Kingdom of War Part 1 and Part 2 (Blu-ray Review)

I was born into watching Asian martial arts and samurai movies. Growing up in the early 80’s I can recall every Sunday on Fox around lunch time they would play random Asian films with subtitles. My TV had vertical hold on it to adjust the picture perfectly or if we taped it, I had to use the tracking on my VCR. Not only did we watch these movies on Fox, but my local barbershop use to carry all the bootleg copies of any new urban or kung-fu flick. After the 80’s, I started to expand my movie growth but the birth of The Wu-Tang Clan brought old flashbacks of my childhood and made me go back to my hallowed grounds. 



Watching a movie in subtitles is nothing new to me. Heck, it doesn’t even fade me one bit. I can enjoy any movie as long as I can understand it, or read it. I’m not too familiar with many movies made in Thailand except the Ong-Bak trilogy. Kingdom of War would extend my Thai viewing experience so it was open to my Blu-ray player with no problems.

Now there is a lot to take in the two Kingdom of Wars films and it picks up really fast. Luckily the two films combined are so long and tend to slow down, you are given a second to take everything in and catch up to what is going on. The movie starts off with a King Bayinnong; King of Pegu is thirsty for power and land. He engages in battle with King Thamaracha for the Siamese people of Phitsanulok. Thamaracha soon accepts defeat and must hand over his son Ong Dam (Pratcha Sananvatananont) the Prince Naresuan. In good faith, Bayinnong promises Thamaracha promises to raise Ong Dam as his own son. This is where part one really bases its plot for the rest of the picture. Ong Dam meets his mentor who teaches him deep thoughts, the way of life and most importantly, how to become a superior warrior.

Part two takes us to a whole different action adventure and really picks up the pace. King Bayinnong has now passed away and Naresuan (Wanchana Sawatdee) stumbles across his birth roots of Pegu for Bayinnong’s funeral. Before his passing, he conquered so many different territories and all former and current Kings have come to show their respects. One person in general is not thrilled with the passing of the torch to Naresuan, Bayinnong’s son Nandabayin. Rivals with Naresuan since childhood, Nandabayin sets out on a mission to destroy the hilltop palace of King Khang. Now Khang and his troops are no punks. They are very strategic and won’t go down easily.

Kingdom of War really has a lot of things going for it. Watching the growth of Ong Dam with his peers, his love for his people, the respect he has for them, his best friend he saves, his mentor and his soon to be loved life. No matter how things appear, Ong Dam always has faith that he and his people can overcome just about anything. Witnessing the warrior he will soon become in part two is also a great treat. He truly becomes a badass fighter you really don’t want to mess with. Battle scenes are jam-packed more than a jar of smuckers with hundreds of extras being killed off. The rivalry between the two princes is created brilliantly although it’s quite predictable.

The movie suffers from many scenes that tend to drag. I wish the movie could have been edited some, but what you see, is what you get. A five hour viewing will tire most especially females as you will see a lot of necessary scenes. They have some significant for the movies growth but could have been done a lot quicker. A cockfight scene that takes up a good thirty minutes could have been done in ten. If you don’t have a weekend freed up then you will definitely have to view this movie in segments.



Kingdom of War is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio. The 1080p transfer via AVC encodes looks really good for a movie not considered a Hollywood top of the line action budget feature. There are no differences between the two parts as each disc looks identical. The movie is stylized with an ancient traditional Thai look. Colors are vibrant and appear exceptionally well, especially red and gold. Skin tones are a bit too high and come off golden like Ong-Bak 2 did in high def. Black levels seem to be the only default I really noticed and appeared a bit inky. Props and armor are very finely detailed. From frame to frame the movie never downgrades, thanks to the no tampering of DNR and Edge Enhancements. A bit of debris on a few occasions but overall this is a nice addition to the Blu-ray format.


The Thai DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track on both discs are exquisite but with a few flaws, mainly in dialogue. Dialogue is crisp, clean, and smooth in most instances, but sounds muffled at times. Since the majority of us don’t speak Thai, it doesn’t really matter since we’ll be reading the subs throughout the whole film. Swords clashing are panned through all channels fairly even. Front channels are used mostly for dialogue. LFE has its nice play in battle scenes and reminds you why you are watching this despite all the setup scenes. The score is highly dynamic and set the mood and gives the movie a nice flow.

Special Features

Kingdom of War skimps on the special features and only includes a couple of behind the scenes featurettes showing you what went into making this ambition film(s).

Disc One

  • Behind the Scenes of Kingdom of War (SD 8:07)
  • Royal Lineage and Characters (SD 11:22)
  • International Trailer (SD 2:46)
  • Also From Magnolia Home Entertainment (1080p 7:42)

Disc Two

  • The Making of Kingdom of War (SD 8:18)
  • Behind the Scenes (SD 2:09)
  • Music Video (SD 4:21)
  • Trailer (SD 1:28)
  • Also From Magnolia Home Entertainment Blu-ray (1080p 7:42)

Final Thoughts 

Now I know a 332 min length feature can wear a lot of people down. If you need breaks then take them as needed or hopefully you have a free weekend to watch this film all at once. The plot is fairly interesting but drags at moments. The video and audio are sure worth upgrading if you own the DVD version. Naresaun growth is fun and entertaining to watch especially once he becomes the superior warrior he is trained to be. I can recommend this to people who like foreign films and people who don’t mind subs. If you’re not a fan of subs and watching something that’s almost 6 hours long than you may want to pass.




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