Tony Jaa appears once again, beating the shit out of this dude who steals his small elephant (not a real elephant, just a decoration). It's a way better fight than in the last Bodyguard movie, and as he leaves the scene the bad guy complains that
this dude is even better than the lead actor. :D What a difference between his fight in the first Bodyguard movie, before he attained his fame, to this one shortly after (overall the entire movie is better than the last).
Though as with the previous one, it's really not about Tony Jaa, I'm just happy he makes an appearance, and would be happy if he made more short appearances like this. It doesn't have to be full movies, any stunt scene's fine, but it seems he doesn't do just stunts, he does the whole thing. But enough of Tony Jaa...
It's another awesome action parody! Khum Lhau (I guess Wong Kong was his undercover name in the last one) is better than ever, doing crazy things, not always stunts but... crazy things. He has a wife now, he has a full-time job, and in the end we learn... that this is actually a prequel to the previous movie! Whaddayaknow! The movie is not a direct prequel, it's a stand-alone thing even if the end clearly tells you the last one happened after this one
Plenty of the themes/puns from the last movie repeat themselves too. Like the mysterious warriors who appear in the corridors to battle him (the main character) as he's chasing through a warehouse (the samurai who accidentally lights his robe on fire is a favorite), and how the movie starts with a car pulling up, though this time with a gang boss and his bodyguards rather than the main character.
Compared to the prequel this one's on a way bigger budget though. There's armored cars, tanks, monster trucks, motorbikes, explosions, gunfire, fistfights, flips and flights and all kinds of fun stuff. The special effects are great, in fact it's all great, it beats the previous movie with a mile and manages to add some relationship drama and music to the mix. Maybe it doesn't have the same serious undertone as the last one, but that didn't really fit in with an action comedy anyway. Hoping for a third! And Tony Jaa. Word.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle
So yeah, I watched this one again after the former, and it's still great. Seems like I had an almost too big focus on Tony Jaa when I saw it last, but now I watched it for what it was: a great action movie, and both a great performance and a great production by Petchtai Wongkamlao (and many others).
The stunts are way more over-the-top than they were in the previous, the fights are fast-paced and furious, and the comical overtones all the more relevant. It takes a step away from the subtle almost authentic feel of the former and goes full-blown crazy action comedy, and does it well.
Fun fact: though maybe not so strange considering the tanks and other expensive-looking props, this was at the time the most expensive movie ever made in Thailand, with a budget on one hundred million Baht. Since then it seems The Legend of King Naresuan has overtaken the title - a six part franchise with seven times that budget.
Not that great movies have to be expensive, as Ong-Bak clearly showed, but these were great. Hope they make it a trilogy some day!
rated 4/5: fo shizzle