Ong Bak 2: The Beginning (องค์บาก 2) is a 2008 Thai martial arts film co-directed by and starring Tony Jaa. It is a follow-up to Jaa's 2003 breakout film Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior. Initially claimed to be a sequel to Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, Ong Bak 2 was then announced to be a prequel to its predecessor. Unlike its predecessor however, which had a contemporary and realistic setting, Ong Bak 2 is actually set in 15th century Thailand and as such, could be described as a historical epic with elements of fantasy combined, and has nothing to do with the original Ong-Bak. Ong Bak 2 also has nothing to do with Jaa's 2005 film Tom-Yum-Goong, which was sometimes incorrectly labelled Ong Bak 2 in the West, as well as The Protector and The Warrior King. Tom-Yum-Goong had a contemporary setting similar to Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, although it too had different characters and plot. Jaa's films have yet to tie into each other, although Jaa has claimed they would do so with the release of Ong Bak 3 in 2010, which they did. As well as the different historical setting to Jaa's previous films, Ong Bak 2 has taken a notably grittier and bloodier direction.
The film begins in the year 1974 of the Buddhist calendar (which corresponds to 1421 in the Gregorian calendar), in feudal Siam. It is a time of political upheaval, treachery and danger. The opening scene explains how during the reign of Boromarajatiraj II of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, the Ayutthaya royal court became more powerful than the Sukhothai kingdom and expanded to the east. The Ayutthaya army besieged the Kingdom of Gods for several months. The king sent his son, Prince Indraracha to rule the kingdom.
At the new kingdom, Lord Sihadecho is a provincial ruler, and a gallant and noble warrior of a formally great dynasty. His son, Tien, a spirited and unyielding youth, aspires to be just like his father, but is forced to undergo dance lessons instead much to his disdain. Meanwhile, the treacherous and power-craving Lord Rajasena, a former city administrator of the capital city, plots to seize total control of all Asia and has amassed the greatest army in Asia. Rajasena sends out vicious assassins to murder Lord Sihadecho's family and his loyal soldiers. The only survivor from this massacre is Tien, who manages to escape with deep vengeance in his heart.
Tien is captured by a group of savage slave traders, who throw him into a pit with a giant crocodile when he proves uncontrollable. Tien is saved by Chernang (Sorapong Chatree), leader of the renowned "Pha Beek Khrut" (Garuda Wing Cliff) guerilla group, who attack the slave traders. Chernang throws a knife to Tien, proclaiming "your life depends on you, young boy," with which Tien kills the crocodile. Intrigued by his physical prowess and attitude, Chernang takes Tien to a soothsayer, who says the boy has a great destiny, that "spirits will fear him" and that he will become the greatest warrior who will ever live, and as such Chernang takes in Tien as his adoptive son and raises him like himself as a guerilla and a bandit. Tien gets his wish to train as a warrior and more besides, growing up to excel in the arts of war, including man-to-man fighting, incantation, and subterfuge. Tien is instructed in a variety of traditional Asian fighting styles, including Thai muay boran and krabi krabong, Japanese kenjutsu and ninjutsu, Indonesian/Malaysian Silat, and various Chinese martial arts. He also learns the use of weapons such as the ninjatō, katana, jian, dao, talwar, nunchaku, rope dart, and three-section staff.
Now a young man and with all these martial arts heavily instilled, becoming the greatest warrior to ever live, Tien (Tony Jaa) is eager to quench the vengeance in his heart by killing the slave traders, which he does. He then goes on to kill Lord Rajasena by posing as a dancer during a celebration. Returning to the Pha Beek Khrut, Tien is mystified to find their village deserted. Suddenly, he finds himself confront
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