01st Sep2014

‘Warrior King 2’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Tony Jaa, RZA, Petchtai Wongkamlao, JeeJa Yanin, Marrese Crump, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, Solatorn Lungluang | Written by Eakasit Thairatana | Directed by Prachya Pinkaew


I don’t watch as many fighting movies as I’d like so when I got the chance to review Warrior King 2 I was at first happy.  I’m a Tony Jaa fan, especially because of Ong-Bak so when I watched this I had that movie in my mind as where the bar would be set.  Maybe that was unfair or not, but Warrior King 2 is a movie that has the best of intentions, but struggles to see them through.

When Kham’s (Tony Jaa) elephant is stolen he goes on the hunt for the kidnappers, soon finding himself the number one suspect in the death of the man he believes to be to blame.  With not only the police on his trail but also the vengeful twin nieces of the kidnapper his mission is to not only save the elephant but also prove his innocence.

Everything started off good with Warrior King 2, everything seemed to be fitting in to place.  You have a pretty thin story to glue the fight scenes together, a bad guy in the form LC (RZA) who appears to have an unstoppable force of fighters at his call and of course you have the elephant.  There is a comic edge to the film and things feel just a bit crazy, which is all good.  The problem comes not only in the scenes where there is no fighting, but also in also the fight scenes themselves.

The problem with the fight scenes are the use of CGI and 3D effects to try and add a little something special to the choreography.  The ideas are good and at first some elements do have a feel of Kung Fu Hustle cartoon like style to them but the problem is that it starts to feel jarring between what is not real and where the real choreography takes over.  To be a success these elements have to look like they are part of the environment that the fight is taking place, but you can tell that this is not the case and because this is noticeable it takes away some of the impact.  The proof is shown even in the movie itself when we have a full fight without the enhancements that feels superior to the more spectacular ones.  I do like the idea of what was attempted but it just felt forced and not really needed, especially the 3D elements.

In the scenes used to push along the actual story the weakness was very apparent and at some points felt like they could be cut out or shortened just to raise the tempo of the film.  I don’t see this as a major factor against the movie though as films where fighting is the focus rarely go for a strong story, there was just a feeling that if it was cut down slightly it would have been an improvement to the end product.

All this being said though, Warrior King 2 is far from a total failure and is very watchable.  If I compared it to Ong-Bak I know which I would choose, and there were points that Warrior King 2 made me want to go back to that movie and visit it again, but that is down to the work of Tony Jaa himself.  I like the high-octane, high impact style of the movie he stars in and that is at show here, it’s just a shame that the attempt to push into the CGI style and 3D feels like it hinders what could have been a better movie.

I will revisit Warrior King 2 at some point and chances are now I know what to expect I’ll like it more, but it is not one of Tony Jaa’s best.  For some martial arts popcorn action though that is so silly it’s just plain nonsense Warrior King 2 does work.  Just a shame that the plot and overuse of CGI/3D lets it down.

*** 3/5

Warrior King 2 is available on DVD now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek



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