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...most people call Tom-Yum-Goong "Where's my Goddamn Elephant!?" because every scene is him bursting into a room hoping to find his elephant. And if that fails, plan B is punching fucking everything.—Seanbaby, telling it like it is.
Tom-Yum-Goong (Thai: ต้มยำกุ้ง; IPA: [tôm jɑm kûŋ], distributed as Warrior King in the UK, as The Protector in the US, as Thai Dragon in Spain, and as Revenge of the Warrior in Germany) is a 2005 Thai martial arts film starring Tony Jaa. The film was directed by Prachya Pinkaew, who also directed Jaa's prior breakout film Ong Bak. As with Ong Bak, the fights were choreographed by Jaa and his mentor, Panna Rittikrai. In the United States, it was endorsed by Quentin Tarantino as "Quentin Tarantino Presents: The Protector".
In Bangkok, the young Kham was raised by his father in the jungle with elephants as members of their family. When his old elephant and the baby Kern are stolen by criminals, Kham finds that the animals were sent to Sidney. He travels to Australia, where he locates the baby elephant in a restaurant owned by the evil Madame Rose, the leader of an international Thai mafia. With the support of the efficient Thai sergeant Mark, who was involved in a conspiracy, Kham fights to rescue the animal from the mobsters.
This film contains examples of:
- Ancient Tradition: The elephants and their herders are bound by one. In ancient warfare, actual war elephants relied on four soldiers to guard their legs in battle.
- Battle Amongst the Flames: Kham battles a Capoeirista and a Wushu guy in a burning temple.
- Dance Battler: Lateef Crowder, a real life famous Capoeira practitioner.
- Also a One-Scene Wonder. Even though his fight scene was cut short due to an on-set injury, it is still one of the highlights of the movie.
- Dragon Lady: Madame Rose.
- Dynamic Entry: Oh hell yes.
- Exotic Entree: The point of the titular restaurant.
- Gender Bender: The actress playing Madame Rose is transgendered, although her character is not.
- She was in the original version, but that was edited out of the American release.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Kham recovers two elephant bones and uses them as weapons.
- An earlier scene crosses this with Dynamic Entry.
- Kick the Dog: Madame Rose showing off the bones of the elephant Por Yai she captured, in a bizarre cross between taxidermy and modern art. A literal Elephant in the Living Room!
- Heroic BSOD: Kham suffers one on seeing Por Yai's bones.
- Large Ham: Madame Rose.
- Now It's My Turn: When Kham is suffering his Heroic BSOD mentioned above, the mooks go about kicking the crap out of him, although he is too mortified to fight back. When one of the goons gets a knife out and stabs him, he finally snaps back and starts painfully dispatching them.
- The Oner: A pretty impressive one. The film features a four-minute one-shot elaborate fight sequence that reportedly took eight days to get right in which Tony Jaa fights his way up a building. Up multiple sets of stairs and through rooms, with occasional pans out and back again to show extras landing after being thrown over the railings. The only CGI in the whole sequence is a window breaking, and only because the real prop didn't work right and cheating it in with CGI was cheaper than rebuilding the entire set for another take.
- Pet the Dog: The entire purpose of the elephants in the movie.
- Punch-Punch-Punch Uh-Oh: When Kham first encounters the wrestler in the temple, his punches and kicks just make the guy growl louder.
- Production Posse: Not just Tony Jaa and the director, but Humlae and his sister from Ong Bak also appear.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The entire final sequence, where Kham destroys everyone.
- The Heavy: Nathan Jones as "huge scary guy."
- Whip It Good: Madame Rose.