Thursday, November 7, 2013

High hopes as Tom-Yum-Goong 2 heads to AFM

Tom-Yum-Goong 2, which at last count had total domestic earnings of 49.4 million Thai baht (about US$1.57 million), is at the American Film Market, which opened yesterday.

Film Business Asia has a look at the movie's chances there.

Meanwhile, Tom-Yum-Goong 2 (ต้มยำกุ้ง 2, a.k.a. The Protector 2) has fallen to No. 3 at the Thai box office.

It was in first place during its October 24-27 opening weekend, but didn't have much competition as it was really the only live-action wide release at the time.

It's now behind the No. 1 Hashima Project (ฮาชิมะ โปรเจกต์), a ghost thriller from Thai studio M-Thirtynine, and the Hollywood sci-fi Ender's Game.

At the same time it opened in Thailand, Tom-Yum-Goong 2 also made its bow in Malaysia, where it was No. 3 with $438,786.

In Thailand, promotional efforts hit a snag because of star Tony Jaa's ongoing feud with his studio, Sahamongkol Film International and its boss Somsak "Sia Jiang" Techaratanaprasert. Just as the movie was released, Jaa jetted off to the U.S. to take part in production for Fast and Furious 7. He's also been busy teaching Vin Diesel Muay Thai, over Sia Jiang's objections.

So while the Thai press wasn't too keen on reporting about a movie without the main star on hand, the Malaysian press was happy to make do with the movie's director, Prachya Pinkaew. He talked to The Star about the movie's stand-out action scene. You know which one.

“The fighting scene is between Tony Jaa and the motorcycle gang, which lasts for 14.50 minutes. It took us eight months to film this scene.

“Unlike the previous movie, we didn’t shoot any scenes abroad. We used Bangkok as the backdrop as we wanted to present a side of Bangkok that a lot of people have never seen before.

“Sometimes it’s very difficult, like shooting from a helicopter. Helicopter shoots may be normal for other countries, but it’s very difficult in Thailand. Not only that, we filmed the action scene with 300 moving motorbikes.”

But, hey, look! The New Straits Times scored an e-mail interview with Jaa himself. He talks about being injured during that big motorcycle chase:

"There were some injuries from action scenes because we worked with metals and objects coming at you at a high speed, which we could neither predict nor control. There was a scene where I had to push away a speeding bike and I injured my legs in the process. The villain who rode the bike was slashed on the neck by a sheet of metal. It was a terrifying experience.

Critical consensus is mixed, with reviews ranging from "probably Tony Jaa's worst movie thus far" in Malaysia to "just enough punches to satisfy action fans" from the Bangkok Post's Kong Rithdee.

Channel News Asia chips in with an unenthusiastic review as the movie opens in Singapore this week.

For more on how Tom-Yum-Goong 2 has been doing, check out my old Rotten Tomatoes pal Senh Duong at Movies With Butter.


  1. i won't listen to those kinds of reviews.
    only people who like martial arts are the ones i will listen to their review.

    so Jaa blasted off just as soon as the movie was released:/

  2. This movie is taking a really long time for an international release this is the downside of living in the western side of the world. You get late releases, I don't see why they cant replace the shitty western action movies with eastern martial arts/action releases since those are way better than todays Hollywood stuff, and worth the money.
    We probably won't see an international release or atleast a dvdrip of this online for a really long time till mid 2014...


Please, no questions or comments about where to download movies or subtitle files.

Please read the FAQ about Thai films on DVD before asking about where to find a Thai movie on DVD with English subtitles.

Make your comments pertinent to the post you are commenting on. For off-topic comments, general observations or news tips, consider sending an e-mail to me at wisekwai [ a t ] g m a i l [d o t ] c o m.

All comments are moderated. Spam comments will be deleted.