Bangkok Dangerous

2008

Action / Crime / Thriller

49
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 9%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 26%
IMDb Rating 5.4 10 51359

Synopsis


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May 03, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Cast

720p.BLU
702.16 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 0 / 13

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MisterWhiplash 5 / 10

definitely not as bad as its reputation... and yet still not very good

Bangkok Dangerous comes to viewers who approach it on DVD with a stigma. Matter of fact, it just kind of came and went when it played in theaters for a few weeks in September of 2008, around that time (i.e. Labor Day weekend) when few movies really do well with audiences or critics. It looks like it will be garbage just from the video cover: a half interested Nicolas Cage in damn-ridiculous hair (basically a Muppet called and wants its body back), and with a premise that sounds just like it is, a remake of an action movie from years back. But going into the movie my expectations were altered within some minutes. The initial thought was 'well, this will just be another hackneyed, predictable action movie in the Asian setting of Bangkok and stuck with what I call 'genericitis, which means a movie suffers from its perpetual sense of the usual... and in ways the movie is that.

It also surprised me with a few things, and it actually made me take the movie seriously as an actual piece of work as opposed to something to deride with teeth gnashed like Ghost Rider. Nicolas Cage is trying for something a little different here. At first, yes, it may look like he's bored, or wooden, or both in the character of "Joe" the hit-man who has his four rules and, naturally, breaks at least a few of them during the run time of the movie in Bangkok (i.e. be anonymous, don't make connections with people you don't know, and know when to quit), but this gives way to something else. He's trying for nuance and observation, of being subtle in a role that should call for it (albeit Joe isn't a terribly interesting person save for his detachment). While he's definitely no Alain Delon when it comes to playing cold killer who may have a couple of portions of humanity in him, I actually did find myself being drawn into the character just based on Cage's projection of this detachment as a means to hide himself away from people. And for good reason, since he's not a "people person" really.

That is until Joe meets 'Kong', who is a guy he hires for work but then takes on as his pupil (as the narration dutifully and unnecessarily tells us, because he sees something in Kong), and then also a romantic interest in a deaf-mute girl who works at a pharmacy. The latter scenes especially were touching because of it becoming a kind of silent movie, perhaps by default, when the two of them were together, and there's a rather sad, painful scene later on in the film between the two that is shockingly good and believable. I even liked the actors who played Kong and the girl, and how their characters unfolded in the story, limited as they might be... and yet, that old bastard cliché and convention kept coming back, more-so into the action scenes and set-pieces; whenever a chase happens in the film (save for one moment involving an arm dismemberment) you can zone out and not miss much. The editing is that kind of fast- kinetic style where you can barely take in a shot before it goes whizzing by. There's also some scenes that are ludicrous that are taken dead-serious, such as when Cage's Joe practically has gills and drowns a man underwater without any trouble.

It's really a matter of the plot just not giving anything much for the characters or actors to do. And yet there is a misconception that becomes apparent; this is much more about the characters than the plot, at least for a while, and when it sticks to that the Pang brothers sense of cinematic style, of the love of dirty Bangkok and elephants, works and is enjoyable. When the story comes back though, particularly in the last twenty minutes when Joe makes a fatal choice, it turns into something else - something frustratingly forgettable. For a short while there is hope, which is nice, until it reverts to what the expectation foretold. It's truly a mixed-bag, but far from the failure that was projected by the reviews and audience reaction... Oh, and of course, try not to look at Cage's hair. The bad jokes would never end. 5.5/10

Reviewed by Tweekums 7 / 10

Solid hit-man action

Protagonist Joe is a contract killer who believes in following four rules. These are: one, don't have a social life; two, always live somewhere quiet but not too quiet; three, don't meet your employers in person and eliminate the contacts and four, know when to get out of the business. Joe has decided that it is now time to get out; he just has one job left. This involves killing four individuals in Bangkok.

Once there he recruits local pickpocket, Kong, to act as his go-between and translator. He gives Kong very strict rules about not looking in the cases he gets from the contact. He obeys but after an attempted mugging he sees the contacts of one case… it looks as if Joe will kill him there and then but Kong asks him to teach him how to do his job; something Joe agrees to do. After one hit Joe is slightly injured so goes to a chemist to get some antiseptic and ends up going on a date with the deaf woman who works there. The fourth and final hit is different to the others; they involved criminals but this one is a popular local politician who Kong tells him is a very good man. To make matters worse his employers have decided that it is best to eliminate everybody involved in the hits.

This might not be a classic film but it is a solid enough example of the genre. Not surprisingly there are plenty of clichés; we have the lone hit-man who finally takes on an apprentice, there is romance and his employers finally turn against him… these are of course staples of the genre as is the fact that the people we see him kill are all really bad people; if the makers want the viewers to be sympathetic to a killer it is easy if his victims are worse and he grows a conscience when asked to kill a good man. The assassinations we are shown are all varied and quite exciting. There is some gore; most notably when the third victim loses an arm to a boat propeller and the severed limb is shown more than once. The story is told at a good pace and the romance doesn't detract from the story of a contract killer; in fact it is rather refreshing to see a deaf character in a romantic situation… although we have to accept that she can lip read English as she seems to understand him much of the time! The cast do a solid job; Nicolas Cage is a good lead and the rest of the cast impress to, most notably Shahkrit Yamnarm who plays Kong and Charlie Yeung who plays love interest Fon. It was refreshing to have a film aimed at a Western audience that only had one Westerner (Cage) in a main role. Overall I'd say that this was pretty enjoyable and would recommend it to fans of the genre, I can't comment on how it compares to the original Thai version of the film as I've not seen that.

Reviewed by OneEightNine Media 7 / 10

Good enough

This is a decent action flick. It reminds me of one of those foreign action films with a by- the-book kind of plot and limited effects, and there is nothing wrong with that. The way people talk about this movie you except it to be as bad as one of those direct-to-video cash grabs Steven Seigel has been wisely been pumping out. But unlike those types of flicks, this has good pacing, good acting and well done action. This film isn't going to win any awards but it is a good time killer. It is a six out ten deal but I'm rounding up to seven just to help out the average.

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