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PacManPolarBear14 November 2005
I have watched this movie several times and have come to a number of conclusions. The first is that 90% of the North American audience knows nothing about Asian films and more to the point, martial arts. Several other IMDb members commented on the repetitiveness of the movie, comparisons to Jackie Chan/Jet Li and its use of Kung Fu.

First of all martial arts flicks will always be redundant to some extent since there are only so many ways to pick a fight, but stories do vary as does the quality of action. Tom Yum Goong is very similar to Ong Bak in its simplistic story and the noble feeling that surrounds Tony Jaa's character. Mind you in this movie Tony is much more violent and brutal to his enemies. His sorrow at the loss of the elephants is a big part of his rage and the simplicity of the story left lots of space for action. Perhaps left simple for international appeal or for the simple fact that a simple, pure story would be more poignant. Anyway, if you go to a martial arts flick looking to pick it apart and analyze the acting skills then your a fool and should never leave your American Hollywood watering hole.

As to comparing Tony Jaa to Jackie Chan or Jet Li, are you insane?! Both Jackie and Jet are in their forties. Both are from China and went through actual training schools and academy's as well competitions. Wu Shu, Crane, Drunken Boxing etc... These are the styles these men made famous. Jackie built his comedic style from the ground up with his amazing acrobatic abilities, fighting skill and on screen charm. Now I'm not a Jackie Chan fan by any means, but credit where it is due. Jet Li was one of the youngest Chinese National Tournament winners ever and blew people away with his Tai Chi and Shaolin style Kung Fu.

How does this relate to Tony Jaa? It doesn't at all and thats the point. Tony was very poor growing up in Thailand idolizing Bruce lee in the movies. He earned every break he has in his own way, and built his style accordingly. This movie is so amazing because it not just Kung Fu and Karate for the thousandth time. Tony is a master of Muay Thai Kickboxing, which he uses 80% of the movie. Now you don't even need to know anything about fighting to notice the difference between karate (or other styles) and Muay Thai. Through the diversity of his fighting style as he battles people who using everything from crane style Kung Fu to Capoeira, you understand why comparing him to others is unfair. While he has trained in similar martial arts its obvious that he is unique. He is in the best shape of his life and just now coming into his prime. His screen presence, skill and experience mean he could be as big or bigger than Jackie or Jet in the next ten years. At the very least he is going to be a major Thai action star for years.

Also people keep in mind this is a Thai movie. Hollywood wouldn't even have finished the credits before they ran out of money if they worked with the same budget. More International success will give Tony Jaa access to a bigger budget, more talent (ie writers, language instructors, studios etc..) and allow him to grow. Its easy to bash but look at the low budget flicks Jackie Chan or any other martial artist made when they where twenty and you'll see that this movie is much much better than most.

Remember it all just opinion people, everyones got one. PacManPolarBear
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the best action movie of the year
LaHaine12 August 2005
Had the opportunity to watch Tom Yum Goong at a local cinema here in Bangkok on opening night. Expectations were high, and the movie fulfilled them in both good and bad.

The action was some of the best caught on film (do they still use film?) that I have ever seen. Panom "Ja" Yeerum again showed that with his background of Muay Thai, gymnastics and stuntman work, he can deliver action scenes that are graceful and brutal at the same time, and will have the audience picking up their jaws from the floor at times. They don't use gimmicks like strings or special FX, so everything you see him do is stuff he really does. Except maybe one flying knee where he literally flew about 5 meters into the guy so he must have been launched off something.

However, as good as the action was, the obvious comparison would be to Ong Bak (same lead, same director). And as amazing as TYG's action scenes were, they didn't have the raw power that Ong Bak delivered. I think this may be because of different stuntmen - in Ong Bak, a lot of the people that got beaten up were probably amateur Thai stuntmen or retired muay thai dudes (scene in cave, for example) who don't mind taking a very heavy kick or punch to make a few Baht and be in a movie. So the impacts were very hard and very real in Ong Bak, and it made the action that much more "in-your-face". In TYG, due to the action taking place in Australia and the higher production values, the stuntmen didn't seem to get beaten up as badly. Sure, it was still better than any other action movie besides Ong Bak, but not quite as raw and powerful.

Then... the plot. The plot has already been criticized by many, and obviously it is full of holes, unintentional humor (unless there really is an English-language news channel in Australia where the newscaster has a strong Thai accent?) and so on. But it was nowhere near as bad as Ong Bak. Ong Bak really is a "fast forward to the action scenes" type of movie, whereas Tom Yum Goong is a watchable movie in its entirety. The first 15 minutes have barely any action at all, but the elephant scenes and the beauty of rural Thailand were beautifully shot and the actors did a surprisingly good job - both Panom and the guy who played his father. It seems that Panom's acting classes have paid off. Now if only he can learn passable English, he'll really have a chance of becoming the next big thing in Martial Arts action movies.

The (intentional) comic relief was much better than in Ong Bak - Mum Jok Mok plays a Thai policeman in Sydney. How he got to be Sergeant there, we'll never know, but he has a few funny lines - most of which are much funnier to Thais or people who know Thai culture than to the international audience. Like the ".... oh, oh, oh - and Laos!" line. More laughs came from cameos like the Jackie Chan lookalike at the airport and Sek Loso drinking M150 on the street in Sydney. Not so much product placement as an inside joke ("go inter") for the Thai audience.

Getting the audience to cheer for the hero in an action movie obviously requires a nasty villain or a group of villains. Tom Yum Goong does well in this regard as well - both the Thai mobsters and especially their bosses in the Asian mafia in Sydney are an interesting, suitably detestable bunch. Also their "bodyguards", from the Capoeira guy to the three huge Caucasians in the end, are very good opponents for Panom "Ja" to beat up on. Furthermore, having the motivator be elephants (respected animals, and to Kham, family members) instead of a stolen head of a Buddha statue (like in Ong Bak) works much better, especially for non-Thai audiences. Good acting by the baby elephant in one early scene in the movie, by the way! Deserving of an Animal Oscar.

To sum up, Tom Yum Goong has a decent plot, a good cast with better acting than was to be expected, good cinematography, and of course, plenty of cracking, beautifully choreographed action that will not fail to impress any Martial Arts action movie enthusiast.

Highlights: Kham learning how to fight the Capoeira guy in a very well choreographed scene, and the bone-crunching extravaganza that was like Kill Bill Vol. 1's restaurant scene without the swords.

An excellent achievement in its genre. A whole lot of fun. 9/10.
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Jaa is amazing !!! The script on the other hand...........
Merklin7 December 2005
As a coherent , well acted film tom yum goong is a failure.As an opportunity to see tony jaa completely and utterly destroy his opponents in the most awe inspiring and brutal ways possible, its a huge success! The action in tom yum goong is phenomenal to say the least - tony jaa proves that ong bak was no fluke!The part where jaa does battle with a gang of bikers and roller bladers is an exciting sequence , reminiscent of jackie chan in his police story days. The fight where he battles his way to the top floor of a restaurant in one continuous tracking shot, is a truly amazing piece of work that demands to be re-winded more than once .The fight that pits jaa against dozens of suited henchmen is a bone crunching, applause worthy spectacle that proves what ong bak fans already know- TONY JAA IS THE MAN !!!!! These fights are just some of a collection masterful action sequences .

As for the rest of the film...lets put it this way- if the action was no good then tom yum goong would be unwatchable. The action makes up for the moronic , near pointless plot . I know that we don't watch these sort of films for plot, but tom yum goong takes the cake with its "one man looking for his elephant" story!And don't get me started on the acting, particularly the lines spoken in English.Tony jaa needs to work with a decent script writer in future....

Weak on pretty much everything else except the fights , tom yum goong has Superior action and confirms that tony jaa is an amazing performer.
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a spectacle of martial arts greatness
blaxican0064 January 2006
Ong Bak was a fantastic achievement by the young Thai fighter America has come to embrace as Tony Jaa. Fantastic stunts, amazing fight choreography, and an overwhelming sense of brutal martial arts action that has been missing in fight films since Jackie Chan's Rumble in the Bronx. However, the overall success of Ong Bak was diminished by the lack of intriguing characters and a fluid story that actually made some sense. Tom Yum Goong starts off on the same foot, but then takes the viewer in an entirely different direction…an example of one of the most explosive and entertaining martial arts movies of ALL TIME.

To go into intricate detail about the plot outlines of TYG will do you no good, it will not make you want to see this movie. What makes me so passionate about Tony Jaa and his visual appeal is his overall dynamic nature in the fight scenes. As told in the plot outline, his elephants get stolen, and he must fight to get them back…and fighting is what he does like no one else I have ever seen. It doesn't matter how many opponents appear before Tony, he takes them all in stride, and excels in dramatic fashion, either by his flying acrobatic kicks or his powerful breathtaking punches. But what truly makes this film unique is Tony's ability to embrace a new type of Muay Thai made especially for the movie: Muay Kotchasan.

Although this may not make much sense to you or interest you, trust me, when you view this film and see Muay Kotchasan put into action, you will witness something never before seen on film. Tony's moves are so brutal at times, you can't help but grimace and wonder how the stunt men could take such punishment. He breaks elbows, rips quadriceps, destroys ligaments, cracks vertebra…I could go on, but the movie pretty much speaks for itself. But, if I had to choose the most exciting part of TYG, it has to be Tony's second bout with Nathan Jones. Learning from his mistakes in the first fight, Tony's adapts his fighting style to his smaller frame, and uses Nathan's size against him in a chilling display of David vs. Goliath…it is quite a sight to behold.

Overall, Tom Yum Goong is an awesome spectacle of Tony Jaa's fighting ability, and if you truly enjoyed Ong Bak, then be ready to be blown away by something far better.
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A Nutshell Review: Tom-Yum-Goong
DICK STEEL2 November 2005
After having watched Tony Jaa in Ong Bak about a week ago on TV, I was waiting for the day when Tom-Yum-Goog finally made its way here. There was a film in between these two, called The Bodyguard, which wasn't released in the theatres here, so I guess I gotta hit the shops to look for it.

My friend has likened the introduction of Tom-Yum-Goong to watching National Geographic, and he's right. It's an idyllic Thai village scene where Kham (Tony Jaa) grows up and bonds together with herds of elephants, and it might even looked as if it came right out of Kipling's The Jungle Book.

It's a picture of calm before the storm, and the first 10 minutes set the scene, as the elephants will play an important aspect in this movie as it gets elevated into mythical status (check out the CGI scene, looks like Jackie Chan's The Myth, with its historical fights). You'll know right away that this is a Thai movie, with its excellent fusion of Thai elements into the storyline - the elephants, the rivers, the rituals, Buddhism, "Tom-Yum-Goong", and of course, Muay Thai.

With elephants, the natural baddies are first and foremost, the poachers, who kidnap our hero's pets (wrong move). Of course these baddies belong to a larger crime family and syndicate operating out of Sydney, Australia, which deals with drugs, human and animal trafficking, prostitution, all with the blessings of corrupt cops, and led by a transvestite (yes, you heard me right).

Tom-Yum-Goong may refer to a shrimp dish in Thailand, but in this movie, it refers to a restaurant which serves as a front for illegal activities. Action fans need not wait too long for Tony Jaa action, as he plunges head on into fights with the Thai gangsters first, in their bungalow hideout. And that's just to whet your appetite for more mayhem! Bridging the fights from Thailand to Australia is a short boat chase scene that looked right out from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but that's the only weak action sequence in Tom-Yum-Goong.

There are plenty of fights in Sydney to keep all action fans happy - like the massive battle with the Aussie streetgangs (on roller blades and bikes) in an abandoned warehouse, which also showcased Jaa's agility and acrobatic ability. I thought that somehow the cinematography during this sequence let Jaa down at times, especially when he weaved in and out of the trains, the camera just couldn't keep up, and was positioned at a bad angle.

But that aside, it made up for itself in a beautifully filmed, one-motion tracking shot of Jaa making his way through a four-storey restaurant, kicking major rear, without seemingly any cuts (I said seemingly, as there was a part where water droplets stained the camera, but somehow disappeared abruptly). Doom has its gimmicky first-person shooter perspective, this one here has its classic third-person perspective, as if you're controlling Jaa in a coin-operated fight console, taking on the baddies with various swift moves.

If you've known by now, I kinda likened Jaa's movies so far to Bruce Lee's (some see shades of Matrix in this movie), and there was another action sequence in which Jaa was up against hordes of gangsters in an enclosed room (think Lee in the Japanese dojo in Fists of Fury), and he floored them all with bone-crushing, limb-breaking kicks and punches. Move aside Steven Seagal, Jaa's doing it faster, and more lethal! The fights with the huge wrestlers too was a highlight (ala Lee in Game of Death with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), as was the final fight with the final "boss".

Perhaps my favourite in the movie is the scene at the temple. Water, Fire, and a looming Buddha, Jaa takes on three distinct exponents one-on-one - the hip hop breakdancer, the Chinese wushu sword expert, and the Western wrestler. While this movie has done away with Ong-Bak's repetitive sequences (yes, we know what Jaa is capable of already), the slow-mo in this particular set is pure poetry in motion. It's different from Ong-Bak, in that Jaa, like Lee in Enter The Dragon, gets beaten up and injured. You can inflict pain and injure Jaa, but like Lee, he bounces back with a vengeance, sans shirt too.

Jaa has let his action do the talking instead of his acting abilities (no stunt double, no wire-work, no special effects), and I have no qualms with that, given after all, this is an out and out action movie. Petchtai Wongkamlao, who plays Inspector Mark, and has been featured in all of Jaa's movies, returns to add his comedic touch to the film as a Thai-immigrant policeman in Sydney, and fans of Ong Bak will also be pleased that this movie is helmed by the same director Prachya Pinkaew.

While Hollywood struggles to find worthy successors to its 80s and 90s action heroes like Stallone, Van Damme, and Schwarzeneggar, Asia has already found one to takeover the mantle from Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li (as the latter two seemed to have drifted and indicated a preference for dramas). He's Thai, and his name is Tony Jaa. You heard it here first, he's gonna be setting the bar for action movies to come. He can only get better, and I'm already a huge fan!
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Where's my elephant!?!
teh_mode31 July 2006
The makers of 2003's Ong-Bak are back with bang, a crash, a couple of elephants and many, many cracks. In fact, every other word spoken appears to be "Argh!". Muay Thay expert-extraordinaire Tony Jaa returns to lead us once again, as his sacred elephants are poached from Thailand and sent to, of all places, Australia. As our hero Kham, he must travel there himself to basically kick the living snot out of anyone who steps in his way. And that's about it.

The maker of this film, Prachya Pinkaew, is either a really shoddy storyteller, or has clocked on to the fact that no one goes to see martial arts films for the plot. Warrior King has an almost identical structure to his first film Ong Bak: a good 25 minutes or so of religious Thai imagery, villagers roaming around with animals before someone comes along and messes everything up. Petchtai Wongkamlao essentially reprises the comedy role he played in the previous release, although this time he hogs all the comic moments, as the wafer-thin script offers little in compensation for its action scenes. All the English-spoken acting is terrible. With that said I'm assuming most of the foreign language acting is terrible too, but for obvious reasons the Australian acting stood out more. The script is full of age old Hollywood clichés such as cops being taken off the case, only to go vigilante, gold-hearted prostitutes and a whole host of colourful looking gangsters (former WWE reject Nathan Jones makes a hilarious cameo) that wouldn't look out of place in a straight-to-video Steven Seagal flick.

And yet despite the glaring faults with a film as silly as this, none of the criticisms truly matter for one simple reason: Tony Jaa is absolutely amazing. Watching our protagonist fly kick the hell out of everyone before performing all sorts of acrobatic stunts will have your jaw on the floor. The man can obviously smash through thin plot points as fast as he can human bones. The film isn't badly shot either. Apart from getting a nice sense of Thai culture and a splendid view of Sidney, Warrior King is expertly choreographed. There is one remarkable sequence in which our protagonist battles his way through four stories of the same building absolutely smashing the hell out of anything thing that moves, which seems to go on forever, taken all in one single steady-cam shot. It would make David Lean jealous.

Granted if you've seen Ong Bak watching Muay Thay for a second time won't have the same head-crushing impact. Whilst Warrior King boasts plenty of superbly choreographed action sequences, it doesn't peak as well as the much more pure Ong Bak managed to. The movie does, however, generate a sense of darkness amidst the stalking threat of campy buffoonery. So it's an impressive sophomore effort, obviously catering more towards an ever increasingly cognizant western audience.
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Only reason this movie deserves a 5 is because it has Tony Jaa...
kazryv9 September 2006
Only reason I would give this movie a 5 is because Tony Jaa is pretty awesome, fight scenes with him are very enjoyable. The main reason I disliked the movie had to do with the way they did certain parts of it. Without going into too much detail, they had Thai actors lip syncing to English voices that were amazingly accent free. Movie would have been much better if the Thai actors had spoken bad English, the lip syncing was terrible. Many parts of the movie don't really make much sense, why would poachers take an elephant to Austrailia? But if you want to see Tony Jaa in some pretty cool fight scenes, then you might as well watch this movie. If you want to see a movie that makes sense then see something else.
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Forget the Flawed Story and Enjoy the Choreography
claudio_carvalho17 March 2007
In Bangkok, the young Kham (Tony Jaa) 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 (Xing Jing), the leader of an international Thai mafia. With the support of the efficient Thai sergeant Mark (Petchtai Wongkamlao), who was involved in a conspiracy, Kham fights to rescue the animal from the mobsters.

"Tom Yum Goong" has a silly, flawed and absurd story, where gangsters do not use guns, but sticks, clubs, rollers, bicycles, motorcycles or whips. Further, they just fight in sequence against the hero, one by one, to have their arms and legs broken. The criminal Johnny simply vanishes without any further explanation. However, the choreography of the fights is amazing and very realistic, making this movie a worthwhile entertainment. Tony Jaa is probably the successor of Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and I believe this movie could be less "serious" and have more humor like in Jackie Chan's films. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Protetor" ("The Protector")
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contactccg25 August 2005
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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Action is great, the rest not so much
placebotonic25 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The movie's plot is, well, like it's from another dimension (which is Thailand), going after the elephant. There are things in the story that are simply unclear or haven't been explained well enough so there would be a more or less fluent storyline. I understand this is difficult to make in an action movie, but why also make characters absolutely one dimensional and undeveloped? I really hated the "chief police angry with good cop" cliché and a bunch of other clichés. Plus, of 100 or so bodyguards and other bad guys, how come nobody carries a gun except Johnny, and the police?? What's up with in line skaters, bmx bikers and motorcyclists chasing Kham? Done with them? Time to face the boss - mr. Quad and then up to the next level.

The scene where Kham ties the bones of the elephant to his hands (how was there enough time to do that???) the bones are obviously not as heavy as they ought to be and if they were, his hand movement would have to be considerably slower and there is also a thing called torque, not to mention limited muscle power. Okay, so it is an action move, exaggerating a lot, sure. But, a large bodybuilder breaks off statue's head that should weigh... far too much (I bet robocop couldn't do that), and throw it at Khan, who blocks it with elephant bones and TURNS IT TO DUST??? This went a bit over the top, seriously. Some acting is excessively bad, reminds me of 7 samurai's peasants acting; exaggerated mimics, some actors tried too hard to signal to the viewer of how completely and utterly evil they are. Or is that a thing of eastern movies? I can't tell.

On the other hand, despite the feeling of deja-vu in many many scenes I think it's been presented in a different way; if Hollywood made this, it would probably be beaten, bruised and buried by the critics, but this is Thai movie and it is made the Thai way, old ideas but in fresher packages. The fight scenes are some of the best (if not the best) I've ever seen and overall, I HAVE been entertained and I guess that's what's important.
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Poor storyline, great action. A review.
bangkok-110 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The hardest part of watching this movie was that the action scenes were so good, but the story was painfully bad. You may want the DVD version so you can just skip through the story line to the beautifully choreographed fight scenes. The movie starts off with so much promise - great pictures of rural Thailand and majestic elephants, until its first departure from reality with the shooting by a local politician of Tony Jaa's (Kham) father, over the taking of the white elephant. Dude you are a politician, the guy is 70, you are surrounded by henchman, why the hell would you shoot an old man when you could easily just take the elephant? From here on Tony is chasing after the elephant kidnappers, which takes him to Sydney where he uncovers endangered species restaurant. He ends up fighting Xing Jing (Rose) the katoey (lady boy) evil head of the Chinese gang.

The best: the 4 minute single shot action scene. This alone makes the movie worth seeing. Starting at the bottom of a 5 story circling stair case, he works his way to the 5th floor kicking a ton of ass on the way. Buy the time he reached the first floor you begin to realize that the camera is following the action is on a single shot.

After possibly breaking the record for longest single cut action scene, Jaa goes for the most broken arms award – turn up your speakers to hear every last crunch.

And then he goes for the first x-games fight scene. He takes on rollerbladers, BMXers, a trial bike rider and a 4 wheeler. Where are the skaters??? The biggest annoyances: - Petchtai Wongkamlao (Mark). He was in the first movie (Ong-Bok) and I was hoping it would be his last. While I found him totally annoying, the Thai audience seemed to laugh at him.

  • The fake new reports… how can you possibly be doing English language news??? A few notes: Jackie Chan makes a brief cameo by bumping into Jaa in the airport. Nice touch.

A singer from the band Loso does a little product placement for M-150 in one of the Australian shots.

And a blatant plug – an Indian couple walking are the street are overheard, talking about how disgusting it is to buy pirated DVDs.

Conclusion- The movie is a must see for the action scenes – really amazing and unique stuff. The story, unfortunately, was on par with a porno.. making you want to fast forward to the Tony Jaa scenes. Hopefully we'll see Jaa picked up by a different movie studio so that his work can really blossom.
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Another Great Action Flick from the same director Ong Bak
GrungeRock19 August 2005
The definition of Tom Yam Goong refers to the authentic Thai food which can be found anywhere in a Thai restaurant. But bear in mind that this movie has nothing to do with that.

I got a chance to watch this movie in Hong Kong. I was mesmerized by the great action scenes done by Yaanom Phenom (Tony Ja). Tony Ja plays a role of Kham, a character who pursed a gang that has kidnapped his elephants.

He fought with so many great fighters, which includes the BMX and the roller skate gang, Johnny, the Brazilian guy with cool kicks, the sword-man and those huge guys and of course the leader.

One of the few scenes i consider great are: the continuous fighting shot from the basement up to the higher level of the building (which was taken at one shot without editing and somewhat reminds me of Bruce Lee End of Game) and the bone crackling scenes with all the gangs! I honestly think if you are into martial art flicks, this is one of the best movie ever come out!
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Painfully bad sequel.
theredmare11 September 2006
I am in a state of shock to see the ratings this movie got. Now, I really liked the first one: it was an innocent, original, fresh, visual and funny action flick; as well as a good moral guideline for Thai teenagers.

This sequel is a very very painful mish-mash of Hollywood cringe-worthy clichés, with a bad plot, and ludicrous fight scenes. Tony Jaa seems to spend his time fighting (and damaging) the whole Sydney population for Pete's sake! Fights that are tedious: I'd never thought I'd have to say this, but they managed it. It was more overdone than Kill Bill in places, and this is supposed to be a serious film!

Nobody looks even remotely interested in their roles, everything drags; there isn't one single sequence that you cannot predict in advance. If it wasn't for Tony Jaa, you would think this is a bad Vandamme movie. Yawn.

See it only if: - You are a fan of Jaa or Thai boxing. A die-hard fan. - You like elephants and sappy animal movies (I made it to the end to know what happened to them, I confess) - You like mindless Hollywood action flicks.(think those turkeys poor Jet Li got involved in, just not quite as good)

Don't even go near it if you haven't seen the first one, please.

This was a sequel made for the money, as is too often done. Nothing at all was added to the cinematic world by it, I can assure you. Very, very forgettable.

4 out of 10.
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Awesome Muay Thai action with some good comic relief.
kpaske1 September 2005
I saw this movie in Chiang Mai, Thailand the day it was released. Since I really enjoyed Ong Bak, which also starred Tony Jaa and Petchthai Wongkamlao, I knew this movie would be great. I was NOT disappointed! The action scenes with Tony Jaa are incredible and I believe he will likely continue to bring the Muay Thai style of fighting to the big screen worldwide. Wongkamlao (as inspector Mark) is HILARIOUS. If you don't get it, you just don't get it. He's kind of like Jackie Chan - if you don't think he's funny, you're just not going to like him. The story line is a little hokey, which is why I only gave it a 9 out of 10, but as far as Thai movies go, in this one the plot was above average. And it helps to understand the culture a little bit to understand why this guy (Kham) is so hung up on getting his elephant back. Either way, this movie has some great action scenes and some great comic relief, making it a "must see" in my book.
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Terrible film
rdunisch11 February 2007
Loved ong-bak, well deserving of praise.

This movie is like a bunch of scenes spliced together to make 1:20 movie.

There is no plot line. Story doesn't follow. Its just action scenes that don't follow.

Fan of Tony Jaa, he did what he was supposed too. The action directors got what they needed, maybe the director did too. The producer and editor should never be given a chance to do this again.

I have lost much respect for Quentin Tarantino after watching this pile.

A must see for any Tony Jaa fan because you wont believe how terrible this movie is. I was wishing I was watching Ong-bak the whole time. This is a movie meant to sell tickets purely from its commercial, boxed up and shipped out to turn a small profit.
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Weakness in plotting and acting but things are better than Ong bak and the action is impressive
bob the moo10 March 2007
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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Sucks on Ice
h-howard9 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
If I could've given it a -10.

The plot sucks (plot...what plot?). The action sucks (who the hell thinks it's cool for rollerbladers to fight with light bulbs - great weapon guys). The acting sucks (great voice-over from the cop! Why is his voice so annoying?) The editing sucks (it looked as choppy as a Freddy Kreuggar victim). The characters suck ("You stole my elephant, and oh yeah, killed my father!"). The animation sucks (why is there animation anyway? It looked like something from the Discovery channel from 1994). The henchmen suck (why in so many films do henchmen attack one by one? Will they never learn?) Quentin, why???

Don't waste your money. Wait for this one to come out on cable, tivo it, and if you're so inclined, fast forward to the fight scenes.
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Great but no surprises
krasteva11 August 2005
Seen the movie the first day it appeared in theaters in Thailand. After seeing Ong-Bak in Thailand too, I had to go to this one. Same as Ong-Bak you don't have to speak Thai to understand this movie, the story is easy to understand, maybe even a bit too easy. The first part of the movie we meet our Hero and his elephants, this is a beautiful filmed part. Then we have almost 2 hours of action. The 5 minute actions shot is really great, but you need to be aware of it, otherwise it will maybe feel just as a normal movie.

It's easy to see that this movie has been made for international audience, there is even a part of the movie that really reminds me of Taxi by Luc Besson, I almost know that he had his hands in this production. Petchtai Wongkamlao (Mum) speaks terrible English, but is funny, even for foreigners. He's one of the greatest comedians in Thailand, and in this movie you can see that better then in Ong-Bak, where he was more of a "bad-guy". All in all I had a great time, but I am still not convinced it is better then Ong-bak, I guess I am already used to Tony Jaa and the things he can do.

Leaves me 1 thing, was the guy Kham sees at the airport the real deal or a lookalike?
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Its the same.
jetlie200328 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is an awesome movie. But so it Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior. No offense to anyone who enjoys Tony Jaas movies but these two movies Ong Bak and The Protector are the same almost in exact. It was very upsetting because it was like watching the movie twice. Be warned for whom ever wants to buy this movie that it is just about the same. Over all it was just as good as the other. There are just a few differences in each movie but not significant enough for me to say " I'd rather watch this one instead of that one." I read a review on both movies and they said they were "similar" but in actuality, put them next to each other on two different TVs and you wont notice a difference. I appreciate the review but it was incorrect. Enjoy the same movie if you bought both. Don't forget to return it when you watch it otherwise it may be to late and you wont get your money back from whatever store it was purchased.
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superb martial arts film
ms89324 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
All right,first of all i did not hear anything about Tony Jaa before seeing this movie.But after seeing this one....

So couple of days ago i caught preview of this film on TV and i said "this could be promising"... well to say at least i was not disappointed.Not disappointed at all.The movie started with beautiful Thai village and explanation of Thai's love for elephants.And an important place they have in their culture.It was a bit of a slow start but when the mobsters steal away the elephants it all started.

The first fight in Thailand didn't really impress me but it was fun enough to keep my attention.But when Kham went to Sidney,for me ,one of the best choreographed , directed and executed martial arts film started.I was blown away and i don't get that a lot of lately out of martial arts film.I mean let's face it seeing a lot of Jackie Chan and Jet Li's film over the past 20 years can do that to a man.Even the two of them started to repeat themselves, not to mention that they getting older.Just look at "Rush hour 3" ,we already seen it all.

But don't get me wrong i don't say we had enough of it, it's just we need something new.And Tony Jaa is the one that's going to deliver it to us.He uses Mhay thai kick boxing style and he combines it with kung fu and aikido and make it look awesome.He took Jackie's multiple opponent fighting style ,Seagal's bone crushing stuff and Jet Li's attractive moves and make it so original that it hurts.I mean he already has his trademark move ,the jump with both knees finish.You gotta see it to believe it.

And now about the directing.It's superb.After seeing poorly directed martial arts fight scene of "Die Hard 4.0"(with Magie Q) i started to wonder why somebody didn't call this guy just to direct this one scene, because he surely knows where to point the camera when the fists are flying.It mostly resembles video games camera style which i find innovative and visually quite acceptable.

I'd like also to comment on the superb "boss" battles: with Jhonny(it could lasted longer,both times) , in the temple with 3 different fighting style "bosses"(one of my favorite battles of all time) and of course the near end fight with wrestlers ( a solid ending).Now the matter of ending, to be honest i expected a bit longer fight with Rozy and that 20 meters fall was over the top for me.But overall it was a good ending.

Apart from fights there are two chase scenes the one at the beginning with boats and the pursuit that reminded me of "Taxi", and some comedy reliefs.Also there is Jackie Chan's (double or not it remains a mystery) cameo which supposed to work as passing the torch.If you remember in "Rundown" Arnold S. did the same thing for The Rock in almost identical scene.

Overall: if you like martial arts do you self a favor and buy this most innovative martial arts flick up to date, so you can watch it over and over again.I expect more awesome films from Tony Jaa My vote 9/10
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BAK in action, but only in the fighting sense
Jakethemuss30 July 2007
After being blown away by Ong Bak, I was looking forward to see Jaa's next film, Tom-Yun-Goong. I found that the film still delivered the same amount of high flying, bone breaking combat which made Ong Bak what it was, albeit delivered in a different way.

Kham (Jaa) is a village boy leading a peaceful life in Thailand, alongside his beloved elephants, Poor Yai and Korn. However, things become less peaceful when both elephants are stolen by poachers, and transported to Australia to be used for slightly unorthodox uses. This triggers Kham into action, and he heads to Australia to track down his huge 4 legged friends. Soon after arrival, he comes across policeman Mark, played by none other than Ong Bak's Humlae, only in this he is attempting to speak English alongside Thai. From then on, the 2 confront deadly martial artists, police corruption, shady business and lots of thugs in black.

Earlier I mentioned the fight scenes being slightly different to Ong Bak, mainly because they were served in a slightly more 'Jackie Chan-esquire' way than the brutal bar room knockouts we saw in OB. There is a particularly OTT scene in a warehouse, where Kham takes on a crowd of young men on roller blades and bmx stunt bikes, not to mention real motorbikes and even a quad! It is a scene more about stunts and acrobatics than actually fighting, which is where it differed from Ong Bak in a sense. However, the lack of brutality in that scene is paid in full when Kham takes on a legion of calcium deficient men in black with amazing ease and energy.

There is also the increasingly well known single take fight scene, in which Kham ascends the staircases of a multi-storied building throwing, kicking and kneeing opponents out of the way, to reach a restaurant at the top.

Another strong fight scene is where Kham takes on 3 skilled martial artists of different styles in a temple, with a 3 or so inch layer of water on the floor to boot.

Apart from the regular fight scenes, unfortunately this film does not fair well. It does not have the code of honour that Ong Bak had, and its plot is at times just silly. Many of the characters are not at all developed, and some of the lines are straight from a comic book. It would be fair to say that the concentration of talent seems to have gone into the fight scenes, leaving the interlocking scenes weak and poorly scripted. In Ong Bak he was on a mission to get back the stolen head of a village statue, which was priceless to the village and its welfare, so you could see why he went to such lengths to get it back, but in this, the fighting is all for these elephants, so the violence is harder to justify.

I wouldn't say this a merely a showcase for Jaa's skills, but as a motion picture in cinema history, it does not deserve much praise. It is the kind of film worth a watch for its combat sequences and fight choreography, but not the kind of film that you will ponder over after the credits end.
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Action packed but plot it lacks!
vonruhne22 March 2007
I was happy to hear of a Thai movie being imported into the US media and expected somewhat of a sensation knowing Quentin Tarantino helped make it a reality. The action is wonderful and what I might expect from Tony Jaa, but the plot or even realism of the scenes is drawn out beyond fiction.

The story line is almost pornoish in the sense of realism as it dryly moves along with no real purpose, short of filler, until the next action scene. The film jumps almost randomly from one set to another without any manner of good cinematography. Although the movie holds so far the longest shot action scene of history thus far, it hardly makes up for a plot that was seemingly written by a four year old. Sadly I feel so much more could have been accomplished.
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Incredible Martial Arts film
Kreme24 February 2006
There are parts of Tom Yum Goong (or, as we like to call it, WHERE'S MY ELEPHANT) that amateurish and distracting; especially in some of the camera work and editing. However, those are but minor nit picks in a movie that has some of the best fight sequences I've seen. One, in particular, stands out as it involves a continuous tracking shot of a huge mêlée involving a 4 or 5 story building and a long staircase that winds up all the floors. The entire sequence is one shot, with no cuts or edits. It's worth watching the movie through again just for that sequence.

The story is pretty basic, but really, what at we going to see? This is no Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but it doesn't aim to be. The story is adequate to get you from one sequence to the next.

Tony Jaa is outstanding. His skills in the fight scenes are particularly astonishing given the overall lack of editing in these sequences. He's obviously doing all these things himself, and mostly in real time.

One minor note that I found amusing, though it might only be funny to fans of the movie BABE, the name of the production company is "Baa-Ram-Ewe"
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Well planned fight scenes poorly planned film!!
studleymoore20275 December 2005
I am a huge fan of Ong-bak so was eagerly awaiting this, how unfortunate then that i was let down in such a huge way! The fact that it took nearly 20 mins to get to the first fight scene was bad enough but then when Ja ends up in Australia we are greeted by some of the worst dialogue and poorest actors money can buy! Why did they feel the need to take the tried and tested formula of Ong Bak and add English dialogue in a foreign country i don't know, i mean the story is crud and i'm sure they could have written one based in Thailand!

Poor acting/dialogue aside there are some good moments 12 foot high kicks, joint breaking and a Muay Thai vs Capoeira scene that is awesome, then there is the scene with the skaters and the bikers that just reeks so bad that u find yourself laughing at it, WOOO Gen X man, lol.

All in all a thorough disappointment lets hope Ja gets to work with different people so we can see a better end product.
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His Friend, the Elephant meets "Crappy Martial Arts movie"
tainotopole28 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Seriously. This movie is so god damn laughable. The production and plot SUCK.

In one of the scenes a guy blows a horn and 50+ "EXTREME GUYS" come to aid from nowhere, including bmx-ers , rollerbladers and whatnot and they all fight with Luminescent LIGHTBULBS. Yes thats right LIGHTBULBS.

Crappy animation that looks like something you would see 10+ years ago.

CHEESIEST OLDEST jokes ever, and I mean EVER. Crappy stereotypes, extremely bad acting.

Just overall a really really bad movie with a really bad plot, really bad acting and just outright STUPID. They could've killed him with a gun at least 50000 times, but NO they choose to fight him and let him kill a whole army worth of people by breaking their hands and legs.

Quentin Tarantion just SUCKS, please stay away from anything thats "Presented" by him.

This is the kind of movie that you watch at 3:00 AM in the morning after coming home from a party on Spike.

I advise you to not waste your money.
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