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Claudia Leisinger

ONG-BAK

Jaa Rule

Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Stars: Tony Jaa, Petchai Wongkamlao, Pumwaree Yodkamol
Certificate: 18
Out: 13th May 2005

Don’t give Tony Jaa any elbowroom, or any excuse for a knees-up. A disciple of martial art Muay Thai, these joints are smoking weapons when used with his skill and agility. Shame, then, that ‘Elbows of Enforcement’ doesn’t have quite the same ring as Fists of Fury.

Nevertheless odds of the cute but impassive Jaa becoming the Thai Bruce Lee and next chop socky superstar are pretty good if this inventive, (un)intentionally funny action flick is any indication. Forget the storyline – village boy goes to Bangkok to retrieve stolen Buddha statue head from the mob – the film certainly does, wisely focusing on Jaa’s set-pieces, 100% CGI and wire-work free. Exquisite choreography of jaw dropping stunts includes a street chase under cars, through a barbed wire hoop and across hapless henchmen heads, as well as a demolition derby of tuk-tuks (motorized rickshaws). Jet Li and Stephen Chow should consider themselves warned.

* * * * (four stars)

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'© Highbury Entertainment 2005. No material may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.'


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