Edna H. (tessiss) from FRANKLINVILLE, NC Reviewed on 7/1/2010...
i really enjoyed this movie
0 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
General Zombie | the West | 02/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've noticed a disturbing trend in a number of these reviews: People are saying they didn't like this movie because of the lame plot. Do these people have any idea how insane this is? Who cares? People are getting spoiled, I guess, by all these expensive, arty, dramatic and well-acted martial arts movies that have been being released as of late, so now they can't appreciate a fun, old school and ludicrously-plotted stunner like "The Protector". (Or, more likely, they couldn't appreciate this kinda thing in the first place.) I haven't got anything against these fancy martial arts movies, mind you, but "The Protector" is a lot more fun than almost all of them, and letting the tired, thin plot get in the way of the spectacular fighting is just insane.
The plot's like this: Some gangsters steal Tony Jaa's elephants, and he's gotta kill 'em all 'til he gets his damn elephants back. There's some subplots, yeah, but what'd I say about the plot not mattering. None of it matters in the least, or should matter, anyway. That said, I will admit that, in the international version, the story takes perhaps a bit too much screentime, particularly at the beginning. Occasionally it seems like the filmmakers forgot that the plot was to be ignored. Still, you never gotta wait around too long for it to get good, and damn does it get good.
I guess the best thing to say is that if you enjoyed "Ong-Bak" I can't imagine that you wouldn't like "The Protector" as well. Jaa plays pretty much the same character he did in "Ong-Bak", being a naive, good-natured rural guy who happens to be a superhuman killing machine. It's a bit less stunt-intensive, on Jaa's part, anyway, but he still does plenty of amazing stuff, and the fights are even better then before. The fight in the restaurant is particularly renowned, and not without good reason. It's a 4 1/2 minute unbroken take as Jaa works his way up the stairs and takes out a few dozen opponents, and it would have to qualify as one of the most stunning action scenes I've ever seen. This is hardly the only standout, and we get plenty of other scenes that would put anything in most martial arts movies to shame: We've got the ultra-bizarre face off between Jaa and a pack of roller-blade clad goons wielding fluorescent lights; We've got him taking on pretty much the whole of the Australo-Thai mafia and breaking at least one limb on each of them; We've got him fighting a colossal, apparently invulnerable Australian dude in a burning, flooded temple. And it just goes on. The fights very pretty substantially in quality, but that's mostly because of how amazing the best ones are.
Anyway, I've not got much else to say. Suffice to say, Tony Jaa is far beyond human and it'll be an absurd crime if he doesn't become far more popular in the States. Check it out.
The Protector shows some great skills!
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 03/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is what it should be; an action movie first and foremost. Considering that, the movie is pretty sweet. The action is totally out of control just as you might expect. I do like the realistic style of Tony Jaa when compared to movies like Kung Fu Hustle that are a little too crazy at times but fantastic all around. This movie certainly stretches the imagination and that's why we have them. I can state categorically that if you had issues with "Ong-Bak" because of the storyline then you're going to have exactly the same problems here (and, it has to be said, with just about every modern action movie). But if you were thrilled in any way by Jaa's auspicious career-launcher, then the chances are you're going to find plenty to get excited about in "The Protector."
There were three times during "The Protector" when my jaw hit the floor. The most visually splendiferous is a fight in a burning church that plays almost like a demo mode on a high definition version of Tekken, as Jaa goes up against Eddie Gordo, an armour-free Yoshimitsu and a hulking Craig Marduk ("I'll break your face!"), but all of this is for real and, as ever, effects and wire-work free.
But the real show-stopper, the sequence that every fan of martial arts cinema should see the film for, has Jaa visit a large, three-storey, criminal-run club/restaurant and fight a total of 30 opponents (I counted 'em), smashing them into windows, throwing them through wooden screens, assaulting them with furniture, and even picking them up and hurling them off the balcony into a display two story's below, and it's all done in one, 3 minute 46 second stedicam shot. The planning, timing and stamina required to pull this off are just mind-bending, but pull it off they do - it's a stunning marriage of fight choreography, stunt work and camera direction that actually has a dramatic pay-off when Kham discovers just what is located on the top floor, as darkly and inventively twisted an idea as you'll find in a film all year, and all the more disturbing because it very probably exists.
So yes, the story is flimsy, but "The Protector" delivers where it counts and is an absolute must-see for all genre fans. Jaa confirms his status as the most exciting screen fighter around today, and if he could just drop the MTV visuals and editing and get himself a decent script, then director Petchtai Wongkamlao could yet climb to the very top of the action tree.
Pure Entertainment at it's best
Johnnyhardcore | Winnipeg, Canada | 02/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie blew me away. I won't try and say it should be up for best movie or anything, but if you are looking for a great way to kill an hour and a half, look no further. I'm a huge fan of movies in general, of all genres, but kung fu happens to be one of my favorites.
I've always preferred 70's kung fu movies over modern ones for there lack of Hollywood touch. This has that feel of a 70's kung fu movie, with the picture and sound quality of today's movies. No Keanu Reeves dodging bullets and floating through the air, no Chow Yun Fat fighting on tree limbs that should not carry his weight! Just straight realistic fighting. Sure some parts seem over the top, but it fits the movie perfect.
Almost all of this movie is action (I watched the American version, havn't watch the original Thai version (Tom Yum Goong)that I've heard is 30 minutes or so longer. I imagine the extra footage adds a lot to the plot of this flick. But this one feels like there is no more then 10 minutes of non-fighting scenes.
If you liked Ong Bak, or if you are a fan of the greats like Sonny Chiba or Bruce Lee, then you must see this. You will be impressed. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. I saw an earlier review mentioning rewinding a bunch of scenes, and how true that comment is. I can't tell you how many times I had to watch certain kicks or moves over to try and grasp what I just saw.
Bottom line - if you like action movies and can settle for average acting, plots and storie lines - SEE THIS MOVIE"
This is NOT a new film by Tony Jaa!
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 09/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just a heads up: for those who can't wait to own Protector on dvd, starring Tony Jaa, you can do so a lot sooner than the scheduled January 2, 2007 U.S. dvd release. This movie's original title is Tom-Yum-Goong, and it's already out on dvd; so, just go purchase Tom-Yum-Goong. Of course, if The Protector dvd has decent special features, I just might get that one too. The special features on Tom-Yum-Goong, as I recall, aren't worth mentioning.
Tom-Yum-Goong (which is a popular Thai dish) comes two years after the success of Ong Bak: Thai Warrior and once more displays Tony Jaa's kinetic and concussive full-contact martial arts. Once again, just like in Ong Bak, the fight scenes do away with stunt doubles, wire-work or CGI. What the audience gets, instead, is a pure, unadulterated, very intense Tony Jaa doing his own eye-popping stunts.
When a bull and baby elephant are stolen from his family by the Asian Mafia and smuggled into Sydney, Australia, young Thai fighter Kham (Tony Jaa) follows to recover the sacred animals and exact [...]-kicking vengeance. In Sydney, he is befriended and aided by Sergeant Mark (Petchthai Wongkamlao), a Thai policeman toiling in Australia and by Pla (Bongkuch Kongmalai), a Thai girl and victim of a modern day slave ring. But, even with their help, can Kham beat the overwhelming odds as represented by syndicate boss Madame Rose and her numerous hencemen? I'm guessing... yeah.
The plot and actors aren't what you'd call top-notch (and the sub-title work is very shaky), although, in the midst of all the explosive fight scenes, you do have a rather sweet love story between a boy and his elephants. But, let's get real here; if you've come to this movie expecting quality exposition and Shakespearean emoting, boy, are you in the wrong part of town. Tom-Yum-Goong is a martial arts flick thru and thru, where a cohesive storyline and professional acting are eschewed for all-out, bone-crushing, head-bashing, nut-cracking Muay Thai mayhem.
Tony Jaa is the fresh face of martial arts and he's coming hard. It's a revelation to see him go up against and dispose of a hard crew of extreme sports thugs, Asian Mafia henchmen, several giants escaped from Wrestlemania, and a few practitioners of various martial arts (wushu, capoeira, etc.). The warehouse fight is typically high energy and shows off Tony Jaa's agile acrobatics. And, an hour into it, there's an extended fight sequence (about 4 minutes) which takes place inside a multi-floored restaurant - where a camera is continuously on Jaa for the whole length - that has to be seen to be believed. Kham rumbles his way up every level of the bordello, facing a host of baddies each time he ascends a floor (Game of Death, anyone?). The culminating fight sequence - where Jaa goes up against about 30 black-clad henchmen and uses various leg holds and arm locks to crackingly snap limbs and break body joints - is mind-boggling! As of right now, he's giving Jackie Chan and Jet Li a run for their money.
Tony Jaa, when not fracturing jaws or pulverizing clavicles with his vicious elbow strikes and knee thrusts, has an innocent, unaffectedly fresh persona he resorts to when he has to act. He made his loyalty and love for his elephants very genuine to the audience and realistically grounded the movie's main plot motivation. To his character Kham, these pachyderms were indeed treasured family members, members who he'll go thru hell and high water for. It's interesting to see if his acting evolves along with his martial arts moves. Petchthai Wongkamlao (also from Ong Bak, as George) as Sergeant Mark is decent as the unorthodox but upright cop. Johnny Nguyen as Johnny, to me, is the standout villain.
So, what more can I say? Check this film out and jump on the Tony Jaa bandwagon, while there's still room.
Rocky IV | Loveland, CO United States | 03/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I loved this movie! I don't see how any fan of martial arts films could not at least like this movie a little. As long as you know what you're getting into. Do not watch a Tony Jaa film for the plotline! Do not watch a Tony Jaa film for the acting! Watch a Tony Jaa film for the extraordinary, eye-popping fight choreography! Tony Jaa has to be one of the most talented martial arts and acrobatic film actors today. That reason alone is enough to see this movie. And then watch it again! Of course there's no real point in the story. It's just about a local boy trying to get his elephants back. But who cares. You can fast forward to the action scenes.(as long as you have a VCR or DVD) And then you can rewind and watch them again.
Is this film better than Ong Bak? Matter of opinion. I think it's a little weaker plotline, but it's made up for with even more intense bone crushing fight scenes. Some may have argued that the fight scenes were a little over done and ridiculous. So is that a problem? It's a movie! Movies are supposed to be entertaining, not necessarily realistic. Any martial arts fan should be thoroughly ENTERTAINED! I know I was."