The Bodyguard 2

For those like myself who were fans of “The Bodyguard” (2004), it has felt much too long a wait till its sequel finally made its way into the theaters. That it did today (March 8th). Though far from being a classic the first film was a fun, frenetic mash of impolite humor and over the top action with Mum Jokmok leading the way with his deliciously straight faced dead pan demeanor. Though he plays the sidekick in the Tony Jaa films, here he is the leading man and in the center of everything. “The Bodyguard 2” plays out much like the first one with humor and action mixing it up like two brash brawlers – but there is more of everything in this one – higher production standards with more action and more comedy. It admittedly doesn’t have anything as divine as Jokmok running naked through the streets of Bangkok, but it does have a car chase that pretty much demolishes the city and an amusing Tony Jaa action cameo that pokes fun at his “Where is my elephant?” line in “Tom Yum Goong”.

To my surprise though, Jokmok’s character in this one is not the same as in the previous film – so this is really a sequel in name only. Here he is Khamlao, a secret Thai anti-terrorist agent who has to keep his work from his wife (Janet Khiew – who co-starred so wonderfully with him in the musical comedy “Yas Yasothon”). So at home he is henpecked and conked over the head with a washpan by his wife for not being employed and not having enough sex with her. After a day of killing loads of bad guys and going undercover as a gay go-go dancer the poor guy just wants to sleep at night. His wife forces him to see a holy man who makes fun of Khamlao’s square face (a point of much humor in the film) and rubs his smelly feet all over him. Khamlao is almost relieved to get his next assignment – to infiltrate a record company and nail the top guys who are using the company as a front for a terrorist organization!

Naturally, he auditions to sing and in no time he becomes a huge pop star in pinks and yellows singing lyrics like “When I see another man’s wife, I am filled with glee. I want to redo my wife’s face”. Even so, he still has time to find the hidden arms hideout and comes face to face with a female ninja CIA agent (Jacqueline Apitananon) and about a hundred bad guys of all shapes and sizes. This sequence is barely over when he is on to the next even bigger action sequence that contains massive weaponry, samurai’s, cross-eyed gunslingers, a gun happy wife and a giant crane. It is all good fun in a very silly slapstick way. The audience was often roaring in laughter more than me and I felt like I was missing much of the wordplay that was clearly going on. There are hardly any dead moments in this film – only a very strange drunken seduction scene that falls very flat – and many lovely stupid ones.

One other connection to the first film is when one of the actors with a small wordless role starts a wonderful harangue against Jokmok during the closing credits and swears never to appear in one of his films again – he did something similar but much shorter in the first film. Also look for a cameo by the musical group Carabao and other Thai musicians. Both films have a similar genetic makeup to those B Hong Kong action comedy films from the 1980’s - full of great stunts and falls, chaotic action, tasteless humor and a satisfied audience.

My rating for this film: 7.0