Kill Zone 2
review by Bobby Blakey
There are few martial arts action stars that have had the impact as Tony Jaa. His acrobatic and intense martial arts action harkens back to the days of Jackie Chan but amped up times 10. Now Well Go USA is bringing his latest film Kill Zone 2 aka SPL 2: A Time for Consequences to Blu-ray and DVD.
Kill Zone 2 follows Hong Kong police officer Kit who goes undercover in order to catch Mr. Hung, the mastermind behind a crime syndicate. When the operation goes sour, and the undercover cops are betrayed, Kit disappears without a trace. Uncle Wah defies the order from his commanding officer and tracks Kit to a prison in Thailand. Thai Police officer Chai becomes a prison guard in order to raise money for his daughter who has leukemia. He's assigned to keep an eye on Kit. Even though Chai and Kit are in opposing positions and they don't speak a common language, Kit turns out to be a suitable bone marrow donor who can save Chai's daughter. While Chai is determined to keep Kit alive, the warden Ko wants him dead to ensure the smooth operation of the prison, which is the front for Mr Hung's organ trafficking business. The trailers for this film have been insane and with Jaa’s addition it came as no surprise. To be honest the first time I watched this film I was a bit let down. It felt like it dragged and the action just felt few and far between. After sitting with it for a while I started thinking that there was something here I missed and decided to revisit and I am glad I did.
There is a really good story here that works and offers up some twists and turns that satisfies. There are some pacing issues and edits that are a bit off, but the biggest issue with the film is that it isn’t Ong Bak.
When I decided to revisit the film it was mostly because I started thinking about some of his other films and realized that every time Jaa hits the screen fans revert back to the awesome insanity of the Ong Bak series and that is just not fair. This is a different kind of action film and once you realize that there is a lot to enjoy here. The cast all do a great job and while Jaa is billed as the lead he shares the duty with Jing Wu who is the other half of the story. They work great together and both offer up some great action in their own right. Jin Zhang offers up a great villain who brings a proper swagger to his role as well as able to unleash his own brand of action.
While this film packs a lot of story and drama to the mix there is plenty of action to enjoy Jaa, Wu and Zhang are all excellent in their respective fight sequences especially the final sequence in the movie that is awesome and as chaotic as you would hope for. While the majority for the action is great there are a few fumbles as a whole. There is a big group prison fight sequence that could have been all kinds of awesome, but it is so chaotic and jumbled that you never get to fully enjoy any one moment, but that is kind of part of the scene but might lose some. Jaa is reigned in a bit, but it fits more with his character and still allows him to do what he does in the best way possible. I’m a firm believer in giving films a second chance and here I am glad I did because I had a completely different experience in round two due to my own perceived notions of what to expect which is something you just should never do with any film.
For those concerned with this being a sequel just ignore that as you do not have to see the original film that starred Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung. This is a standalone film with a new story and a couple of connecting characters but nothing that will leave you confused. In addition to the film this release features a trailer, deleted scenes, and a making of featurette that takes you behind the making of the film. Step behind bars and join the fight when Kill Zone 2 comes to Blu-ray and DVD on July 19th from Well Go USA.