The Asian film market has consistently delivered some amazing martial arts epics for years and shows no sign of slowing down. Thanks to superstar Tony Jaa there was more focus put onto the world of traditional Muay Thai which added a fresh new look into martial arts. The latest film on the subject Muay Thai Warrior not only takes on this same traditional style, but fuses it with Japanese culture to attempt something never seen before.
Muay Thai Warrior is based on a historic Japanese figure how gained considerable influence in Thailand. The film follows his journey as he learns of the Thai culture and the world of Muay Thai as he struggles to make a new home for himself. The story here isn’t anything all that new, pretty much The Last Samurai, but with Japanese and Thai cultures being mixed. Were it not for the addition of the traditional Muay Thai aspect it could have been easily become just another forgettable film. The fights are at as epic as those showcased by Tony Jaa, but he is also known for a lot more flash where here it is just raw and gritty. The performances were good and the pacing works to not rush the character through his journey, while still keeping it from feeling too slow. While this film does sport plenty of action it is more focused on the characters and the importance of tradition which was great, but for those that may not grasp that may lose interest pretty quick.
Traditional Muay Thai is awesome to watch for its beauty, power, and raw nature and seeing it showcased via its culture as opposed to just the fighting. Not all of the action is as great as it could have been, but thanks to an interesting story and the subject matter it still creates a movie that any martial artist will sure to enjoy.