Alright, I won’t even kid myself on this one, but The Protector is one mess of a movie, with lots of stupidity. A Thai man goes to Sydney where, for some reason nearly everyone is Thai, and takes on people who never seem to think of using guns. The basic premise is Tony Jaa kicks ass, but specifically he plays Kham, a peaceful Thai entrusted with protecting the king’s elephants.
Anything that can fall down does and anything that runs on fuel explodes. The action set pieces are undeniably spectacular — especially the one in which Jaa wallops his opponents with the elephant bones he’s lashed to his arms. And really, this is why you’re watching the movie to begin with so I guess it does its job to entertain. People don’t watch films like The Protector for a carefully constructed story, they watch to see flying fists, and broken bones.
The heir to Jet Li and Jackie Chan, Tony Jaa is a human special effect, whose breathless stunts are truly jaw-dropping. There is a scene in the film where Jaa character, Kham, works his way up every level of a structure facing a host of villains each time he ascends a floor (similar to Game of Death). The fight sequence that follows features Jaa going up against 30 henchmen and uses various leg holds and arm locks to crackingly snap limbs and break body joints. It’s amazing.
The Protector is not only an action film, it is also beautiful, with spirituality, humanity and respect for nature at its core. Even those who are not fans of action movies will be amazed at what they’re seeing. I found myself pausing this movie, rewinding back, and playing forward in slow-motion quite often. This has to be the most violent martial arts film that I have seen in a long time. Go see it!