Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Tony Jaa, RZA, Rhatha Phongam, JeeJa Yanin, Petchtai Wongkamlao, Marrese Crump
Written by: Eakisit Thairaat
Directed by: Prachya Pinkaew
MPAA Rating: R for violence and language
Running Time: 104
Date: 05/02/2014
IMDB

The Protector 2 (2014)

1 Star (out of 4)

Caged Elephant

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

After the events of The Protector (2005), Kham (Tony Jaa) and his elephant are living peacefully in Thailand. Meanwhile, war is brewing and the opposing sides agree to meet for peace talks. Some bad guys don't want these peace talks to occur, so their plan is to steal Kham's elephant, rig its tusks with explosives, and kill everyone. But to keep Kham from trying to retrieve his pachyderm, they will frame him for murder. This causes endless battalions of killers to come after Kham, and everywhere he goes he must fight off dozens of attackers. Then, when the bad guy, LC (RZA) sees what a good fighter Kham is, he tries to get him to join the evil organization. Kham refuses, thus leading to a big showdown, and hopefully the return of his elephant.

As the plot synopsis shows, The Protector 2 (a.k.a. Tom yum goong 2) is completely ridiculous as well as agonizingly dumb. None of the actors can penetrate the fog. RZA gives one of his worst performances, Jaa often looks asleep, and the new Thai martial arts superstar JeeJa Yanin is stuck with a horribly thin character, apparently incapable of even thinking.

Perhaps worse, director Prachya Pinkaew (also of the original The Protector) compromises the look of the film with cheap, awful computer-generated effects, and fight scenes that feel rushed and cheated. The action has no flow or logic, and characters seem to appear and move around at random. These scenes also go on far too long, totally unconcerned with rhythms and rest breaks. Even a loony idea like Jaa charging up his feet with electricity from a nearby train track just falls flat in the midst of so much dreary stupidity and laziness.

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