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The Protector (2005)

Tom yum goong (original title)
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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.

Director:

Prachya Pinkaew

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tony Jaa ... Kham
Petchtai Wongkamlao ... Mark
Bongkoj Khongmalai Bongkoj Khongmalai ... Pla (as Bongkod Khongmalai)
Xing Jin Xing Jin ... Madame Rose (as Jin Xing)
Nathan Jones ... T.K. (as Nathan B. Jones)
Johnny Nguyen ... Johnny (as Johnny Tri Nguyen)
Lateef Crowder ... Capoeira Fighter
Jon Foo ... Wushu Fighter (as Jonathan Patrick Foo)
Damian de Montemas ... Vincent
David Asavanond David Asavanond ... Officer Rick (as David Chatchavan Asavanod)
Sotorn Rungruaeng Sotorn Rungruaeng ... Kham's Father
Amonphan Gongtragan Amonphan Gongtragan ... Goong
Nutdanai Kong Nutdanai Kong ... Kham (9 years old)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dean Alexandrou ... Vincent's Henchmen
Jintana Arromyen Jintana Arromyen ... Massage Girl
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Vengeance knows no mercy.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Thailand | USA | Hong Kong | France

Language:

Thai | English | Mandarin | Vietnamese

Release Date:

8 September 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Protector See more »

Filming Locations:

Australia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

THB 200,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$657,983 (Hong Kong), 12 August 2005, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,034,180, 10 September 2006, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$11,905,519, 22 October 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(theatrical) | (international)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The part where he jump kicks and breaks the lamp on the lamppost making the bad guy run in fear is an homage to the Bruce Lee film, Way of the Dragon, where he does the same thing to a ceiling light after taking down some bad guys, causing the last of to run away in fear. See more »

Goofs

The scene where the huge bell falls revealing Jaa with the drum sticks, the next scene when the wushu fighter approaches Jaa, the bell is gone. See more »

Quotes

Kham: You killed my father, and you stole my elephant!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some European versions (Germany, France) were cut by ca. 19 minutes. In addition, the French version adds a new score by a French hip hop singer. See more »

Connections

References Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby
(Uncredited)
Written by Michael Baiardi and Maurice
Published by Soundfile Publishing
Performed by Maurice
Courtesy of Soundfile Productions, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Weakness in plotting and acting but things are better than Ong bak and the action is impressive
10 March 2007 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The Jatalangkabaht people are proud villagers who live as one with the elephants. Kham and his father look after the mighty Por Yai and the baby Korn and, when they learn of a royal elephant inspection, decide to travel to the city to take part. However the two elephants are taken and Kham's father shot. One fight later, Kham learns that the elephants have been taken to Sydney, Australia. Kham travels to Australia to recover his elephants – a path that brings him into the lives of police officer Mark, call girl Pla and crime boss Madame Rose.

I'm not entirely sure why this flopped because, like Ong Bak, although everyone knows the plot and acting will generally be weak, few will be in the cinema for anything other than impressive action. Of course Warrior King delivers this but I was also reasonably impressed by how the other factors had improved to a certain degree. The narrative is still a weak excuse for lots of people to get kicked in the head and there are still lots of scenes that don't seem to make sense and, well, just happen. However the film does feel a little bit more professional; touches of humour such as the comment about pirate DVD's for example. Of course none of this means that the plot is any good but at least it is better than previous. Perhaps it is not PC to say it, but the use of English with Thai helps as well – I find the latter a very ugly language and the way it is scaled back does make it more accessible to a western audience.

The lack of a really engaging plot does rather mean that the action exists as a separate entity and is not part of a gripping total film – the temple fights being a good example as they are more like baddies in a video game than a film. Of course with action this good it doesn't really matter and you will still find yourself gasping at some of the violent kicks. Some of it is a little overdone (the rollerblading bit was all a bit daft) but some is surprisingly well done. There is a continuous tracking shot that moves up several floors and encompasses many individual fights that I thought was stunning and must have been so difficult to get right. Jaa's skills are undeniable and he is helped by the way his character is given more anger to work with and isn't a "naïve country boy" to the degree he was in Ong-bak. He still isn't a great actor but he is getting better at least in his native tongue. Wongkamlao has less to do here but his English is good and he comes off well. Khongmalai is a good addition as she is natural and very easy on the eye (although I did feel a bit cheapened by her gratuitous mud bath scene). Xing's Rose isn't great but De Montemas has a bit more menace (shame his character is so poor), while Nguyen is generally a good turn.

Overall then this is not a great film because of the weaknesses in the plotting and some reasonably average acting turns. However it is a marked improvement on Ong-bak in these areas and should be a bit more accessible as a result. The action suffers from being cut off from the narrative but is still very enjoyable for what it is. Fans of the genre should love it.


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