integrity. I say that because I’m about to admit this… I once called Ong Bak 2 the “greatest martial arts movie ever made.” I could make lame excuses like my lack of sleep when I wrote the review. Or my level of inebriation. Or the fact that an editor worth their weight in Gourdoughs donuts really should have caught that hyperbole and cut it out of the post all together… but no, I’m fully responsible for the ridiculous accolade. And while I stand by the review in general, that particular line haunts me to this day. As great as the fighting in the film is the movie as a whole has multiple issues and there are any number of better martial arts movies out there. Unfortunately, Ong Bak 3 is not one of them.

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Tony Jaa

That’s it folks, Tony Jaa has called it quits (for the time being at least). Who could possibly fill the shoes of one of the most gravity defying kickers of ass today? Here are eight worthy prospects…

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Tony Jaa

On Friday, May 28, actor and renowned martial artist Tony Jaa rode an elephant to a Buddhist temple in Surin, Thailand. He then shaved his head, took vows, and was officially ordained as a Buddhist monk. Anyone who has seen his most recent film Ong Bak 2 will not be surprised by this news. The guy has a thing for elephants.

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Ong Bak 3

Legendary to very few Americans, but iconic in his own region, martial arts star Tony Jaa is without a doubt one of the most exciting performers in the field today. And as long as he keeps making movies that look as exciting as this, his fan base can only grow.

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Just as Sundance comes to a close, my world has exploded with one of my favorite things in the world: Tony Jaa.

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ongbak2-header

Magnet Releasing has just sent over three intense, totally badass new clips from their VOD release Ong Bak 2, and I feel as if we’d be doing the world a major disservice if we didn’t hand them over to the public immediately.

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giveaway-ongbak

On September 25th, the much-beloved Ong Bak 2 arrived on VOD, Amazon and XBOX Live. And to celebrate, we’re hooking you up with a chance to relive some of your favorite Muy Thai movies with a Tony Jaa refresher course.

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Tony Jaa kicks more ass in Ong Bak 2 than ten martial arts films combined.

Ready for a trailer that will almost literally punch you in the face? How about a taste of Tony Jaa kicking the hell out of everything in sight in the highly anticipated Ong Bak 2?

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Tony Jaa kicks more ass in Ong Bak 2 than ten martial arts films combined.

Bold Claim of the Day: Ong Bak 2 is the greatest martial arts movie ever made. Not the smartest, or the funniest, or the most dramatic… the greatest.

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Get ready for flying fruit, knives, and fat kids… there’s a ton of ass-kicking coming out of Thailand.

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