Though Tony Jaa's Ong Bak 3
failed to top the Thai box office on release - and there is a very good reason for that, sadly - all is not lost in the world of Thai action film. While walking through the market today an exec from production house Sahamongkol film pulled me aside with some very exciting news: Panna Rittikrai is currently wrapping up directorial duties on multi-discipline fight film Bangkok Knockout
For the uninitiated, Rittikrai was the star of stacks of low budget action films in the 1970s and 1980s, is the mentor of stars Tony Jaa, Dan Chupong and Jija Yanin and has been the principal fight choreographer on virtually all of Sahamongkol's fight films since the original Ong Bak
. He is also an accomplished director in his own right - his most recent directorial effort, Born To Fight
, still stands as my favorite of the Sahamongkol action films. Yes, I like it better than Ong Bak
- and arguably the man most responsible for the look and feel of current Thai action cinema. He's also one hell of a fighter himself and accomplished in many different disciplines, an awful lot of which he's putting on screen in this one. Film Business Asia
got some details on the film and according to them the film "features a group of 'fight club' pals whose styles [nine in total] vary from Muay Thai
and Capoeira to kung fu and Tai Chi. When one of their number is
kidnapped they find themselves fighting for their lives."
And, yes, that article also mentions plans for an upcoming Chocolate 2
plus other projects, so get over there and read.
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