User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
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  1. MortS.
    Sep 24, 2006
    10
    No other fight scene compares to his limb breaking rampage.
  2. RandomBoy
    Sep 6, 2006
    4
    Some of the fighting is pretty good, even if extremly repetitive. The main character seems to have a fetish for limb-breaking finishing moves and he uses them on 95% of his enemies. Everything else about the movie is utter crapt though, it's like watching porn, but with fighting instead of sex.
  3. b.dunce
    Sep 8, 2006
    10
    Considering that a good 25 or more minutes was sliced off of this movie for the American release, yes it is choppy. It's still one of the mind-blowing action movies you will EVER see.
  4. SeanP.
    Feb 8, 2007
    9
    Absolutely fantastic! Muay thai martial arts are demonstrated here in such fluency that even the hard-hitting nature of the art could almost pass as wushu. Jaa is fantastic throughout the film, and has obviously learnt from his mediocre acting in Ong Bak. Although the plot is limited, people watch films like this for the martial arts involved, and in that specific area this film excels. Absolutely fantastic! Muay thai martial arts are demonstrated here in such fluency that even the hard-hitting nature of the art could almost pass as wushu. Jaa is fantastic throughout the film, and has obviously learnt from his mediocre acting in Ong Bak. Although the plot is limited, people watch films like this for the martial arts involved, and in that specific area this film excels. An absolute masterpiece! Expand
  5. DannyH.
    Sep 27, 2006
    8
    I don't think I've ever cringed that much in a martial arts movie. Tony Jaa is such an amazing and ruthless fighter, half of this movie is spent clutching your seat and going "ooohhhhh, that would hurt SO much!" Plot and acting is practically nonexistent, but since when do you ever watch a martial arts movie for the storyline?
  6. EdT.
    Sep 8, 2006
    9
    In terms of action, this movie picks up where Ong Bak left off: It's all about one man thoroughly beating the heck out of anyone who stands in the way of his (rather silly) goal. Yes, the acting is poor. Yes, the story is weak. I don't really care. Tony Jaa movies are the perfect antidote to all those stuffy martial arts "epics" that have become so common that you can't In terms of action, this movie picks up where Ong Bak left off: It's all about one man thoroughly beating the heck out of anyone who stands in the way of his (rather silly) goal. Yes, the acting is poor. Yes, the story is weak. I don't really care. Tony Jaa movies are the perfect antidote to all those stuffy martial arts "epics" that have become so common that you can't even tell them apart anymore. Forget all that wirework. Forget all those breathless confessions of love and longing. Forget those unending scenes of leaves changing color. Tony Jaa is here to dislocate and/or shatter as many bones as possible until he finds his damn elephant! Expand
  7. Riren
    Feb 26, 2007
    8
    Tony Jaa returns to the American screen in another wildly entertaining martial arts flick. Like a Kung Fu movie, this Muay Thai movie doesn't ask for much thought as to its plot. It's emotions are worn on its sleeve as it runs towards the next fight scene. And like Ong Bak, the fight scenes are some of the most eyepopping you could ask for.
  8. MattW.
    May 25, 2008
    10
    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!
  9. RandalG.
    Sep 13, 2006
    9
    I've seen every Bruce Lee movie, and most of Jackie Chan's and Jet Li's movies. There is very little swordplay in The Protector so it can't be compared to the Kill Bill movies or the Seven Samurai. Finally, if you consider a movie like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to be a martial arts movie, then your definition of kung fu movie might match mine: mostly realistic I've seen every Bruce Lee movie, and most of Jackie Chan's and Jet Li's movies. There is very little swordplay in The Protector so it can't be compared to the Kill Bill movies or the Seven Samurai. Finally, if you consider a movie like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to be a martial arts movie, then your definition of kung fu movie might match mine: mostly realistic hand-to-hand combat. By that definition I consider The Protector to be the best kung fu movie ever made - by far! It is not repetitive at all. Tony Jaa incapacitates more than a hundred foes in more than a hundred ways. And his acrobatics are as good if not better than Chan's. Sure, the editing is nowhere near as good as some of the martial arts blockbusters out there, but that just means the movie is stripped down to the fast paced action scenes. If you like watching the UFC or cagefighting on TV or if you like any of the Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan movies then you have to see The Protector. Expand
  10. ColinB.
    Sep 21, 2006
    7
    A disappointing followup to ONG BAK. The story line was terrible and the cinemaphotography was bluish and washed out. As one person already stated, the fight scenes were repetative. That said, it was still a pleasure to see some very unique martial art moves from a genre that is practically dead. My favorite part was the main character's fight with martial artists of different A disappointing followup to ONG BAK. The story line was terrible and the cinemaphotography was bluish and washed out. As one person already stated, the fight scenes were repetative. That said, it was still a pleasure to see some very unique martial art moves from a genre that is practically dead. My favorite part was the main character's fight with martial artists of different styles. Bruce Lee still did it best in his last film, but Tony Jaa comes close in giving us a refreshing twist with his art. If you're hungry for a martial arts film, then by all means see this one. If you're picky for a great martial arts movie, then pass this one up. Expand
  11. JorgeC.
    Sep 24, 2006
    10
    Best.Movie.Ever. For anyone who loves martial arts movies, martial arts, or just plain ass-kickery in general... this movie is a must see.
  12. Jul 1, 2013
    5
    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
    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.
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Metascore
52

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. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    60
    Boasting the same refreshing avoidance of CGI and wire work as "Warrior," slickly made production (largely by the same team) is more consciously aimed at the international market, with its Australian setting and multilingual dialogue.
  3. Reviewed by: Luke Y. Thompson
    50
    Jaa has the skills for the job, and shows them off in numerous fight scenes; it's just a shame that the movie he's in is barely acceptable in any other respect.