ong-bak-2-tony-jaa

One of the first things that caught my eye this morning was Twitch‘s posting of a new French trailer for Ong Bak 2, starring master of knees and elbows Tony Jaa. They’re excited about this one because it shows, briefly, some of the scene where Jaa has a watery encounter with a real, live alligator. Peter has already done a VOTD for today, so I’ll just implore you to watch this trailer, after the jump.

Ong Bak 2, which is unrelated to the first film in any story sense, had a famously difficult road to completion. Tony Jaa directed, against the advice of former director Prachya Pinkaew. But in the middle of the shoot he had a massive breakdown, fled into the forest and stayed there for two months (supposedly practicing black magic) before making a tearful return to civilization on live TV. Then he presented the film’s financier with a list of demands that had to be met if he was to finish the film; after showing up at a police station claiming that he was being followed by thugs (i.e. his financier’s goons) he just went back and finished the movie with the help of his mentor Panna Rittikrai. But from our perspective, if the fight scenes are as impressive as some of these shots suggest, it will perhaps all be worth it. The original film is still jaw-dropping, even with the silly plot and characters.

Luc Besson’s company Europa Corp is distributing the film in Europe, and is making some cuts. (It also took care of the first, and even got a spraypainted shout-out in the film’s tuk-tuk chase sequence, seen dimly here at 5:37. ) About six minutes have reportedly been trimmed, and some changes may have been made to the score as well.

To be honest, I’ve heard mixed things about Ong Bak 2, which premiered in Thailand long ago and is already available via R3 DVD. But the trailers and clips make the fight scenes look amazing, so I’m still ready. Seeing Ong Bak at Midnight Madness during the ’03 Toronto fest was one of my favorite genre movie experiences, so I’m hoping for a glimmer of that from the sequel.

And if you haven’t seen it, check the great French poster for the film, which shamelessly trades on Bruce Lee’s image.

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