THE STORY: THE PROTECTOR is the highly anticipated full bodied action film starring International Martial Arts superstar, Tony Jaa (Ong Bak). His world shaped by ancient traditions, a young Thai fighter (Jaa) is called to defend his people and their honor after outsiders ruin all that is sacred. Fueled by desire to protect a way of life and avenge the wrong done to his family, he will bring the fight to their city.
THE REVIEW: I loved Ong-Bak and it wasn’t easy to see the movie without being biased. Tony Jaa is an amazing athlete and he can make a terrible plot entertaining because he is so amazing at throwing his body around and doing well to keep the movie moving along. Jaa is being launched into a career hoping to fill the void left by Bruce Lee and never quite filled by the likes of the too soft Jackie Chan and retiring Jet Lee.
The Protector follows almost the exact same plot as Ong-Bak—the Buddha head is substituted for elephants and the action moves to Australia. Moving the action to Australia kills the movie because it doesn’t offer the same intensity of Thailand as was the case in Ong-Bak. No one really cares about the plots or setting—the only thing that interests martial arts fans is the action. Tony Jaa is as exciting as ever as he drops some Muay Thai on the bad guys. There is nothing more exciting then watching a babyface guy whip everyone’s asses.
FRANKLY: The Protector is released in English—Ong-Bak came with subtitles and it didn’t matter. The action speaks larger than any plot could and we can thank Tony Jaa for that.
+ Charlie Craine