Friday, November 7, 2014

Tom-Yum-Goong (The Protector)

Martial art films are probably the most underrated films, especially in the United States. There are so many foreign films that use amazing choreographs and fight scenes that the U.S could really adopt for Hollywood films. One example of a well done martial arts film is Tom-Yum-Goong, otherwise known as The Protector in the U.S.

First of all, the film has the longest no-cut, steady cam fight scene in movie history. It follows Kham (played by Tony Jaa) up a spiral staircase, fighting different thugs to get his elephant back. The only supposedly use of CGI is during the take where a glass window is shattering. The scene is 4 plus minutes long, and only one camera was used:

Tony Jaa also makes the film impressive in the sense that he developed a new style of Muay Thai called "Muay Kotchasan", which can translate to "Elephant boxing". It mimics how an elephant would defend itself, using his arms like a trunk to throw, grab, or break.

This clip shows Kham realizing that his beloved elephant has been stuffed. He goes back and forth in the dream sequence, and once he's been stabbed, starts to break the bones of the guards. This scene shows the "Elephant boxing" pretty well as you can see the way his arm wraps around the guards and what not, like elephant trunk.

Jaa also did all the stunts himself and used no wires throughout the film, which is no surprise since Jackie Chan is his idol. You can see a Jackie Chan stunt double in the airport scene, which was a tribute to him.

The film did well in the U.S, being the most successful Thai film with a total worldwide box office gross of $25,175,096. 

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