Aroview: Muay Thai phenomenon Tony Jaa continues his reinvigoration of the martial arts genre with this hotly anticipated follow-up to ONG-BAK: a pan-Pacific romp through Thailand and Australia in pursuit of ruthless Elephant poachers.
Sustaining the athletically demanding, absurdly reckless action sequences of Jaa’s break-out hit – including a remarkable four-minute, multi-level fight scene shot in a single take – dir. Pinkaew can’t be faulted for an inventiveness in choreography, even if his creativity verges occasionally on the silly. Less successful story-wise, which at once rehashes ONG-BAK’s stolen deity premise and globalizes it through a Westernized setting (a la Jackie Chan’s hocky American excursions), the film nevertheless remains high on adrenaline, testosterone, and bruising violence: in essence, another tailor-made stunt vehicle for its superhuman star.
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4 stars (Very Good) A raw and intense martial arts actioner that has Jaa go all-out brutal on a group of Elephant poachers. There is plenty of style, and even more bone-crushing martial arts violence in this brilliant showcase of Jaa's abilities.~Tom H