Rather brainless

Before I get to why I disliked this movie, I have a confession to make—I’m reviewing Protector 2 even though I never saw the first film in this series.  And, based on what I just saw, I doubt if I’ll bother seeing the first.  My problem isn’t with the martial arts abilities of the leading man, Ton Jaa.  Instead, my problem is with the brainlessness of the script.  Again and again, the stunts are so impossible that you just have to laugh.  However, the biggest laugh is at the end where the big plot twist is, believe it or not, an exploding elephant.  Yes, I said EXPLODING ELEPHANT!!!

The Protector 2
Directed by
Prachya Pinkaew
Tony Jaa, Marrese Crump, JeeJa Yanin
Release Date
2 May 2014
Martin’s Grade: D+

When the film begins, the film seems a lot like a Lassie film.  It’s about a boy, Kham (Tony Jaa) and his elephant and both are best buddies.  One day, a baddie and his punks come to Kham and demand he sells them his elephant.  Why they must have THAT particular elephant never is made clear and I am pretty sure Thailand has more than one elephant—as they sure go to a heck of a lot of trouble to get that one!  However, soon they elephant-nap the creature—and Kham is in hot pursuit.  However, when he goes to the baddie’s hideout, the guy is already dead and the police think Kham is responsible.  Soon it’s not only the cops after Kham but the BIGGER baddie who hired the first baddie to steal the pachyderm—and he practically has an army to catch Kham!

What follows is one fight scene after another after another after another.  On one hand, you have to admire the film’s energy as well as Jaa’s skills.  However, it’s all ruined because the writer and director couldn’t leave well enough alone.  They SHOULD have relied on Jaa’s skills but instead there is one insane stunt after another after another—and many of them are simply impossible.  The worst is the one where Kham falls what looks like about 40 stories and he lands in a pool and is just fine!!!  Also, seeing him take on 200 bikers and winning is just too much!  Additionally, the fire sequence, though cool to look at, just made no sense at all.

Speaking of making no sense at all, let’s get back to the elephant.  Apparently some nutty guy is trying to disrupt the peace process between the fictional countries of East and West Katana.  So, he steals Kham’s elephant and rigs him up as a gigantic bomb!  I am not kidding—a giant bomb!  Frankly, I cannot believe they made this with a straight face, it’s that silly.

Now do not get the idea that I hate martial arts film.  I actually love them and have seen several hundred and adore the GOOD ones.  Give me a Sonny Chiba, Gina Carano or Shaw Brothers flick any day, but you can keep your brainless stunts and plots.  What a giant waste of talent.  The only way I think folks could enjoy this one is if friends watch it and keep a tally of times Jaa SHOULD have died had the stunts been real!  And, how many impossible stunts occur!

Review by Lead Entertainment Writer & Film Critic, Martin Hafer