torsdag 26 juni 2014

The Protector 2

When i was a kid, i grew up watching all the great martial arts legends, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Bolo Yeung, Jet Li, and of course all the Chuck Norris classics, before Van Damme became a superstar. I even remember my old school friend Björn learning to do special kicks in his parents garage, after watching Kickboxer. I tried to do a round kick on my sister one day ( this is what happends when you are young and stupid ), that did not go as planned. But she did revenge me, by beating me with a snow shovel. When the 90´s ended, it seemed as martial arts films were about to go out of popularity, at least in Europe. But in 2003, an unexpected hit came from Thailand, in a motion picture named Ong-Bak. With a lead actor no one have ever heard of, Tony Jaa, he became a superstar instantly, as Ong-Bak was screened all over the world. 2 more sequels were released, but none of them became successfull as the first motion picture. In 2005, Tony Jaa returned with a different film, in the same genre. The Protector, that actually did well at the box office. So here we are with a sequel, what a surprise.....right? I thought the first film was alright, but nothing unique. Is the sequel better than last time, or is this a sequel that will most likely be going straight to dvd and become forgotten ?

Kham ( Tony Jaa ) teach children about elephants, and try to help them be interested in the forest and animal life. One day, Kham have a visitor to his village. His name is Suchart Vilawandei (Adinan Buntanaporn), and he is a trader. He wants to buy Kham´s elephant, but Kham refuse to take any money. Suddenly, Kham find out that Suchart and his men have taken his elephant, that they plan to sell to gangster LC ( RZA ). Kham locate the resident of Suchart, but find him dead. Kham is now wanted for the murder of  Suchart, but Sergeant Mark ( Mum Jokmok ) do not believe Kham murdered Suchart. Kham continue to look for his elephant, but the deeper he look in the criminal world of LC, his life is now in a very dangerous situation.

I was hoping that The Protector 2 would bring something fresh, or at least something different in the martial arts genre. I was wrong. This is pretty much what you would expect, an action movie with Tony Jaa doing his usual kicking. The first Protector movie may not have been as good as Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, but still had some nice fighting scenes to offer. In the sequel, they manage to deliver some details, but overall we are left with confusion. The story is basically the same as the first motion picture, and this is a big mistake that Tony Jaa should have fixed. If you are doing a sequel, make the sequel a worthy one, and do not copy too many details from the past. I would not say everything is bad, but there is no story, or anything interesting about the abduction of an elephant, to bring it back to safety. The only thing that saves The Protector 2 from falling apart completely are some of the fight scenes. I suggest you go and rent Ong-Bak if you like extremely well made martial arts. The Protector 2 offers only a few good moments, but in the end this is nothing you will remember.

Rating: DD

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