The Protector | Chicago Reader

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Thai martial-arts star Tony Jaa and director Prachya Pinkaew follow up their entertaining, fight-heavy Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003) with this virtually identical actioner. A young villager (Jaa) is dispatched to rescue his family's elephant from a ruthless mob boss who, for obscure reasons, has smuggled it to Australia. Like its predecessor this is a low-budget affair short on plot and long on action, which is swell whenever Jaa's involved in some hair-raising fight sequence. But the steady accumulation of unnecessary diversions (like an embarrassing mud-bath striptease) and a general lack of charm make this pretty tough to sit through. In subtitled Thai and badly dubbed English. 84 min.

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