Tom Yum Goong 2 (Review)

Tom Yum Goong 2

aka ต้มยำกุ้ง 2 aka The Protector 2
Tom Yung Goong 2 Protector
Written by Eakisit Thairaat
Directed by Prachya Pinkaew

Tom Yung Goong 2 Protector Jeeja
An elephant gets stolen again, causing Tony Jaa to kick lots of people again. This time, the stunts are bigger and 3D driven, but also more CGI enhanced and less realistic, which is a shame. There is no long tracking shot like in Tom Yum Goong, and the more memorable fights are remembered because of their gimmicks, not because of their awesomeness. But that sounds like I’m bagging on Tom Yum Goong 2 a bit hard, it was still some good fun, even if it can’t live up to it’s predecessor. And let’s face it, there aren’t many martial arts films that can.

Tom Yum Goong 2 went into production in August 2011. It was delayed by horrible Thailand floods, Tony Jaa doing weird things, production infighting, Jeeja’s unplanned pregnancy, and a bunch of other problems too boring to reiterate. It’s more of a minor miracle the film was completed at all, and isn’t terrible. But the money and the problems changed a few things for the worse, and didn’t give anything in return.
Tom Yung Goong 2 Protector
The fights are now 3D, so there is less continual choreography and long shots and more 3D-ish effects, which sort of makes them worse. The made-for-3Dness makes the CGI additions a lot more noticeable, especially when you aren’t watching in 3D. But even if I was, there wasn’t that much going on that made me wish I was watching in 3D. 3D doesn’t make the kicks any harder, nor does it make the tracking shots suddenly several minutes long. All we get is a few random CGI items floating across the screen. The most creative shots they didn’t even use outside of one part, which was a POV facecam as Kham was running from a bunch of goons.
Tom Yung Goong 2 Protector eeja

Kham (Tony Jaa) – Kham is back and he’s still got his elephant, but now the elephant Korn is in danger…oh, wait, that happened last time. So Kham now has to beat up a lot of people…oh, wait, that happened last time! Eh, just enjoy him kicking butt!
Ping Pong (“Jeeja” Yanin Vismistananda) – Ping Pong and her sister Sue-sue (Theerada Kittiseriprasert) walk in on Kham standing over the body of their murdered uncle, and immediately begin attacking him and chase him down. Only after an examination of the corpse does Ping Pong realize their mistake, but by then Sue-sue has been killed by Number 02. Ping Pong uses drugged needles and agility to defeat larger foes.
Mr. LC (RZA) – Leader of an underground fighting club that does all sorts of bad things, including gun running and getting involved in international assassination attempts to foster dictatorial ambitions of warlords. He never loses, so don’t tell him he lost. His group is ranked, but he made sure to tattoo Number 00 on his head so we all know he’s the best that ever was.
Sergeant Mark (Petchtai Wongkamlao) – Kham’s old friend from Australia is in Thailand helping out with all the diplomatic things going on, and gets involved with Kham’s latest elephant kidnapping party.
Number 02 (Marrese Crump) – Largely silent fighter who wants to be the best fighter there ever was, and will punch whoever and whatever it takes to get there. Murders with a unique series of close blows. Has a complicated honor system, but is still pretty evil and loyal to Mr. LC. Marrese Crump was RZA’s stunt double on The Man with the Iron Fists, and got promoted to costar here.
Number 20 (Yayaying Rhatha Phongam) – One of Mr. LC’s fighters, loyal to him because he saved her during a sexual assault and trained her in fighting so she could get revenge on her attackers.

Tom Yung Goong 2 Protector
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Jeeja Yanin update – Tom-Yum-Goong 2, Chocolate 2, The Kick, Jakkalan

Some news concerning “Jeeja” Yanin Vismitananda that may be of interest:

The biggest news currently is Jeeja costarring with Tony Jaa in Tom-Yum-Goong 2, which will be in 3D. All the familiar faces were at the news conference, director Prachya Pinkaew, action choreographer Panna Rittikrai, costar Petthai “Mum Jokmok” Wongkumlao, and studio executive Somsak “Sia Jiang” Techaratanaprasert,

Jeeja will also be headlining a 3D sequel to Chocolate Hiroshi Abe will also be returning, and it will be directed again by Prachya Pinkaew, who seems to be directing everything ever.

As proof of that, Pinkaew is also directing The Kick, a coproduction of Thailand and South Korea that features Jeeja in a supporting role to Mum Jokmok in a plot involving theft of ancient daggers. The Korean company CJ Entertainment is proclaiming it the first Korean martial arts film and first taekwando film, which as anyone who collects Korean martial arts films can tell you is complete bunk.
Here is a behind the scenes video:

And finally, here’s a trailer for the bicycle messenger comedy Jakkalan, which hit theaters in Thailand April 28th. It’s directed by and costars Mum Jokmok, who was in the first Tom-Yum-Goong

Some posters:
Jukkalan Poster Jeeja
Jukkalan Poster Jeeja
I had meant to get these films up on individual entries, but kept putting it off and off so now we get a giant post. And, yes, these films will get the full review treatment once they start showing up in a format I can see them.

More Fighting Women from Thailand

There are several female-centric action vehicles coming out of Thailand in 2010. As TarsTarkas.NET is a big fan of female action films, this news made our day.

We got Ta Bang Marn, the next project from Ong Bak director Prachya Pinkaew. Ta Bang Marn is in production now and is slated for a 2010 release.

Twitch sez:

The new epic martial arts action adventure set in a land long forgotten in the Southeast Asian history. Prachya Pinkaew is back to direct his most ambitious project to date about a group of village girls who team up to protect the “special child” that will change the destiny of the region against all harm.

In addition to Ta Bang Marn, Prachya Pinkaew has another upcoming project with Jija Yanin, star of Chocolate and Raging Phoenix, and American Marrese Crump. There is currently no title. This one is slated to begin filming in 2010.

Twitch also sez:

American martial artist Marrese Crump has been confirmed to be in talks with action director Prachya Pinkaew to star in his next film. The news was announced through a video that was released on YouTube outlining not only Crump as starring, but Yanin ‘Jeeja’ Vismitananda as well.

We recently got a hold of Raging Phoenix and have put it in line to get watched and reviewed, so hopefully things will go quickly on that end. But life has a way of slowing things down.

Review of Raging Phoenix at WiseKwai

Wise Kwai’s Thai Film Journal has a review up of Jeeja Yanin Wismistananda’s new film Raging Phoenix (Jija Deu Suay Du). Jeeja is also going by “Jija” Wismistananda, which is like the fifth name for her so far. The review isn’t that positive, and is more disappointed at the wasted potential.
Official Website

Jeeja Vismistananda gets new look

Yanin “Jeeja” Vismistananda, star of the Thai girl fighter film Chocolate, debuts her new hairstyle for her 2nd film, an action/romantic comedy entitled Deu, Suay, Doo (Stubborn, Pretty, and Fierce)
Directed by Rachen Limtrakool and costarring Kazu Patrick Tang as the love interest. It will be interesting to see Jeeja do some real acting!
Wise Kwai put up the first notice has pics