I actually finished a movie today. I’ve had it from Netflix for over a month and just got to it now. It adds significantly to the genre of elephant conservation films, following such classics as Operation Dumbo Drop. Oh yeah, and martial arts. It’s The Protector, starring Tony Jaa.
I’m not sure what I expected going in, except for grade A Muay Thai action. The plot is beyond ridiculous, even considering the premise of a traditional guardian of elephants in Thailand traveling to Australia to rescue two elephants stolen from his community. It’s loaded with action movie cliches from the cops thrown off the case to the girl in the gang who has a heart of gold. There are also some curveballs like the x-treeeeme street gang made of skaters and motocross bikers (why don’t they sell their gear and buy guns?) and a horrid computer generated sequence. The acting is D-average. And the hero’s solution to every situation is pretty much walk int and start kicking. It’s basically Streets of Rage, the movie.
But the action more than makes up for the silly story. Tony Jaa is really really good, and the cinematography greatly accentuates the action sequences (I hear Quantum of Solace is greatly deficient in this area). One especially cool scene is when he fights through building 3 (or is it 4?), a gangster restaurant:
It’s one continuous shot!