Sunday, October 27, 2013
Tom Yum Goong 2
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Cast: Tony Jaa, Petchtai Wongkamlao, RZA, Jeeja Yanin, Marrese Crump
Plot: Kham's elephant has been abducted yet again, so he sets out to recover him and runs into a criminal planning a high profile assassination.
Review: I didn't watch the first Tom Yum Goong before this one, but I am well aware of Tony Jaa's brand of action thanks to the Ong Bak trilogy. Tony reteams with the director of the first Ong Bak for this film, and as far as I can tell, he's managed to recapture some, if not all of his previous on screen magic.
In Ong Bak, Tony's practical approach to action sequences made it appear more real and violent. Perhaps in acknowledging the huge challenge in recreating these at an older age, Tony and the filmmakers have resorted to CGI and some wirework to execute some sequences, including a bridge jump and a fight in a burning room. This kinda dilutes the awesomeness of what we're used to seeing from him, so the fights that don't use these effects are the ones that stand out. One such fight is between Tony and Marrese Crump, the antagonist's right hand man.
The acting here isn't excellent obviously, ranging from decent to downright awful (the guys playing the Interpol agents are horrible). Tony is good enough in his role as Kham, with frequent collaborator Petchtai Wongkamlao doing well as Mark the cop, who acts as sidekick cum funny guy. RZA hams it up as the main villain LC and even gets to beat up Tony at one point while poor Jeeja Yanin only gets to show off her martial arts moves and gets so few lines as Ping, a young girl seeking revenge on Crump. I think she deserved a bit more character development. Speaking of Tony getting beat up, that's another sign of him acknowledging his older age, as he gets hammered quite a fair bit here compared to his previous films.
The film suffers from a handful of lapses of logic, bad acting here and there and the unfortunate use of CGI. Director Prachya Pinkaew could have tightened up his film a bit in these aspects. Again, I felt that a more practical approach would have worked wonders here.
Action wise, TYG2 is quite good actually, but it is far from being at the level Tony Jaa was at once. (3/5)