THE PROTECTOR 2
Directed by Prachya Pinkaew
The hiatus is officially over. After retreating to the monastery (and appearing in the obligatory Ong Bak 3), Tony Jaa is back to doing what he does best. Breaking sinks and skulls. Kneeing fools in the gut. Distracting us from inane plots. As in Jaa’s greatest film The Protector, this “sequel” follows country boy Kham, who gets very, very angry when his elephant is stolen, leading to an international scuffle that can apparently only be solved by scaling buildings, defeating giant English-speaking men, and playing on the third rail of the subway.
Tony Jaa is joined by director Prachya Pinkaew who first made him invincible, by the leanest meanest Marrese Crump, and perhaps inevitably, by 5’4” dynamo Jeeja Yanin (Chocolate, SDAFF ’08), back from a hiatus of her own. The resulting combinations are as exhilarating as they are rare. Jeeja vs. Tony. Tony vs. the RZA. Man vs. motorcycle. Fire vs. flesh. Elephant vs. all that is ignorant about the world. Yeah there’s some CGI. But Tony Jaa is back and that’s the only special effect anyone really sees. –Brian Hu