Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 22
  2. Negative: 4 out of 22
  1. Anytime Jaa isn't on screen, The Protector sputters.
  2. 38
    The movie is basically a love story between a man and his elephant, and if viewed as such, it's not nearly as ridiculous as the movie it first appears to be.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Ferraro
    Sadly, the greatness of Jaa's movements are drowned by an ocean of bad editing, terrible dubbing, disorienting action sequences, and repetitive fight sequences that feel as if they were copied straight from a side-scrolling videogame like "Streets of Rage."
  4. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    This ludicrous Quentin Tarantino-chosen low-budget movie features choppy editing and an amateurish script, and it switches strangely back and forth between dubbing and subtitles.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. MortS.
    Sep 24, 2006
    No other fight scene compares to his limb breaking rampage.
  2. Jul 1, 2013
    Why are people rating this film so highly? I'll never understand. Maybe it's the high-octane action sequences. Yeah, that's probably it. While they are enjoyable to watch, it's not enough to call it a movie.

    It's unpleasant to watch at times, even the action sequences, and, like a few people in here already said, the stunts are a bit repetitive, especially where Tony Jaa takes out the guys in black suits. A lot of arms and legs twisting, it's like he has a fetish for this sort of thing. It's too overblown to call it a signature move or something like that.

    The scene where Tony Jaa fights his way up in the VIP area is quite enjoyable to watch. The roughly 5 minutes action sequences were done in a single shot, the camera work in that scene was excellent. Can't say the same about the editing though, it's really choppy. One minute, there was a boat chase and then a random explosion in the next shot. Tony Jaa jumps on top of a van from the bridge but the movie cuts from him on the bridge straight away to him on top of a van. It was either cut too quickly or they didn't film him actually jumping on top of the van but either way, "what the f***?"

    There's more but these are just a few examples of bad editing, it cuts to the next shot too quickly. It's like the film skipped about 2 shots during the action sequences, that's the best way to explain it but you'll have to see for yourself if you want to fully understand what this is about as it's quite noticeable.

    The movie strangely moves back and forth between dubbing and subtitles, but why even bother with the subtitles? The story is basically about Tony Jaa who embarks on a journey from his home in Thailand to Sidney to rescue his elephants from poachers and Vietnamese gangsters who runs a Thai restaurant containing, in the storage area, ready to be butchered and consumed exotic animals.

    There's also no reason for this film to be overly sentimental at the end as there are no character development to begin with so why should we care how Tony Jaa feels about what happened to his elephant? There's no spoilers in this review but don't expect to be shocked or blown away. It's all laid out for you so even if you don't speak Thai or Mandarin, you'll understand what the movie is about anyway.

    It's probably better if you don't read the subtitles, it makes it less embarrassing as the dialogues consist of Tony Jaa screaming "where's my elephant". Other than that, there's very little of it but the embarrassing English dubbing is what you'll have to sit through if you're going to watch this movie.

    Recommended for action junkies, martial art fans or anyone who's highly action-oriented. This movie is for you! You can enjoy all the bone crushing, head smashing and over-the-top action sequences without actually using your brain. Those expecting more, such as a less absurd plot and better acting, should look elsewhere as there are kung fu movies out there with a more highly cerebral story line as well as eye-popping action sequences.

    Tony Jaa might be as good as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li but after Ong Bak, action movies starring Tony Jaa walks familiar trends so I won't be looking forward to another one. The only good thing about this movie is the action, everything else is pretty much forgettable.
    Full Review »
  3. MattW.
    May 25, 2008
    Forget the plot. You don't watch a martial arts movie for the gripping storyline or subtly nuanced character acting. You watch it for the ass kickery. This movie has it in spades. The fights are both amazingly choreographed and enjoyably brutal. Tony Jaa is the master of the flying knee! Full Review »