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The Protector

Just as Arnold Schwarzenegger passed the action-hero torch to the Rock in The Rundown, Muay Thai star Tony Jaa gets the nod here from a similarly qualified veteran making an unbilled cameo. Jaa has the skills for the job and shows them off in numerous fight scenes; it's just a shame the movie he's in is barely acceptable in any other respect. The plot (if we may even call it that) sees Jaa traveling to Australia in order to bust a Sydney-based Thai crime syndicate whose leader (Jin Xing) kidnaps elephants in order to bedeck their skeletons with jewels and become one with their spirits — or something like that. Edited for the U.S. with atrocious partial dubbing and an incongruous new score by the RZA, the movie might be a waste if not for the four-minute, single-take restaurant fight scene and the glorious final sequence, which does for breaking bones what Kill Bill: Vol. 1 did for amputations. Best to wait for the DVD so you can skip directly to it.
 
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