Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Protector

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some sexual content.
Profanity:Some strong language
Nudity/Sex:Contains nudity and disturbing sexual situations, with allusions to sexual slavery and prostitution
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Contains several deaths by combat and gunshot. Many of the gunshot deaths are startling and unexpected
Diversity Issues:Strong characters of diverse backgrounds, both good and bad guys, though only men are physically strong
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007

Martial arts actor Tony Jaa’s follow-up to his breakout performance, 2003’s Ong-bak, could be called Kill Bill with a conscience. The violence is so pervasive that viewers can’t help but become increasingly desensitized, and there’s a clear attention to style that results in some brilliant scenes dripping with flair and fashion. But where directors like Quentin Tarantino revel in the
gratuitousness of their films’ guts and gore, Prachya Pinkaew, director of The Protector, seems unwilling to have a bloody mess without a message.


The result, as can be guessed, is a rather conflicted film. Its personality lies somewhere between the story-book
sincerity of The NeverEnding Story and the slash-happy wantonness of Tarantino, resulting in an unclear message and an ambiguous intended
audience (children will identify with the bond between Kham and his elephant, but will likely be disturbed by the violent images and unexpected deaths).


The premise is both absurd and intricate — boiled down, the plot is that Kham (Jaa) follows the thieves who have murdered his father and also stolen his father’s elephant to Australia. With the exception of a few pastoral scenes and the
pivotal moment when the elephant-stealing takes place, most of the film is set in a dark underbelly of Australia, where meetings are held in backrooms and basements and life is corrupt, depraved, and cheap. With Kham’s arrival, this underbelly becomes the backdrop for
a battle between good and evil.


Kham, with his respect for the “old-ways” and his
appreciation of friendship and loyalty, kicks and screams his way
through countless enemies. He’s no less violent than his
counterparts, yet it’s made abundantly clear that he’s fighting
for “honorable” reasons — mainly fighting on behalf of those who
have been wronged and cannot fight for themselves — while the
enemies are unmistakably driven by greed, power, and selfishness.


But let’s face it, this film is not about the plot. It is about the fight scenes. Jaa’s signature is performing without tricks of any kind — no wires, no sped-up cameras, no special effects. He is his own special effect and his ability and speed is astonishing.


Parents should know that this film is exceptionally
violent, and that while some aspects of the plot notably its themes
of friendship, loyalty, and passion — are suitable for young
children, there are many elements of the film that are not.
Characters are killed in unexpected and brutal ways, and violence is
the first resort in conflict resolution. The physical combat
overshadows the relatively mild language, but nudity and sexual images with very
disturbing contexts are strong in some scenes.


Families who see this film should discuss what Kham is
fighting for, and how, although combat and injuring others is
portrayed as “cool,” there are ways of impressing others with
physical strength that make physical injury a last resort. For
daughters and sons interested in martial arts, Parents might suggest
forms that focus on self-defense, confidence and evasion of contact.
Families might also discuss the film’s villains, and talk about what
paths they could have chosen that would have been more virtuous and
rewarding.


Families who enjoy this film might also enjoy Ong-bak,
as well as Jet-Li and Jackie Chan films and the ultra-violent, Tarantino’s films,
notably Kill Bill and Kill Bill 2. For more light-hearted fare, families will enjoy
Stephen Chow’s films, especially Shaolin Soccer.



Previous Posts

"Let's Be Cops" Could Have Been Not Terrible
"Let's Be Cops" is a dumb movie that wants to be like "Lethal Weapon" or "The Other Guys," a comedy action film about buddies with badges. It's moderate box office returns are possibly in part because the unrest in Ferguson and news stories about police brutality made the timing bad for a cop comed

posted 11:35:46am Aug. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang -- Beyonce, Cher, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Jesse J
Two hit tunes from the hottest pop divas are both called "Bang Bang."  One is Beyoncé's sultry, glamorous cover of the Cher oldie in this teaser for her HBO special. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WebQaN7Lbs[/youtube] Ariana Grande, Jesse J, and Nicki Minaj have an unrelated song

posted 9:00:40am Aug. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Contest: Hey Arnold! The Complete Series
The football-headed Arnold and all his pals are here in this box set with all 99 adventures from the beloved Nickelodeon series. It's available exclusively at Walmart, but I have a copy to give away! Send

posted 12:20:14pm Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Dylan Brody on Comedy, Depression, and Robin Williams
Dylan Brody is a comedy writer and stand-up performer dubbed "brilliant" by Robin Williams.  It was Williams' tragic suicide that inspired Brody to write a moving essay about his own struggles wit

posted 8:06:10am Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Opera Flash Mob at a London Grocery Store
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/44UC6muN8KY" frameborder="0"] Sacla staged an impromptu Opera in the food aisles of a London grocery store. They planted five secret opera singers who were disguised as casual shoppers and store staff amongst the groceries who bro

posted 8:00:13am Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.