Think there’s no point in watching these top 10 Muay Thai movies? Think again. The benefits of watching a movie about the sport you love are quite immense. Aside from the relaxing feeling in the company of friends, or in your lonesome as a favorite actor-kickboxer battle bad guys in a larger than life spectacle, watching a movie about how the Muay Thai discipline can deliver such strong blows to change one’s course of life can be quite uplifting. So without further ado, we bring you the best movies anchored on the prowess of Muay Thai.
1. The Kickboxer
It all started with Kurt Sloane, er Jean-Claude Van Damme. Fresh off from his travels in Thailand, Van Damme was inspired to channel his kickboxing prowess into the big screen via The Kickboxer, an uber-popular flick in the late 80s. The movie which also stars Dennis Alexio revolves around filial piety and the thirst for vengeance. Add Muay Thai to the mix and you got one awesome platform for a bloody fight, frame after frame. Catch it HERE.
2. Ong Bak
Then, there’s Ong Bak and his demi-god strength. The Tony Jaa fight-filled scenes are enough to give one lock-jaw as he gives full-house roundkicks, one after the other. The story revolves around a rural Thai villages lamentation on having the head of Ong Bak (Buddha) stolen. With Ting’s Muay Thai prowess, they finally get it back and in turn, spawn two more sequels — and of course, a new global sporting sensation. See the movie here.
3. The Protector
“You killed my father and you stole my elephant!” All it takes is this line for kicks and elbows to fly around, literally. Another Tony Jaa starred production, The Protector completely cemented Muay Thai’s popularity in mainstream sports outside of the borders of Asia. It also spawned thousands of visitors to partake in majestic elephant rides. See what a movie can do HERE.
4. Beautiful Boxer
One of the most brutal yet beautiful movies depicting Muay Thai is the Beautiful Boxer. It touches on two important aspects in the Thai Culture– gender expression, and Muay Thai. This biopic delivers a poignant action drama that tears not just at your heartstrings, but also with fight scenes that makes you feel a kick in the hamstring. Multi-awarded, this is truly one that deserves to be seen over and over again.
5. Fireball (Muay Thai Dunk)
If you are one who loves streetball and Muay Thai at the same time, then this movie is just right for you. It reeks of the same revenge as Van Damme’s Kickboxer with the viciousness of Ong Bak. Definitely, this is one Muay Thai twist that offers another look at how the Thais love ball sports and of course, their love of family. Check it out HERE.
6. Buffalo Girls
If the Beautiful Boxer doesn’t pull out your heartstrings, this one will. Though Muay Thai among children is an accepted sport in the country, the bloody portrayal of greedy parents and handlers can make one squirm, yet keep you glued to your seat, as little girls as young as 8 battle with gigantic prowess amid their slender frames. Makes you wonder if child protection agencies ever visit the movie set. Check it out HERE.
7. Power Kids
With the focus still on little kids, this one, however, speaks of the heroic kind. The Power Kids does not just show how Muay Thai helps people in time of needs and can become a strong factor in getting through tough times, it also depicts the Thais’ flair for family tradition. One can’t help but feel palpitations as fight ensues with terrorists while hours are ticking for the surgery requirements. Have your own dose of palpitations check out the trailer HERE.
8. The Quest
This directorial debut of Jean-Claude Van Damme is another take of the true-blue kickboxers obvious adoration of Muay Thai. It depicts the cruelty, and illegality of some underground Muay Thai tournaments. Part of its charm also touches on one known element best associated with Thailand– gold. Of course, family love, and tradition are included as well.
9. A Prayer Before Dawn
Brutal, cruel, and bloody– these are the three words that best describe this movie. This heart wrenching human drama is a biopic of Thai boxer Billy Moore in his stint in one of Thailands jail hellholes. Surrounded by convicts with the thirst to see blood, the Muay Thai fights that ensued can bring out nightmares to the unbelievers, and a quest for perfection to enthusiasts. If a heroin addict can do it, there’s no way someone as dedicated as you can’t. Keep kicking!
10. Broken Sword Hero
Last, but definitely not least, this heroic biopic of the legendary Thong Dee, a military general, is worthy of praise. Known not just for his utmost loyalty to King Taksin, the real-life warrior was also known for his Muay Thai skills which were flawlessly portrayed by the actor here as Thong Dee journeys to become the leader of the Phraya Phichai Dap Hak. Check it out HERE.
These top 10 Muay Thai movies can be considered classics to many fighters, and enthusiasts out there. They not only serve as entertainment, but more so as an inspiration to better their craft and to use the sport for bring much better changes to their lives and that of others. So go on. Feel excited, emotional, happy, and jubilant in a span of two hours or less. Encourage yourself with every kick, every elbow, or every jab that send villains a-flying. Get your adrenaline pumping, and rub it into your training to truly live the life seen on the silver screen.