Gentlemen of Asskickery: The Return of Tony Jaa

One of my most cherished Midnight Madness memories is seeing Tony Jaa kicking a guy with his legs on fire at the world premiere of Ong-Bak (2003). And this was back in the Uptown days, when you could see men with legs aflame knee someone on the enormous screen of an old movie palace. This memory still fills me with wonder and joy, because I am a terrible person.

Tony Jaa got his start in the late Panna Rittikrai‘s Muay Thai Stunt Team. He performed in some of Panna’s films–and was occasionally a villainous henchman. Since then, Jaa’s become a superstar in Thailand, with films reflecting pride in Thai antiquities and heritage (especially elephants).  And now, Tony Jaa, like MM Alumnus Joe Taslim (The Raid) before him, has become of a member of the Fast & Furious family, with an excellent featured fight in Fast & Furious 7.

Now Tony Jaa returns to Midnight Madness in SPL 2: A Time For Consequences. In SPL 2, his character, Chai, does a lot of sensitive parenting as the father of a terminally ill daughter. He also beats the hell out of a lot of people. In that spirit, let’s look at some clips of Tony Jaa bringing it!

The sweet chase scene from Ong-Bak:

Drunken style in Ong-Bak 2 (2008):

Fighting Lateef Crowder in Tom Yum Goong / The Protector (2005):

Having some fun making references to the chase scene in Ong-Bak and the quest to find his elephant in Tom Yum Goong / The Protector in The Bodyguard (2007)

A bit of the bus fight in Furious 7 (2015):

Tony Jaa and Michael Jai White in Skin Trade (2015):

And kicking a dude with his legs on fire:

 

SPL 2: A TIME FOR CONSEQUENCES screens:

Thu, Sept 17, 11:59 PM RYERSON

Fri, Sept 18, 3:30 PM BLOOR HOT DOCS

Sun, Sept 20, 6:30 PM SCOTIABANK

 

This post was originally published on the official blog of the 2015 Midnight Madness program of the Toronto International Film Festival.

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