What I like most about the Tony Jaa "cycle" of Thai martial-arts movies is that they all affect this seemingly straight-faced kind of fairytale moral naivete amid all the head-kicking. Jaa - a simply incredible physical-specimen of a fight-star if certainly NOT the most charismatic figure the genre has ever seen - generally plays a Thai version of Lil' Abner: An old-fashioned, reflexively-patriotic, churchgoing country bumpkin who happens to be a superhuman ass-kicking machine and puts those skills to use against unscrupulous "big city folk" who make trouble for his rural compatriots... usually by disrespecting their religious customs or screwing with their resources. In "Ong Bak" he beats up about 1/3rd of Bangkok trying to find a stolen Buddha statue, while in "The Protector" he has to save a baby elephant from a crime syndicate that's running an illegal resturaunt that serves endangered animals to evil gourmets. Read that last one again.
Which might be why, while the rest of the web is losing it over the shot in the new trailer for "Ong Bak 2" where Jaa appears to be fighting a live crocodile; MY favorite part is the sublimely ridiculous shot of him standing on the rock while what looks like an army of elephants GENUFLECTS in front of him like he's fucking Babar or something:
Incidentally, this looks to be a period film; which leads me to believe that it doesn't actually have anything to do with the first one - which makes sense, since "Protector" was actually already called "Ong Bak 2" in some territories.