My blogging friend Mathew MacNish asked me to beta read his wonderful manuscript Warrior Monks. Matt has done a ton of research on oriental philosophy, martial arts, and the weapons that ninjas, Shaolin monks, samurai, and Chinese kung-fu films have made famous. This all kind of triggered in me a resurgence of interest in the career of Tony Jaa.
If you don't know who Tony Jaa is, then shame on you. He exploded onto the American scene around 2007 with a hit movie called Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior. The movie was short on plot, but showcased Muay Thai like I had never seen before. Jaa can vertically jump two meters, land on people's shoulders, and walk on them. He really can do this stunt and he does it in the film. He could jump through a hoop at full break neck speed, do somersaults, and twirls, and vertical pushups on elephant tusks. If you have the time, please check out the action-packed clips I have embedded in this post. It's possible that after watching them, you too shall become a fan of Tony Jaa.
So after reading Warrior Monks one evening, I flipped to the internet to find out what had happened to Tony Jaa and if he had anymore great films coming out.
I discovered that he left the film business and became a Buddhist monk in 2010.
Like...really? What the hell?
So I guess this blog post is an open letter to Tony Jaa who will probably never read it anyway since he's in a monastery somewhere in Thailand and I can't imagine that there is internet or WiFi there.
Dear Tony Jaa,
Please pull your head out of your ass and get back to making good movies. I wish you the best.
Your adoring fan,
Michael Offutt XOXO