Protector 2, The (Tom yum goong 2) (Blu-ray) (2013)

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Released 19-Mar-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Martial Arts Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Eastern Eye Trailers x 4
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 104:43
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Prachya Pinkaew
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Tony Jaa
Marrese Crump
Vince Makiling
JeeJa Yanin
RZA
Ujal Thapa
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Thai DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Five years after the events depicted in The Protector, when Kham (Tony Jaa) had to rescue his elephant Khon after it was stolen by a crime syndicate, Khon is again stolen. Kham, with the help of Sargent Mark (Phetthai Vongkumlao) and sometimes helped and sometimes opposed by Ping Ping (JeeJa Yanin), follows a trail which leads him to the mysterious LC (RZA) and his stable of fighters known only by number, including the female Number 20 (Rhatha Phongam) and the deadly Number 2 (Marrese Crump). Mayhem ensues.

     The Protector 2 (Tom yum goong 2) is the follow up to The Protector (2005) and has the same director, Prachya Pinkaew, and star ,Tony Jaa, as the earlier film. This sequel adds the diminutive Thai female martial artist and star JeeJa Yanin and should have worked well as Prachya Pinkaew has multiple martial arts film credentials; for example he directed Tony Jaa in his breakthrough film Ong-bak (2003) and has also directed JeeJa Yanin before in Chocolate(2008). Instead The Protector 2 is a mess; the plot, which includes the missing elephant, peace talks in Thailand to end a civil war in a fictional South East Asian country and a crime syndicate, is only an excuse to throw a succession of martial arts and action sequences onto the screen.

     Not that there is anything wrong with that as long as it is done well. The Protector 2, however, tosses together a number of long and pointless action sequences, such as the extended cycle action scene and another scene at the docks, which not only seem to go on forever but also fail to make clear just who is chasing Kham or why? As well, JeeJa Yanin disappears for long periods only to reappear seemingly at random so that she can be involved in another fight scene. Certainly, some of the action is spectacular with multiple fighters and the audio track reverberates with impacts, crashing walls, breaking limbs and gunshots, yet the best sequences are those that involve one on one martial arts combat between Tony Jaa and Marrese Crump, who looks as though he can handle himself and is a worthy adversary to Jaa. Indeed, their initial fight filmed in wide angle takes is one of the highlights of the film.

     I enjoy Asian martial arts films that utilise genuine martial artists doing their thing and I think that the Thai films involving Prachya Pinkaew, Tony Jaa and JeeJa Yanin are worthy inheritors of the great tradition created in the golden era of Hong Kong action films made by The Shaw Bros or Golden Harvest. However, while there are some action good sequences in The Protector 2, the jumbled plot and the long, confusing action sequences some of which have no connection to the plot, meant that I was not really interested in the characters or the outcome. With the names attached to this project, the film should have been much better.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The Protector 2 is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The picture is not really one to show off your Blu-ray HD set up. The early scenes in the jungle are quite glary, resulting in a loss of detail. The city scenes are better, yet while interiors are sharp, the daylight exterior scenes still look light. Colours are natural enough, blacks are solid and shadow detail is reasonable, although there are some scenes that are indistinct. I suppose the detail is good enough to highlight the fairly poor and obvious CGI effects, especially the fire effects. The film was also made with 3D in mind resulting in some objects flying straight at the viewer.

     I did not notice any artefacts or marks.

     Burnt in English subtitles are provided in a rather small white font. Sometimes they can be hard to read against light backgrounds but are mostly fine. There are occasional errors, such as “you don’t make east money like this every day” (8:06). As well, burnt in white Thai subtitles occur during the sections of English dialogue.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The only audio choice is Thai DTS-MA HD 5.1.

     This is a loud and engaging audio track. Dialogue, especially from RZA, is occasionally a little hard to understand although I doubt if much important is missed. The surrounds and rears are constantly in action with engines, punches impacting on bodies, crashing walls and debris, explosions, breaking limbs and reverberating gunshots, while kicks whoosh past opponent’s heads. The music is loud and bombastic and occasional intrusive. The subwoofer provides good support to the explosions, crashes, falling debris, the thumps and the music.

     Lip synchronisation seemed fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Theatrical Trailer (2:17)

    

Eastern Eye Trailers

     Trailers for Bangkok Knockout (1:34), Wu Dang (1:30), This Girl is Bad Ass (2:31) and Ip Man- The Legend is Born (2:03).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    While a Region 3 Thai DVD release is listed on YesAsia, there is not currently a Blu-ray version of The Protector 2 listed on sales sites in either Region A US or Region B UK.

Summary

     Director Prachya Pinkaew and star Tony Jaa lose their elephant again in The Protector 2, a disappointing sequel to their earlier film. However, fans of Tony Jaa will still find plenty to enjoy.

     The video is reasonable, the audio loud and enveloping. Trailers are the only extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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