I know you guys are wondering why I’ve been doing so many non-horror reviews lately. I really just want to share with you some other awesome flicks to maybe broaden your horizons a bit and show you that there a bunch of great movies being released in all genres. I recently reviewed the awesome Ong-Bak trilogy, so what better time than now to also review another Tony Jaa work of art — Prachya Pinkaew’s action infused martial arts epic, The Protector 2.
When Kham’s (Tony Jaa) elephant, Khon, is taken by the underground kingpin, LC (The RZA), and his henchmen, he is forced to do battle with some of the world’s greatest fighters. He is taken on a wild goose chase in the city streets of Bangkok to save Khon, while also running from the police who are convinced he has murdered Boss Suchart (Adinan Buntanaporn).
While I greatly enjoyed watching Ong-Bak 2 and 3 for the first time, with their ancient settings and tribal-like approach to the martial arts genre, I was really excited to get back to the urban style of fighting portrayed in The Protector 2. With an awesome mix of gunplay and hand-to-hand combat, created by both Pinkaew and Jaa and known as muay kodchasaan or “elephant boxing”, along with a genius performance by the RZA, this film was fun-as-hell the entire time.
Although I did not get to enjoy this film in it’s intended 3D format, I could very much tell which scenes were meant to be viewed this way. With objects flying in-your-face style at the camera, I’m sure it would have been pretty awesome to watch in 3D to get the full effect of each fight scene. I know some of you are probably sick and tired of the 3D craze that is happening in films, but I actually enjoy it for the most part and would have loved to check it out in a martial arts film like this one.
The Protector 2, like many of Tony Jaa’s other films, tries to up the ante when it comes to action. While I respect the fact that director Prachya Pinkaew wanted to bring us some of the best action we’ve ever seen, I really could have done without some of the CGI used throughout the film. There is one fight sequence where Jaa’s character, Kham, is being chased and must contend with an entire group of fighters on motorbikes. The amount of CGI used here was crazy. I feel like a lot of this stuff could have been done without all of the computer generated explosions and effects, but I guess with a somewhat limited budget and shooting in 3D, there wasn’t much else that could have been done.
Aside from that massive chase/fight scene, there were a whole slew of other great, highly creative choreographed shots. I can’t recall ever seeing a martial arts film where fighters were voluntarily lighting their feet on fire, just to do more damage to their opponents. It was certainly quite a sight. On top of that, Pinkaew, Jaa, and co. decided to change things up once more and have a fight take place on top of an electric train rail, while having water-logged shoes on! Between the fire fight, the electricity fight, and the final battle involving the RZA, Tony Jaa, JeeJa Yanin who played Ping Ping, and Marrese Crump as the number 2 ranked fighter, The Protector 2 is full of non-stop kick-ass action.
If you enjoy martial arts films and Tony Jaa’s previous work, you’ll definitely want to check out The Protector 2. Out now from Magnet Releasing, this release makes a perfect companion piece to the Ong-Bak trilogy set! Pick up your copy on Blu-Ray 3D, Blu-Ray, or DVD today!
I give this movie 3.5 elephant tusk bombs out of 5.