Tony Jaa is working hard to make his return as the next big martial arts star, after his career seemed to falter just after it got started. But with his new role in Furious 7 being one of the most talked about from early screenings, it seems Jaa may be quickly on the rise again.
For those wanting a more Jaa centric film though, your time is coming, as the first trailer for SPL 2, the sequel to SPL, also known as SPL: Killzone, has been unveiled. The 2005 martial arts film starred Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung, and remains one of my favorites of the last decade. The new film, coming at the ten year mark of the first film, seems like it could be a lot of fun, and a worthy successor to the original.
Soi Cheang is directing the film, and it seems he’s a perfect pairing for the Jaa and this series. It looks like SPL 2 is going to hit hard, much like the first did, without pulling any punches. The action looks intense and fun, with the soul of a man seemingly on the line, and his daughter’s life in the balance. This looks like the exact film Jaa needed to really get his name back out there, and really relaunching his career. He’s an incredibly talented Martial Artist, and it would be great to see him making a presence within the genre again.
My only complaint is the lack of Donnie Yen in the new film, but for those who have seen the first, it’s obvious why he wouldn’t be able to return. It does look like the new film is borrowing a lot of the same sort of beats from the first, making it familiar, and keeping the tone and feel the same, which is important. With the first SPL being so dark, it could have been easy to make SPL 2 lighter, and moving away from what they did, but I’m glad they didn’t. The dark and gritty feel of the first is part of what made it such a surprise in the first place.
SPL 2 opens in Hong Kong this summer, with no release date currently set for American audiences.
After busting a local gangster Hong in an undercover operation, hard-boiled cop Kit is captured by Hong’s men and wakes up in jail in Thailand facing a life sentence. While in police custody, Hong strikes a deal with Kit’s supervisor Wah to trade his freedom for Kit’s. Wah traces Kit to Thailand and manages to convince to new prison guard Chai to help save Kit because Kit is one of the few eligible bone marrow donors who can save Chai’s daughter, who’s suffering from leukemia. Hong breaks out of jail and flees to Thailand and order Kit’s executive. When Kit learns of Hong’s jailbreak, he’s determined to bring him to justice.