Directed by Tony Jaa and Panna Rittikrai, starring Tony Jaa, Sorapong Chatree, and Sarunyu Wongkrachang. Rated R (violence, mild gore, adult themes). Playing at: Ritz at the Bourse.
It's a joy to see Tony Jaa back on screen after an unbearable (for this fan, at least) four-year absence. Sadly, the Thai action star's new film, Ong Bak 2: The Beginning, doesn't measure up to his two previous starring vehicles, the 2003 breakout hit Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior and 2005's The Protector.
Set in 15th-century Thailand, the film is a dazzling, spectacle-heavy, big-budget historical epic about a 10-year-old boy named Tien who sees his aristocratic parents murdered by a political rival.