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Ong Bak 2: The Beginning

A film for the foot-furious fight fans

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Only the loosest of plot – there's trouble among feuding clans in 17th-century Thailand -- holds this martial-arts film together, and even that is doled out in a confusing nonlinear fashion. Mostly, this all-action flick is a vehicle for its star, co-writer and co-director Tony Jaa, to show off his acrobatic fighting skills. (Panna Rittikrai also directs.) So rather than develop a compelling story, he presents a series of situations that call for a variety of hand-to-hand (and foot-to-foot) combat. As a cultural intermezzo, one part calls for dancing. (This is quite lovely, as are many of the costumes and sets, as well as the dramatic scenery.) The film concludes, naturally, with a battle royale, in which Jaa takes on dozens of black-clad assassins, including one bizarre fellow who looks and acts like a crow. Despite the lack of plot, this is a stylistic improvement over Ong Bak 1 and recommended for fans of Jaa and no-gimmicks martial arts. In Thai, with subtitles. Starts Fri., Nov. 27. Harris

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