Tony Jaa, Jija Yanin Vismitananda , Petchtai Wongkamlao, RZA
Directed By Prachya Pinkaew
Terracotta Far East Film Festival Review
Tom Yum Goong 2
When the original Ong Bak was released , not just Tony Jaa fell into the lime light ,but a host of other stars from the Thai film industry.
Here we had a industry in the new millennium replicating the hard core action that made the Hong Kong film industry famous in the 70'sand 80's.
Of course they still had a long way to go as far as production value was concerned and some of the acting ability of some of the performers was questionable.
But one thing films like Ong Bak,Born to Fight,Mecury Man,Brave,Chocolate and the original Tom Yum Goong did was deliver hard hitting action and for most part the stories though thin in content held together to give some emotional content to make you care about the main stars , probably the film ''Chocolate '' with Jija Yanin Vismitananda had the most emotional story from the films made around that time.
Now we where not enamoured by Ong Bak 2 / 3 , both films had some good fights but the films lacked soul but then we all know the troubles on and off set .
So when it was announced that Tony Jaa would return to film after his hiatus at the monastery , and that the film would be a sequel to what many regard his best film , Tom Yum Goong aka Warrior King aka The Protector.
Not only that but star of Chocolate Jija Yanin would be joining the cast the buzz going around was a good one.
Well that was in early 2011 , now after nearly two years in production Tom Yum Goong 2 is here , and it's been shot in 3D.
Released in October 2013 in Thailand the film performed well.
Now it's May 2014 and the Terracotta Far East Film Festival have the UK première of the film screening at the festival ,but only the 2D version is being screened, but in all honesty this should not detract to much from enjoying the film, should it not?
Well where back from the screening and I must say I have never seen such a shambles of a film , now don't get me wrong we enjoyed the film , I just didn't know Tony Jaa was making a comedy at the the expense of his career .
Now Tony Jaa has put on a few pounds since we last saw him on screen ,he 's more meaty with some brawn , not a bad thing , even Thai comedian/Writer and Director Petchtai Wongkamlao returns as Police man Mark .
The first thing your notice is that they decided not to think of a new story but rehash the old one from the original and twist it about a bit.
Yes Kham's (Tony Jaa) elephant gets kidnapped again and Kham must go on hunt to track down his elephant Kon.
The bad guy this time around is played by American rap star RZA ( a personality I try and avoid in all media) , why they cast him in this I don't know, the man cannot act ,in fact most of the cast have trouble in the acting department ,especially the English speaking parts .
It all sounded like they where reading from a piece of paper all the time. .
But that's OK the original film had it's fare share of low key actors and actresses ,I'm sure the story will keep me interested.
No , no chance , yes we know the elephants been kidnapped and that Kham will go to find it. We also find out that LC ( RZA) , a gangster wants the elephant to lure Kham to join his bunch of misfits in his plan to disrupt some peace talks in Thailand and kill the representatives.
What's confusing is how Kham gets from where he is to where the film ends, his only clue a man who approached him has been killed and his nieces Ping Pong and Sue Sue ( where do they get these names) are out to kill Kham .
It seems to me that Sahamongkol have tried to emulate the originals scenes and pace ,but by spending money on 3D effects and CGI that do not help the look of the film due to their poor quality.
Also there's evidence of wire work which I find does not work in modern day action unless done with extreme planning and not over used.
So the no holds barred action from Ong Bak and the original Tom Yum Goong is out of the window. , many scenes looked they where done with blue screen to add effect .
That's not to say there's not action that entertains, there are some great scenes where Tony Jaa gets to show some classic Jaa fighting , along with Jija Yanin ( Ping Pong) getting in on the action for good measure. But then they go and ruin the look and feel by bringing in some crazy CGI effects in the background that is clearly not very well done, it adds nothing to the film or the scene and if anything makes it laughable.
But this is evident from the start with the Motorbike scene , I have never seen so many motorbikes get up a staircase and in a house .
And if you want to laugh ,RZA's over acting is something to have you cracking up and cringing at the same time.
I could put on the original Ong Bak right now and be emotionally connected to the film and watch it with passion from start to end and the version I have is the uncut non subtitled Thai print .
Tom Yum Goong 2 plays like a pop video like RZA may have directed , it's all over the show ,incoherent, implausible and quite frankly you could not care less if he gets his elephant in the end as your be to busy laughing at the crazy finale which just goes to show that Thai cinema has a long way to catch up with the rest of the world.
Funny really when they where doing so well in the early part of the Millennium .
Score out of Ten = 5
Review Date : May 29th 2014
Reviewer : Sertes Nake
|Directed by||Prachya Pinkaew|
|Produced by|| |
|Written by||Eakisit Thairaat|
|Music by||Terdsak Janpan|
|Editing by|| |
|Release dates|| |
|Running time||103 minutes|
Tony Jaa as Kham
Petchtai Wongkamlao as Sergeant Mark
Marrese Crump as No. 2
Yanin "Jeeja" Vismistananda as Ping Pong
Rhatha Phongam as No. 20
Rza as Mr. LC and No. 00