Bangkok Dangerous

"Bad"

Bangkok Dangerous Review


Oh brother, here we go again. A professional killer, years into his callous career, suddenly develops a conscience. He decides to take a shady street kid who has already proven to be naïve and unreliable under his wing. Vowing to end his life of secret crime, he commits to one more series of deadly assassinations. With each murder, he finds himself more and more lost. When the last hit goes pear-shaped, he must defend his honor while deciding whether it is better to be the highly paid hunter, or the common everyday prey. Oh yeah, and for an added maudlin effect, there's a deaf girl love interest who makes the hitman pine even harder for that elusive, simple life.

Why the Pang brothers (Danny and Oxide) wanted to remake their 1999 cult favorite Bangkok Dangerous into a mindless, droning Hollywood hack job has only one viable answer -- the interest of former Oscar winner/current paycheck casher Nicolas Cage to play the lead. As Joe, we are treated to Method mediocrity, the kind of performance that finds our systematic slayer following strict protocols and certain succinct rules as a substitute for depth or actual personal dimension.

The plot has Cage deciding to give up the game, analyzing the ways he can get out of his occupation once and for all. He decides to take one more job in the title city. There, he befriends street hustler Kong (Shahkrit Yamnarm), turning him into a quasi-protégé. The rest of the movie is a series of setups for uninteresting, if certainly stylized, pop gun payoffs. Eventually, Joe must decide between people and his personal needs while taking on the syndicate that hired him.

In a movie with many problems, the main flaw in Bangkok Dangerous is that Cage's Joe is never presented as a sympathetic or compelling figure. He's completely depressed and disillusioned from the moment we meet him -- and only gets worse as his situation starts to unravel. Instead of using said circumstances to force his final stand, we are given over to endless sequences of silent brooding. His interest in the local pharmacy clerk (Charlie Yeung) who can't hear seems specious, the twist in their relationship telegraphed by Cage's inherent ability to draw danger to himself. Even his interaction with Kong comes across as a pure narrative device. So does Joe's decision to swoop in and save the thug once the local mobsters decide he's expendable.

In fact, much of this movie feels like lessons badly learned from John Woo. While they avoid the auteur's overuse of slow motion and visual panache, the Pangs have their own set of irritating onscreen tendencies. They think that mannered music video moves and a total desaturation of color equals palpable post-modern noir. It merely inspires current viewing nausea. Even worse, they hamfist their handling of the film's few action sequences, a badly helmed boat chase never becoming suspenseful or thrilling. Even the final firefight set in a factory is so dark that a night vision lens would still render it dimly lit. About the only effective moment occurs when Joe's date with his deaf dream girl goes awry. There, the Pangs play on the syrupy situation to wring out a little forced emotion.

If it didn't feel like such a work of Hollywood hubris and if the original elements that made the first film so intriguing (it was Joe, not the girl, who could not hear) weren't swept aside for more anti-climatic, antiheroic stance, maybe we could support what Bangkok Dangerous was striving to accomplish. But everything here feels like the proverbial sound and fury, filled with typical Asian action film gravitas yet signifying nothing. A whole lot of nothing.

Stop praying. It'll be over soon.



Bangkok Dangerous

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th September 2008

Box Office USA: $15.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $42.5M

Budget: $45M

Distributed by: Lionsgate

Production compaines: Virtual Studios, Initial Entertainment Group, Saturn Films, International Production Company, Blue Star Pictures, Living Films, Bangkok Dangerous

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 9%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 86

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , , , Jason Shuman

Starring: as Joe, Shahkrit Yamnarm as Kong, Charlie Yeung as Fon, Panward Hemmanee as Aom, Nirattisai Kaljaruek as Surat, Dom Hetrakul as Aran, Tuck Napaskorn as Kong's Brother, Steve Baldocchi as Michigan, Chris Heebink as USC, James With as Chicago

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.