Home > Lifestyle > Entertainment > Movies
Tuesday October 22, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday October 22, 2013 MYT 8:22:37 AM
by seto kit yan
Back for more: In Tom Yum Goong 2, which stars Thai action stars Tony Jaa (left) and Jeeja Yanin, director Prachya Pinkaew upped the action quotient.
Lots of mind-boggling action in the Thai flick.
Touted as Thailand’s first 3D action movie, Tom Yum Goong 2 took two whole years to make and has since become the biggest budget Thai movie ever made – twice as much as the original actioner Tom Yum Goong (2005).
The storyline for this hard-hitting sequel centres on its protagonist Kham, the last in the long line of guards for the King of Thailand’s war elephants, who returns to his village to live in peace after a harrowing quest to retrieve the elephants. But for a martial arts expert like Kham, played by 37-year-old Thai action maestro Tony Jaa, peace is wishful thinking.
Making the sequel into a 3D movie was also a personal preference for Prachya Pinkaew (who also directed Tom Yun Goong) who professed a liking for 3D action. “The movie is an action film, so this is a good opportunity to do it. Action films and 3D go well together, I think,” he said in an e-mail interview.
Tom Yum Goong 2 is also much hyped as it is the first time two top action stars from Thailand – Jeeja Yanin and Jaa – work in a film together.
“I believe a lot of people are looking forward to the fight scenes between Tony Jaa and Jeeja. In this movie, Jeeja plays Ping-Ping, the daughter of a powerful Chinese businessman involved in the elephant industry. She has studied in China and has a twin sister named Sue-Sue. Ping-Ping is an acupuncturist, whose expertise is bare-handed boxing mixed with acupuncture needles,” said Prachya.
In a separate e-mail interview, the 29-year-old Jeeja shared that Tom Yum Goong 2 features more than just Muay Thai.
“The martial arts in this movie will have more universal elements, more variety. And Ping-Ping’s weapon will be needles, which is totally different than in any other movie. The needles are used for acupuncture treatment for her little sister’s epilepsy, as well as flying poison needles, like a secret weapon. Her little sister also has her own weapons, such as a whip and a poison needle ring,” said Jeeja.
One of the challenges for Jeeja was synchronising with her co-star in the fight sequences. “There are many varieties of action scenes in this movie, from two-on-two fighting to group fights. Like in the twins’ action scenes, we needed to find our rhythm. We had to run, jump, and move together.”
As for the plot for the sequel, Prachya revealed that the story picks up where the first movie left off. “Ekkasit Thairat, the screenwriter of 13: Game Of Death, wrote the screenplay for this movie. We have established that the main character Kham is the successor of the King’s guard. The sequel begins after he saved the elephant.”
In Tom Yum Goong, there was a breathtaking four-minute-long take of a fight scene with stuntmen atop a four-storey building. To create a new sensation for the sequel, Prachya filmed another non-stop action sequence. “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.”
>>Tom Yum Goong 2 will be kicking its way into cinemas nationwide on Thursday. Grab a copy of The Star today to find out how you can win tickets to watch the movie.
Tags / Keywords:
Entertainment, Entertainment, Tom Yum Goong 2, Tony Jaa, Jeeja Yanin, Thai action movie
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)