A young fighter named Kham must go to Australia to retrieve his stolen elephant. With the help of a Thai-born Australian detective, Kham must take on all comers, including a gang led by an evil woman and her two deadly bodyguards.
A hero cop accidentally leads his team into a trap from which he is the only survivor. Drowning his guilt in booze, he is eventually assigned a new younger partner who turns out to have his own secrets.
In Bangkok, the young Kham was raised by his father in the jungle with elephants as members of their family. When his old elephant and the baby Kern are stolen by criminals, Kham finds that the animals were sent to Sidney. He travels to Australia, where he locates the baby elephant in a restaurant owned by the evil Madame Rose, the leader of an international Thai mafia. With the support of the efficient Thai sergeant Mark, who was involved in a conspiracy, Kham fights to rescue the animal from the mobsters. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
PURE ADRENALINE RUSH! Superb Action, TONY JAA style ... BAD EDITING
I've never been a BIG fan of Thai movies (eventhough I am Thai) that is, until I saw "Ong Bak". This was why I had high expectations for "Tom Yum Goong". There was tremendous HYPE in the Thai media just before the movie opened so as you can imagine, it didn't get good reviews from the critics (ah ...expectations, it changes everything). Feedbacks from the general public were pretty much MIXED. Some liked it a lot and some didn't like it at all. Don't get me wrong, everyone thought that Tony Jaa was absolutely amazing! some of them just didn't like the story.
In my honest personal opinion, I thought the movie was much BETTER than Ong Bak in terms of action sequences and fight scenes. The story I had to admit, was a bit weak. But come on, what are you really paying your money to see ... story? OR fight scenes? If the answer is the latter, I guarantee that you will enjoy "Tom Yum Goong". If you thought Tony Jaa was great in Ong Bak, you haven't seen anything yet. In "Tom Yum Goong", Tony goes all the way to show you how talented he really is! Muay Thai, grappling, gymnastics, weapons, etc. You'll also get to see what happens when a Thai Boxer (Muay Thai stylist) go against other martial arts like Tae Kwon Do, Wushu, etc. Some of Tony's new moves in this movie are ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!!! and I can't emphasize on the word "STUNNING" enough. There are scenes in this movie which reminded me of 2 of my favorite Bruce Lee's movies: GAME OF DEATH and FIST OF FURY.
Personally, I think the problem ISN'T with the story NOR plot BUT with EDITING. There will be some parts in the movie where you may get a bit confused because some crucial scenes were cut out. I have heard (in a TV interview with the Director) that initially, the final cut was 30-40 minutes longer than the theatrical version. The Director got commented by several industry experts after the first screening that the movie was TOO LONG and he had only 5 days for editing before the Gala Premiere. Also, you need to know a bit about Thai culture to understand some of the rationales behind the story line (eg. Why was the elephant so important that Kham had to risk his life, traveled to Australia and fight all these gang members just to find it ... certainly NOT because the elephant was a beloved family pet,I can tell you that!).
I hope that by the time the movie hits theaters in the US and other countries, they would have re-edited the movie. Columbia Tri-star has already bought distribution rights to this movie and I am sure that all you Tony Jaa fans outside of Thailand will definitely get to see this great action flick SOON. If you LOVE Martial Arts movie, this is a DEFINITE "MUST SEE" Film for you!
**DON'T BE FOOLED! That's only a Jackie Chan Look-alike ... the often mentioned scene with Tony Jaa running into Jackie Chan really ISN'T Jackie, just a look-alike. The guy is a Thai shop owner who apparently got noticed when he did a TV commercial for a real estate company call Noble House. In that commercial, he talked about how he was able to entertain people who passed by his shops by portraying himself as Jackie Chan. The title of that commercial was "BE MORE THAN JUST YOURSELF". You can check the End Credits if you think otherwise.
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