Why I’m taking credit for TOM YUM GOONG 2

vernpredictsThere’s alot of action movie news going around (I guess Jet Li’s not gonna be in EXPENDABLES 2, and they’re trying to get Donnie Yen?) but to me the big one is TOM YUM GOONG 2 (aka THE PROTECTOR 2). We already knew that Tony Jaa had returned from the monastery to do this sequel. We maybe were so fixated on his return to civilization that we didn’t properly acknowledge what good news it is that Jaa has patched things up with director Prachya Pinkaew (ONG-BAK, TOM YUM GOONG, CHOCOLATE, ELEPHANT WHITE) after their falling out over ONG-BAK 2: THE WEIRDENING.

Now comes word that TYG 2 will co-star Jija Yanin, that badass little asskicker who starred in CHOCOLATE and RAGING PHOENIX. (thanks to rewrite in the comments for tipping me off.)

tn_tyg2To show you what a small world we live in, note that one of the other stars is Marrese Crump, whose only previous feature film credit is in WRONG SIDE OF TOWN, directed by my old internet acquaintance “Demon Dave” DeFalco. I remember him from that because he had a good fight scene against Dave Batista. I guess he was also the RZA’s stunt double in THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, so that might be how he got this job.

Now, some of you might not give a shit about this next part, but I’m extremely excited to read that TYG 2 will be in 3D. Of course my first thought is “shot in 3D, right? Not fake 3D like CONAN?” Well, this photo from the Cannes Film Festival confirms that, at least according to the promo art, it’s being “shot in 3D” like you would hope. Like you would demand. Like you would request in your column in the June, 2011 issue of CLiNT Magazine.

If you didn’t, don’t worry – I did. In a column titled “Badass Cinema 101 …in 3D. And 2D in select magazines” I wrote about why I thought there was alot of unfulfilled potential for real action movies shot in 3D. I argued that if we found out that one of the classic Bruce Lee fights or Michelle Yeoh’s motorcycle jump from SUPERCOP or something like that had been shot with 3D cameras then we would want to see it immediately, because those are great, historic physical feats worthy of preserving in any way technology allows. I concluded:

So you see, TOM YUM GOONG 2 IN 3D was my idea, in my opinion. And I’m glad I could contribute. Your welcome, future generations.

CLiNT Magazine is available on fine British news stands, I believe

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34 Responses to “Why I’m taking credit for TOM YUM GOONG 2”

  1. Bravo Vern.

    And no, I actually do care about this news.

  2. I had not even heard that Jaa was back and making Tom Yum Goong 2. That is great news. Unfortunately, I can’t really see 3D so I will only have the pleasure of watching a new 2D Tony Jaa movie, but I’ll look around and see when you all are ducking the flying knees at your skulls.

  3. Unfortunately this news is offset by Bruce Willis joining GI Joe 2.

  4. Don’t worry about future generations, this generation thanks you, Vern. Good job. Since you’re so influential now, have you written about the demise of post-action, shaky-cam cinema in your articles? Can we expect to see some positive movement there soon?

  5. A sequel to the movie I’ve rewatched more than any other the last few years. . . Life is good. Thanks, rewrite & Vern.

    Well, you know what, I recommend to the PROTECTOR 2 crew that they go ahead and film 3+ hours worth of awesomeness now while they have possession of the 3D cameras and while Mr. Tony Jaa is not in Buddhist monastery mode or whatever, and they can make 2 movies out of it, and thus thereby heretofore hitherwhich I now proclaim that I deserve credit for TYG3.

    Your welcome.

  6. Well done Vern. Are you like Professor X, sat in Cerebro?

    Also good to hear Tony Jaa sounds like he got his marbles back together, more good work from the Vern Cerebro?

  7. Sorry for sounding like a tech nerd (I’m really not one), but as far as I know the Phantom is a high-speed digital camera used to shoot super slo-mo shots. I’ve been on quite a few sets where we shot with the Phantom and it’s awesome. Shoots up to 1000 frames a second.

    Last I heard, though, it doesn’t shoot 3D (could be wrong, but I’m too lazy to look it up). A buddy of mine who worked on Dredd said that they shot all the slo-mo (it’s a drug in the story that makes everything seem to slow down) scenes with the Phantom, but all those shots had to be converted to 3D in post (even though the rest of the movie was all shot in 3D, which apparently took forever, because you need a whole team of technicians just to swing a lens. They’d usually do a mere 2-3 setups a day. Very slow process).

    Anyhoo, I do know that those super slo-mo shots in Jackass 3D looked amazing, converted or not. Just don’t know if I really want to see a martial arts movie in 3D. What I love about good old-fashioned 2D cinematography is how they find ways to make a flat image look like there’s more depth to it. I love they way good DP’s like Lubezki or Deakins or Lesnie or Kaminski use forced perspective to fool your brain into thinking you’re in a three dimensional world.

    Then again, sometimes it nice when they just toss a lot of shit at my eyeballs like they did in Jackass or Drive Angry.

  8. Well I looked it up and found an interview Mr. Beaks did with Jeff Tremaine where Tremaine says:

    “We custom built a Phantom 3D camera, and that’s probably the most expensive 3D camera ever built. And the first thing we shot with it is “Wiener Baseball”, where Pontius is hitting ping-pong balls being pitched by Knoxville off his wiener, and Bam’s trying to catch them in his mouth.”

    But another article calls STEP UP 3D’s camera “World’s 1st Phantom 3D Rig.”

    I’m not sure what they’re using for TYG 2 (or CHOCOLATE 2, which they’re apparently doing also, and also in 3D).

  9. That’s brilliant. Leave it to the Jackass guys to pioneer cinematic technology while the guys making big budget comic book movies take the easy way out.

  10. haha @ knox
    so true

  11. JACKASS 3D remains the best use of the technology thus far. Jaa will have to punish a lot of nutsacs to top it.

  12. Have you not seen STEP UP 3D? Subjectively speaking, it is the best 3D movie to date. Objectively speaking, it is the prettiest. It’s kinda the same as a lot of kung fu movies and sports movies like the Mighty Ducks or whatever, except instead of violence or flying V formation drama, it has crazy awesome dancing by the most talented non-hitting athletes in the world.

    I say no to nutsacs with more than 2 filmatistic dimensions.

  13. “Have you not seen STEP UP 3D?”

    I’m gonna assume that’s some kind of zen riddle, like “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Otherwise, that question makes no sense to me.

  14. Whats everyones take on Donnie Yen’s best movie? I’m pretty sure I’ve only seen him in the two IP man’s and Legend of the Fist. IP Man was awesome and Legend of the Fist was pretty lame, other than the opening WW1 sequence and the final battle. He have any other “must-see” films I should check out?

  15. It’s been a long time since I saw it, but I remember Flash Point being a pretty good Donnie Yen film. If they cast him in Expendables 2, please for the love of god, can we do a little better this time around. I know it’s been said before, but it was criminal how bad the staging of the fight between Dolph and Jet Lee was.

  16. IRON MONKEY seems like the obvious choice, firstieCialisBoy, though opinions & recommendations, all excellent by the way, on this websight have varied regarding Donnie Yen. You could probably go down his whole IMDB filmography and enjoy all his shit on some level. I’m about 80% through it myself. I recently discovered in SPL / KILL ZONE that he’s the coolest motherfucker in the world. What kind of cop dresses like that? Actually, I just really wanted his hairdo in that one.

    My personal favorite is SHANGHAI KNIGHTS, just ahead of BLADE 2, but that’s because the movie is hilarious; Donnie doesn’t get that much playing time in either.

    The real question is: Is the world ready for the Donnie Yen overbite in 3D? Dude’s got some serious teeth.

  17. Though I was never blown away by Yen until IP MAN (at which point I had to reassess him entirely, as that movie contains some of the most thorough and precise ass-beatings in the history of cinema), I always wondered why he never went Hollywood in a bigger way. Jackie and Jet can barely talk in their American films, but Donnie is just as suave and self-assured in English as he is in Cantonese. Possibly more so. I still love Jet but I think Yen’s personality will be a better fit overall in EXP2.

  18. Thanks vern, its truly an honor to get a shoutout. Now I can be credited as the guy who confirmed the news to the guy who is credited for predicting the news!

    I wasn’t aware of the Jet Li replacement. It would’ve been nice though to have both of them and have a rematch from their old “Once upon a time in china” days, but we’ll always have HERO. What they need to do now is somehow have Chow Yun Fat in there too, then we’d have two hong kong cinema represenatives for the price of one.

    I’m guessing donnie yen’s reaction to the offer went a little something like this


    Also, i’m really curious to see how what other potential martial artists will be on board for Tom Yum Goong 2. The first one had alot of potential adversaries that eventually had movies of their own or were already starting to get established with other movies. Nathan Jones, Lateef Crowder, Dustin Nguyen, and John Foo would’ve lilkely never made my radar having not seen TYG. Maybe the same will be with Mareese. Heres hoping Adkins or Rafaelli somehow get in the mix, and maybe even Wu Jing. Better yet, it would be even more amazing if Yen, Chan or Li somehow came out at the end and we get a Batman Begins “i’ll look into it” tease for TY3. But if not, I guess they could always get more look a likes and somehow bump into them in an airport somewhere.

  19. Jareth Cutestory

    August 23rd, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I really like Yen when he is a small part of a larger film, like HERO or ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA 2.
    He brings class and dignity to anything I’ve seen him in.

    As far as his star vehicles go, I prefer the period stuff like IP MAN to the rogue cop stuff. His face is too nice to sell internal conflict all that well, and he doesn’t have Tony Leung’s ladykiller charm or expressiveness. SPL/KILLZONE is worth seeing for the brutal Yen/Hung smackdown. And in FLASHPOINT he beats a dude retarded.

  20. That’s true, Yen is a better actor then Jet Li and Jackie Chan but I think he killed is Hollywood career when he played in that Highlander movie. I remember seeing it in a movie theater and going : Donnie, why?

  21. I tend to like Yen’s modern stuff more…and especially his more recent stuff where’s he’s really experimenting, like Sha Po Lang and Flashpoint. But his craziest movie may be the first he directed called Legend of the Wolf. Opinions may vary and a lot of people hate it, but the action in that movie is cranked up to 11. It’s like anime kung fu in live action, but without wires and special effects. In a sense it’s liek the movies made today where it’s a jumble of stuff happening, but ti’s always clear what’s going on even when one whole sequence is just close ups of trees for the most part, and you see fists missing their targets and ripping chunks out of them. Crazy movie, I love it…but it’s not any tradional kung fu.

  22. For pure, undiluted – and vintage – Donnie, IN THE LINE OF FIRE 4 and TIGER CAGE 2 are absolute musts.

    Of his newer stuff, I really dug DRAGON TIGER GATE – although it’s almost like a kung fu film in reverse, with the best fight scene happening ten minutes into the movie – and both SPL/KILL ZONE and FLASH POINT are pretty awesome, as Jareth states above.

    Some will argue with me here, but BODYGUARDS & ASSASSINS is one to avoid; just an awful, sentimental, overblown waste of a stellar cast. And Donnie refusing to shave his head and opt for wearing a baldcap works only if you’ve ever found yourself wondering what Roger The Alien from American Dad! would look like in a kung fu flick.

    Also, give EMPRESS AND HER WARRIORS a WIDE fuckin’ berth.

    I’ll be intrigued to see if Donnie does indeed join the Expendables cast.

  23. I meant IN THE LINE OF DUTY 4.

    Shit, I’ve got Clint on the brain.

  24. IN THE LINE OF DUTY 4 is, indeed, the tits. I’ll always take a modern-day kung fu flick over period chopsocky, and this one is just balls to the wall.

  25. I am partial to NEW DRAGON GATE INN. Especially the ending fight, no matter how wacky it gets at the end.

  26. Thanks for all the suggestions fellas.Didn’t realize he was in Iron Monkey, been a few years since I’ve watched it, but I used to show it to friends all the time and will now be re-watching it. Also really dug hero back when it came out.Little known fact: Tarantino actually PRESENTED that movie over here for us in the ole’ U S of A. Psyche! That’s a well known fact, ding-dongs!

    Unfortunately most of the suggestions aren’t available on Netflix so I guess I’ll have to head to the mall to talk to the dude who sells kung fu dvd’s 3 for twenty off some cart in the middle of the food court area.

    Lastly, might I suggest you martial arts fans check out a movie called The Good The Bad and The Weird. Its bona-fide good times. A nice mish mash of western influences and martial arts badassery.(avaialable on netflix instant streaming)

  27. This is pretty much the greatest news since the invention of good news.

  28. Wouldn’t really call The Good, The Bad, The Weird a martial arts movie. It does have Koreans in it, though. If you wanna see a fun Korean modern day martial arts movie, check out City of Violence.

  29. Otto von Bismarck

    August 24th, 2011 at 7:33 am

    There’s two other notable names in the cast – Dan Chupong ( star of “Dynamite Warrior” and “Born to Fight”, and the crow fighter on the Ong Bak sequels), and Patrick Tang (the male lead in “Raging Phoenix”, and a bad guy in “Bangkok Adrenaline”). Chupong in particular is excellent.

    It seems like the studio is putting all their action stars into one movie – I can’t wait to see what they come up with!

  30. Holy balls, that cast makes this film sound like The Avengers of bad-ass fight flicks.

  31. Thanks for fighting the good fight Vern. Ever since I saw the first film shot in the new 3D technology I have been hoping that someone would shoot a stunt heavy action epic like POLICE STORY using the format. This could be awesome!

  32. Jareth Cutestory

    August 27th, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Lost among the TOM YUM GOONG 2 (aka SERIOUSLY, WHERE’S MY ELEPHANT) and CHOCOLATE 2 announcements, there’s an action/comedy film coming out starring Jija and Dirty Balls called JAKKALAN.


    The subtitles in the trailer make very little sense to me. Also, there are more wacky sound effects than should be legally permissible. But it still looks kind of awesome to me.

  33. English title for that is apparently THIS GIRL IS BADASS.

  34. Tony Jaa back from his sabbatical and throwing elbows?
    Donnie Yen in Expendables 2?
    (Bursts into Tears)

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