March 24, 2008

Tom yum goong

This film, aka The Protector, just blew my mind. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it, but it's the only martial arts movie I know of that is based on the quest to recover two stolen elephants. It also sports a cut-less fight scene of four and a half minutes. Yep, a continuous shot. It's pretty remarkable.

It's also largely devoid of special effects. There's no magical running through the treetops here, no wirework ... or at least not much. There is elephant throwing, a transsexual villainess, and a whole roomful of broken arms. The film is not ironically self-aware (no Tarantino-esque "hey, look what I'm doing--I'm slumming! Look at me, I'm slumming! Hooray for me!"). And it's not a funny Jackie Chan flick either.

In fact, given the fact that it's about protecting elephants, I feel pretty damned green and smug for liking it. Because dammit, baby elephants are cute.

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