Indie & Foreign
The Protector 2 (2013)

The first "Protector" was a straightforward, cheesy action flick with a lot of heart and inventive action scenes, including a jaw-dropping long shot. This sequel is just a bloated mess. The scenario makes no damn sense even by martial arts standards, and the 3D is so awful it will make your eyes bleed. There are a few cool scenes in there, but it's not even worth the price of a rental. At least Jaa is still in great shape.

Rating  

An idiot pimp commits suicide by elephant kidnapping.

[do action=”play-by-play-spoilers”/]

[do action=”moment” emo=”Boring” title=”But first, a lecture on fictional geopolitics”/]

Just to plunge us in the thick of things, the movie opens with a… huge text infodump. We’re told that there’s a Middle Eastern country (I think?) called Katana, which is splitting into two parts, and they’re gonna hold peace talks in Bangkok. That’s all well and good, but I was promised the elephant guy? Where’s the elephant guy?

[do action=”moment” emo=”WTF” title=”Tony Jaa vs. 300 motorbikes”/]

The first big action set piece has Tony Jaa running away from a shitload of guys on motorbikes. There are some impressive stunts here, but the scene makes absolutely no damn sense. There’s literally an ARMY of guys, and all they can do is try and run down Tony Jaa on their mopeds. Of course, he dodges them all, so they end up flying into the buildings across the streets. Even when Tony Jaa jumps across the street, they’re still on his tail. THIS SCENE MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Scary” title=”Did somebody just change the channel?”/]

We forget Tony Jaa exists for a moment to focus instead on some African American actor who traded his dignity for a bona fide pimp suit, and some sort of underground fighting ring where the fighters have numbered tattoos. In walks this intimidating six feet-tall Thai chick wearing super-high heels and an unflattering Leeloo outfit that shows off her love handles, and she still manages to kick the crap out of some French dude with a big mouth. I’m so confused by all this. Elephant… dude?

[do action=”moment” emo=”Badass” title=”Three-Punch Guy rules”/]

Finally a fight that makes sense! The movie has teased us with a mysterious martial artist who’s so badass he can kill a man with three punches, and when he shows up, the dude totally rocks. He doesn’t need a character introduction, either; his physical attitude spells a lot of his personality. He has this intimidating ability to just walk into punches without flinching. He’s cool.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Facepalm” title=”Who cast ESL teachers as Interpol agents?”/]

I’m used to white guys sucking in Asian movies (South Korean movies will do that to you), but wow, the guys playing Interpol agents are just godawful. It’s like some casting agency told a few ESL teachers to put on suits and show up on the day of shooting to rehearse their lines.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Puzzling” title=”So… WHY did they kidnap the elephant?”/]

I don’t understand what’s going on. Did they kidnap Tony Jaa’s elephant so he would come and rescue it, then fall into their hands and act as an unwilling assassin? Did they want him for their underground fighting ring? Or did they need the elephant to put a bomb on it? It’s like pimp dude didn’t think his clever plan through. Or more likely, the screenwriters were drunk on Thai rum.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Laughable” title=”Lightsaber feet”/]

Oh my GOD, now this is just embarrassing. Tony Jaa and Three-Punch Guy get their feet wet, and then go stand on a subway rail as they try and kick each other’s heads off. No, they don’t die electrocuted… See, instead they get LIGHTSABER FEET. Their feet make MOTHERFUCKING LIGHTSABER NOISES as they swing them around.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Meh” title=”Elephant high kick”/]

And for the finale, Tony Jaa uses his elephant’s tusks to propel himself into a mega high-kick that kicks the pimp dude right up in the air and detonates the bombs in his hands so he goes rocketing over a cliff. Ah well, I guess that’s a wrap.


8 Comments on The Protector 2 (2013)

  1. Niel

    Nice review I still want to see it though and haven’t got the chance to because I live in Canada, the boring west, with delayed release dates etc.
    I still want to see this movie but im slowly losing my patience and tired of waiting for this movie to be available its been a long while now since its release, even special ID was available shortly after its release, and that movie was good too. I’m probably going to endup forgetting about this movie in time because of this long wait.

    • Are you sure you’re not thinking of Ong Bak 2? The movie just came out in Thailand, where I’m currently based. I don’t think if it’ll get an international release; haven’t seen any indication that it will. But I’m willing to bet it’ll be available in some form in Canada when the DVD comes out in Asia.

      I don’t think it’s worth hoping for, but if you’re determined to see it, keep up the hope! 🙂

      • Niel

        Ong bak 2 came out years ago, im talking about tom yum goong 2 bro. I already own ong bak 2 along with 1 and 3 lol. I will keep up the hope for sure I just hope it doesn’t take any longer because this is getting ridiculous, just trailers and pictures not even any clips other than the first two that weren’t even that satisfying lol. It’s almost like tyg 2 is a picture album movie lol because all there is up till now is pictures.

        • Ah, gotcha! I think the movie has done fairly well in Thailand, so there’s hope someone gets their head out of their butt and give this movie an international DVD release… Here’s hoping you get to see it even if I can’t recommend the experience!

          • Niel

            I JUST saw this movie, and oh my god its better than the reviews make it sound lol. First off its a martial arts movie the story always comes second. The fights were well done and well choreographed and freshed and creative. I found this movie slightly better than the first for its extremeities. The plot wasn’t confusing at all, it was kept very simple and focused a lot more on the fights and a great soundtrack. I will admit the CGI backgrounds were bad but it didn’t take away from the fights at all. Long lengthy fights and the rooftop chase was even creative and fun. Who cares about logic its a movie, just enjoy it lol. Atleast its not like Wuxia movies with people flying around and doing magical stuff right ? i’d highly recommend this movie. The only people who should review these movies are martial artists, not the ones who just sit and enjoy the movies and fights because they’ll never understand. I REALLY finally enjoyed this movie. 5/5 stars from me.

          • Haha! Well, Niel, I’m sincerely glad you enjoyed this movie more than I did. 🙂 I’m all for turning off my brain when I watch martial arts, but I found it quite a challenge to do it here… It’s alright, to each their own!

  2. B

    I was going to buy this movie when it came out to match up with my original copy of tom yum goong 1, but Sahamongkol doesn’t deserve my money for the long wait and long unknown time of availability for whenever its released, so I will be pirating it they aren’t getting a cent from me. since this will be distributed Hollywood they aren’t getting a cent from me either and this should teach them to make deals for foreign movies to be available to us in the stupid west in the future. To sum it up, this movie is getting pirated, sahamongkol and Hollywood can fuck off and don’t deserve my money for this long wait.

    • I understand your frustration. I almost get the vibe that they don’t think this movie’s gonna do well internationally (despite the first one being a breakout hit for Tony Jaa) so they just gave up on an international simultaneous release. Frankly, I don’t see this one being as big a hit as the first one, that’s for sure.

      And thus, us fans of international cinema are stuck with torrenting the good stuff…

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