When it comes to action movies there’s always going to be someone coming up the ranks that’s seen as better, quicker, and more dynamic than many of those that have already come along. But the days in which talents such as Tony Jaa might have ruled the screen aren’t so much over as they are a lot different than they were in the time of his role models such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and a few others. Tony has come up through the ranks as a celebrated stuntman and martial artist and has gained a very good reputation among many action lovers that have taken to viewing his style as something that doesn’t replace the flowing styles of others, but definitely presents a unique challenge to his on screen opponents. In many ways he’s a lot of fun to watch since his hard-hitting moves seem a little more practical even they go over the top at times. Thus far he’s been a very successful actor and hopefully will continue to impress audiences as he continues to build his legacy.
Here are his five best movies.
5. Fast and Furious 7
Sam Warner of Digital Spy covered an article on how Dwayne Johnson, another Fast and Furious star, paid tribute to his fallen friend and costar Paul Walker recently. In truth Walker was one of the biggest reason why the franchise was still going, and seeing going toe to toe with someone like Jaa left a lot of people wondering just how anyone could believe that Bryan could possibly contend with someone with this type of skill. But he did hang in there and in the end did manage to get the drop on Jaa’s character by launching him down an elevator shaft. It might have seemed improbable but hey, most of the Fast and Furious franchise is.
4. Skin Trade
Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter has a point, the dangers of being a law enforcement agent seem to pale in comparison when the bad guys find a way around them and go for what really hurts, their families. Cassidy finds this out in the worst way possible when he disrupts a criminal that’s in the skin trade, human trafficking, and his wife and daughter are killed. Even more tragic than this however is that after being wounded and then going off to find the trafficker again he finds him and kills the man, but not before the criminal admits that his daughter is still alive, and that he placed her in the system, meaning she has become one of the many that are being trafficked around the world.
3. Triple Threat
There are times time Tony Jaa’s movies seem like they’re swinging for the fences simply because of the cast. In this movie you can see Jaa, Iko Uwais, Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Michael Bisping from the UFC, and many others you might recognize all in the same movie. The whole premise is that a duo of mercenaries have been hired on to free a bunch of prisoners. However, those hiring them have ulterior motives as they want to free their terrorist boss and end up razing the village in which he was imprisoned while attempting to kill the mercenaries to tie up loose ends. Long story short, the last survivor of the massacre and the two mercenaries go up against the terrorist and his people to seek out some form of justice.
2. The Protector
Tony’s movies definitely have a lean towards making the hero out to be nearly invincible. Granted he does get hurt a time or two in this movie but a lot of times he stands tall and resolute as he takes down bad guys one at a time more often than not even while a group of them are rushing him. The movements and attacks he executes are great since it makes a person wonder if this could really happen and if bones would break that easily. Rest assured if someone is strong enough and has the right kind of leverage the human body will protest but likely yield to the right amount of pressure, and yes, bones will break. But this scene, no matter how awesome, is kind of pushing it.
1. Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior
This movie was what helped bring Tony into the forefront and managed to get him noticed by a lot of people since it’s easily his best and most impressive showing. It’s likely that people didn’t know what to think when they first saw him, and it might even be feasible to say that they might have turned away at first since martial arts movies have a tendency to go up and down in popularity. But once people saw what he was doing they tended to pay a little closer attention since it became just a bit more interesting.
Hopefully he’ll be around for years to come.