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THE BODYGUARD 2 (Thailand)


Genre: Action/Comedy
Director: Petthai Wongkhamlao
Starring: Petthai Wongkhamlao, Janet Keaw, Jacquelyn Apitananon
Rating: NC-16
Year Made: 2007




Languages: Thai
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Running Time: 1 hr 33 mins
Format: VCD

Distributor: Innoform Media




Khamlao is a special agent working at the Secret Service Agency of the People’s Republic of Nongwaileum. He is sent to Thailand after the agency came to know of a group of terrorists using a record label as a guise for its evil agenda, and is devising a plot to undermine the People’s Republic of Nongwaileum.
Khamlao has to keep his special agent identity secret from everyone, even his own wife Keaw. Keaw suspects that Khamlao has ulterior motives for traveling to Thailand.

Khamlao introduces himself as luk thung singer from the north and becomes an overnight sensation selling over 100 million copies of his debut CD. Khamlao comes into contact with Paula, an undercover detective assigned to the same mission as he is.


The Bodyguard 2 is actually a prequel to The Bodyguard (not the Kevin Costner-Whitney Houston movie), written, directed by and starring one of Thailand's top comedians, Petchtai Wongkamiao, who keeps a very straight face as Captain Khamiao Maknim, special agent of the anti-terrorism task force of Nongwaileum. On the outside, he's the man with the plan, but back home, he's the dutiful, henpecked husband to his loud-mouthed wife Khiew (Janet Khiew), who doesn't know that her husband is a secret agent.

In his latest mission, he's given the task of infiltrating a record label, which of course is a front for crime, being in the business of high end weaponry trafficking. So it's a fish out of water situation for our Captain as he gets trained on his showmanship in a bid to become a top selling artiste, thus giving him longevity to snoop around his employer's office, with help from CIA agent Paula (Jacqueline Apitananaon).

Before you cast that doubtful eye on this production, I'd have to admit that scenes and set pieces are rather disjointed, with sub plots introduced with some potential, before being totally forgotten just to proceed to the next gag. In fact, it's rather outrageous from the get-go, with a 20 minute action sequence that had packed in kung fu, gun battles, car chases involving motorcycles, a monster truck, s sports car and a mini. This sequence alone will probably justify the high price tag in the making of the movie, but unfortunately doesn't translate to very high production values,

The movie doesn't take itself too seriously, and hams it up with numerous references from Wongkamiao's earlier movies and plenty of sight and slapstick humour, some bordering on the bawdy, but never really revealing anything naughty. I thought that this effort, as with some of the other similar action movies coming out of Thailand currently, puts them on par with the action productions out of Hong Kong in the late 70s and 80s - where cops and robbers usually junk their weapons to trade punches, and this happen very frequently in warehouses stocked full of empty boxes for villainous foot-soldiers to crash into. And there's always the complimentary Caucasian beefcake to challenge our hero, except for this one, the outcome's hilarious on the cheap for the most parts.

And for those who miss the hard-hitting action of Tony Jaa's, you can catch a glimpse of the Thai action hero in a cameo here, with direct references (for laughs though) at his earlier film Tom Yum Goong. And while you're keeping your eyes peeled for his appearance, you can count the number of familiar spoofs / references, my favourite of which is one deliberately mimicking John Woo's signature style involving certain birds, which has to be seen to be believed Wongkamiao actually opted for that quirky slant, ha!

Don't expect a highly polished action movie, but do look forward to something that will tickle your funny bone, if you're in the mood for something fluffy and light to pass the time on rainy weekends.


Review by Stefan Shih


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This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm


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