A Few "Tom Yum Goong 2" Reviews Give A Taste of Tony Jaa's Comeback Film

Tony Jaa and Jeeja Yanin in "Tom Yum Goong 2"

If you’re a fan of martial arts cinema, then there are three films you were probably looking forward to earlier in the year: Donnie Yen’s Mixed Martial Arts cop thriller “Special ID,” Tony Jaa’s comeback film “Tom Yum Goong 2” (aka “The Protector 2”), and Iko Uwais’ “The Raid” sequel “Berendal.”

“Special ID” came out in China last week and is doing typical Donnie Yen business at the box office. Reviews are mixed though -- great but unspectacular MMA action with a generic undercover cop storyline.

“Tom Yum Goong 2” came out a couple days ago in Thailand. I found three reviews so far. The first one is bad; the second is ok; and the third is decent.

The first from ColorlessOpinions.com calls it “probably Tony Jaa's worst movie thus far.” Regarding the action scenes, reviewer Tony Teh writes: “Thanks to the horribly digitised and CGI sequences, this over-the-top action flick is far from gritty compared to Jaa's previous films. The fight choreography is decent but there's nothing that hasn't already been done before, or already been done better, by Jaa.”

Wise Kwai from “Wise Kwai’s Thai Film Journal” shares a similar sentiment regarding the fight choreography: “Despite everyone's best efforts, the fights in Tom-Yum-Goong 2 lack the sizzle and originality of their earlier efforts in Ong-Bak and Tom-Yum-Goong.” This is by far the most in-depth review so far. And if you’re into Thai films, you should bookmark his awesome site.

The third review from a blogger says, “The movie goes on overdrive fighting gear the moment the camera starts rolling. Non-stop smack, whack, wallap …” This is pretty much in line with what the previous two reviewers have to say. After 15 minutes of set up time, it’s all action from there on out, which sounds good to me. In terms of quality, this last review isn’t very good though. He hasn’t seen the first film.

All in all, “Tom Yum Goong 2” sounds like another mixed bag, which is disappointing because I love the first film. Hopefully, Gareth Evans’ “Berendal” delivers next year.

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