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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Jaa’s movie has no plot to protect

    The ProtectorRated R87 MinutesWeinstein Company
    ‘The Protector’
    Rated R
    87 Minutes
    Weinstein Company

    “”The Protector”” might have more to protect than just elephants. This Tony Jaa movie about recovering and protecting elephants from a gang of bad guys does not display Jaa’s talent. Instead, you feel like you’re watching a National Geographic documentary gone bad.

    Kham (Jaa) is a young fighter who grew up in Thailand with elephants. Ever since he was a boy, he knew that elephants were powerful and could carry any king to glory.

    But when Kham’s elephants are taken by a gang of evil men, he has to travel to Australia to get them back. This is where all the fun begins.

    Kham takes the viewer through an adventure of different battles to get his elephants back.

    The first major battle is at a dodgy warehouse in Sydney, Australia, where a ruthless gang led by Johnny (Johnny Nguyen) tries to destroy Kham. The gang rides in on motorcycles, rollerblades and any other wheeled maneuvering device you can think of.

    The second major battle occurs at a restaurant that is a facade for Johnny’s gang to operate their business of selling prostitutes and selling rare animals for eats. This is where Kham finds one of the elephants.

    The last major battle happens at the house of the new female crime boss Madame Rose (Xing Jing). Here Kham has to fight her whip attacks as well as the strong attacks of her muscular male servants. These guys pull some WWF moves on Kham that he can barely get out of.

    I won’t spoil the ending, but the plot is too basic. Kham needs to protect elephants and goes out of his way to do so. This is much more boring than it might sound. There are no background stories. All of the parts of the movie only advance the dull plot.

    And although Tony Jaa has some incredible moves throughout the movie, a lot of these moves aren’t appreciated as much because lousy camera angles were emphasized.

    The camera does not focus on any particular aspect of Tony Jaa’s style. It is more of a fly perusing its way through the movie and looking at everything in the scene.

    The characters have no depth, in part due to the boring plot. This is an action movie, and a lot of the time the audience just wants to see the protagonist fighting his way to victory, but the audience also needs to believe in the protagonist’s motives.

    Kham’s need to protect the elephants did not come through in the movie. His character needed more depth so that his mission could become believable.

    Johnny Nguyen’s character was evil, but there was no depth to him either. There was nothing smart or edgy about him, making his character a waste.

    A lot of the times the movie felt repetitive. The 20 minutes that it took for Kham to get to the “”bad guys”” in the restaurant scene was 18 minutes too long. Wasn’t there an elevator to get to them?

    Tony Jaa has potential as an actor, he just needs to focus on better scripts and find better directors.

    “”The Protector”” had neither the script nor the direction needed for a great action movie.

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