'Ong Bak - Thai Warrior'
(Tony Jaa, Petchtai Wongkamlao, Pumwaree Yodkamol, et al / R / 104 mins / Magnolia Pictures)
Overview: One dark night, a former native of a rural Thai village, has his men steal the head of the town's ONG BAK (Buddha statue) to win favor with ruthless crime boss Khom Tuan.
Verdict: 'Ong Bak', from the brutal opening tree climbing battle onwards is a masterpiece of the higest order. But, what's really going on here is a showcase for 28-year-old Tony Jaa, a martial arts sensation who's hoping to bring attention to the art of Muay Thai. Not short on screen time, Jaa is seen 95% of the time, but at no point is it wasted. And sure there's a distinct lack of money having been invested into this film's backdrop and such, but who needs that kind of a budget when you can do what Tony Jaa can do?! 'Ong Bak' is a breath of fresh air and is the perfect, nay unmistakable media weapon tour de brute force that should propel Jaa into the Jackie Chan limelight!