The Protector (Tom yum goong) (Warrior King) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Protector (Tom yum goong) (Warrior King) Reviews

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½ July 18, 2016
Tony Jaa took the world by storm with Ong-Bak, and he's back for another plotless movie that recalls the glory of the poorer aspects of 80's action cinema. Its no secret that Jaa is a fan of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, so his movies are bone crunching and filled with fight scenes and stunts. In this movie, he is the son of an elephant tamer. His father is shot, his two elephants are stolen, and he must get them back. Enemies can materialize out of nowhere like a video game, sometimes there are jarring shifts where they just edit into the middle of another scene, and the plot is filled with half ass acting from mustache twirling or preening villains who have zero depth. Even Johnny Nguyen disappears after a while and he's not even addressed. The Protector is not high art and doesn't need to be, its a rip roaring, bone crunching, hard hitting action flick and sometimes that is all you need.
½ May 22, 2016
no entiendo como una pelicula puede ser tan fea y tan bacan al mismo tiempo...
½ April 4, 2016
It is stupid, but damn it's awesome! Tony Jaa is awesome!
March 3, 2016
This movie is just fucking awesome. Some fighting parts looked so realistic.
½ February 19, 2016
With Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior (2003) displaying a clear showcase for Tony Jaa's talents as an action hero, Tom-Yung-Goong sounded like another chance to witness them in full glory

Having watched the first 10 minutes of the North American cut, I can certify that audiences will not get a film with the same meanings and messages if they do not witness the uncut version of Tom-Yung-Goong. In the North American cut the intro scene uses an excess of ellipsis as a cheap editing device to cut through time. The uncut version lets the story develops on its own at a more naturalistic pace, displaying the developing bond between Kham and his elephants Por Yai and Kohrn which immediately suggests that one of the major themes in Tom-Yung-Goong as being the bond between animal and man. Alas, this proves rather misleading because after the intro finishes occurring in Thailand, it shifts its setting. Protagonist Kham journeys to Sydney, Australia, and from there the ambitions of Tom-Yung-Goong become clear.
Sacrificing what could have had more story value, Tom-Yung-Goong quickly devolves into a generic action tale about a martial artist on a quest to retrieve his stolen elephants by poachers working for an Australian restaurant. There are times where it feels very much like a serious version of Rush Hour (1998), made all the more obvious by the fact that a Jackie Chan-impersonator makes a cameo. But after a brief period of Kham settling into Australia and dealing with some momentary communication issues, it reverts back to generic form. Fans of Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior should be able to rejoice at the sight of Tom-Yung-Goong because both films feature the same director, as well as performances from Tony Jaa and Petchtai Wongkamlao, though there is too often a sense that they are all treading old ground without the same level of originality this time. The story is simplistic with only small aspects of cultural relevance, and everything between the action scenes tends to lack much entertainment value. However, the one major difference in terms of tone is the fact that Tom-Yung-Goong lacks the lighthearted comic nature of Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior. The film takes itself very serious even though the story is boring and its themes are underdeveloped without much innovation offered by the screenplay.
And sometimes, the production values feel slightly amateur. Limited by its small budget, the overall technique for the cinematography is not precisely tenacious at the beginning of the film. It's most notable during the boat chase scene where the camera is shaky and the editing is a bit quick for its own good. However, everything ties together as the film progresses on. The one thing that is always captured incredibly well is the brilliance of the fight choreography. Being a hands-on film, Tom-Yung-Goong refuses to use strings, stunt doubles or visual effects with the exception of the one animated segment and the scenes used to provide an Australian backdrop. For one thing, this means that there are actual elephants used in Tom-Yung-Goong, but that is not even the half of it. Relying on genuine practicality more than anything, the action scenes in Tom-Yung-Goong rely extensively on the talents of Tony Jaa. The man is an amazing martial artist who never comes up short for a second in Tom-Yung-Goong due to his amazing speed which is captured in a series of brilliant fight scenes. There may be a lot of meaningless drama between the action scenes, but when the exhilaration arrives it lasts for long periods of time with endless foes pitted against Kham who fights his way through everybody. The choreography transcends the technical flaws in some scenes, such as the entire warehouse fight scene which happens beneath a bit too much shadow. The characters jump in and out of the darkness which creates an inconsistent effect: sometimes things are clear, sometimes they are not and the result is rather frustrating. Still, the superior action moments stand out far greater than the lesser ones. There is one notable scene where Tony Jaa fights a series of people in the titular Tum Yung Goong Otob restauraunt, and it all occurs over the course of a singular shot. It's enough of a challenge to get an entire fight in one shot, but to choreograph it and nail it with such tenacity in one shot is truly the capital achievement of Tom-Yung-Goong.
The action in Tom-Yung-Goong can be credited to its lead star Tony Jaa. Anyone can tell you he is the best reason to watch the film because his style of fighting is remarkably iconic, combining his brand of Muay Thai with Parkour type speed. His swift skills are remarkable, and he punches and kicks his way through countless stunts with tenacious talent. Tony Jaa quite literally bounces off the walls in Tom-Yung-Goong, taking on a versatile collection of villains ranging from the capoeira arts of Lateef Crowder in his debut role to Nathan Jones' huge frame and wrestling talents. He also goes up against the likes of Jon Foo who gives him a strong challenge. Tony Jaa's brilliant ambition to defeat everyone in his path is carried by his raw spirit in the part. He channels all the rage of his character into tensing his muscles and facial expressions to truly embody the part, though he remains in control of his fighting technique the entire time. Though Tom-Yung-Goong may not offer much in capturing the extent of its themes regarding the bond between animal and man, Tony Jaa is able to do that sporadically amid all his physical accomplishments. Tony Jaa carries Tom-Yung-Goong as a powerful vehicle for his amazing skills, bringing the entire film to life with his own hands and the knuckles on the end of them.

Tom-Yung-Goong may have a generic plot and lacks the originality and comic touch of of Prachya Pinkaew's prior work on Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, but with Tony Jaa's unforgettable fighting skills dominating the brilliant choreography of the action scenes, there is little for fans of his to complain about.
October 3, 2015
As a conservationist, I feel strongly connected with this movie. Tony Jaa gave us a sound reason and a genuine cause to fight for! The elephants are like his human brothers & sisters (from the movie, he had no brother or sister beside those elephants). Other endangered animal species were also included in the movie, not to mention human trafficking and forced prostitution, drug abuse, corruption, police brutality etc etc. Five star despite what other critics have to say!
August 28, 2015
The greatest kung-fu movie EVER makes me want to break my own arm
½ August 13, 2015
You aren't here for the plot or character development, you are here for the fight scenes, and in that area the film delivers. The ending has a bit too much CGI for an otherwise firecracker of a set piece, but that doesnt take away from some great scenes throughout. Recommended with beers and popcorn with friends
½ May 27, 2015
The plot is a just a thin, tasteless tortilla chip delivery mechanism for a delicious muay thai salsa- and that's perfectly ok. Choreographically brilliant and not afraid to revel in its own absurdity, The Protector is the most mindless fun you can have at the movies. This has to break some kind of record for most bones broken in a single long take.
May 19, 2015
Not as good as Tony Jaa's breakout film "Ong Bok," mostly because of a pretty silly story involving Jaa looking to rescue his village's stolen elephant. Maybe this story is more poignant in Thailand, but to my foreign eyes it seemed rather odd. Still, in most cases no one watches a martial arts film for it's story and this film absolutely delivers the martial arts good. Jaa continues to use his modified version of Muay Thai to deliver some absolutely brutal elbows and knees that put Steven Seagal's bone breaking to shame. Like Jackie Chan, Jaa does all his own students and no camera tricks. This films one be show off gimmick scene is pretty impressive, where in one 15 minute continuous shot, Jaa fights his way up a high rise buildings. So if you're in the mood for some awesomely brutal martial arts, definitely check out this film. Just don't expect any story or characters.
½ May 16, 2015
Not an Oscar worthy film but one hell of an entertaining one! Filled with beautiful ultraviolet action sequences and thrilling stunts and martial arts scenes by Tony Jaa, this film will have a cheering for the protagonist all the way through.
May 14, 2015
Good news & bad news.... Bad news: the plot is incredibly simple and also somehow confusing (bad men have taken his elephant).... Good news: whenever there isn't plot advancement, there is ACTION.... So lots of action and slick action at that.
½ May 13, 2015
Hilariously funny because it wasn't meant to be. The acting, dubbing and editing make this an ideal candidate for the old Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment. My God! It's all here plot wise, too--a Dragon Lady looking for the glass ceiling in the male chauvinistic mob, a speed boat race straight out of an old James Bond movie, the death of the mama elephant from Dumbo, one martial arts guy taking on innumerable attacks a la an old Bruce Lee flick, the kind of dubbed voices and dialogue straight from an old Japanese Godzilla movie from the 50s, and a Mr. Clean in black flinging a baby elephant around. And wasn't it amazing that with that scarf around his neck (what is he--cold in the jungle and Australia?), he never gets strangled by his myriad assailants. And lets not forget the sex trafficking, the girl in the hot tub causing the police commissioner a heart attack with her sexy lathering, and the bored rich people who entertain themselves eating endangered animals. The only thing not thrown into the mix is the kitchen sink. And then they made a sequel that is actually worse? I guess so much fighting with so little plot gets even more boring the second time around. Still, it's so bad that it's funny the first time.
February 22, 2015
"The Protector" may have many noticeable issues, but when it comes to the action, it succeeds with flying colors. There's a ton of intense and fun fight scenes, and quite possibly the most impressive long-take I've ever seen.
Super Reviewer
½ February 19, 2015
(aka Tom-Yum-Goong, The Warrior King, Thai Dragon, Revenge of the Warrior)

A much hyped fight film from Muay Thai expert Tony Jaa with many many excellent stunts and chase sequences. The only problem is we have now seen all this before from various other martial arts experts.

The film itself is fine but its not really too original in any aspect, a simple revenge plot as usual and Jaa showing his skills yet again. Its very spectacular but I personally didn't get too engrossed. The most impressive thing about the whole film is the MMA fight sequences (the basic reason for this movies existence) mainly the fight between Jaa and Capoeira fighter Lateef Crowder.

This one fight sequence is the most impressive fight I've seen in years, its fantastic, Crowder is amazing and almost too good to be true with his moves. Add to this the following fight between Wushu expert John Foo and then a one off battle against wrestling strong man Nathan Jones which is impressive merely to see the size differences, think Bruce Lee v Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

To be honest the film is worth seeing for those three fights, apart from that its business as usual with this action film.
½ January 15, 2015
Great long shot up the stairs
Super Reviewer
January 2, 2015
Much fighting scenes in this one and thats whats makes the movie great. The story is a bit poor but okey.
½ December 1, 2014
despite the nice beginning and the long take shot the rest is..... hmmmm
½ November 16, 2014
A poorly acted, badly written mess of a movie that's only saving grace are a few cool fight scenes.
September 16, 2014
Wow, this is was a hardcore gritty masterpiece!! This will pin you to your seat from start to finish!! It will blow you mind and is an adrenaline full throttle ride!! This had no CGI and no wires!! Tony Jaa is the real deal!! He is one of the best action stars living today!! You can tell that Jackie Chan is an inspiration to Jaa because he performs all his own stunts like Chan and uses objects around him!! This is one of the best martial films of all-time!!
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