Monday, September 08, 2008

Bangkok Dangerous

Bangkok Dangerous

 

  • Released Internationally on 22/08/08
  • Released in Malta by KRS on 10/09/08

 

In a nutshell

A freelance hitman decides it’s time to hang up his rifle and settle down, but he accepts one last assignment - four targets, in one city – so as to further improve his retirement package. His job is in Bangkok and as expected, it’s dangerous.

Who’s in it?

Nicolas Cage once again carries a whole film on his shoulders as the assassin in question. Cage’s production company bought the re-make rights to the 1999 version of the film, which was directed by Hong Kong directorial duo the Pang Brothers (who also gave us The Eye). They returned to direct this English-language remake, and their 1999 script was tinkered with by a certain Jason Richman.

Cover version, now with vocals

The original film featured a deaf-mute hitman in the main role, which I imagine provided an interesting slant on the much-overdone lone assassin theme. However, the powers that be decided that Cage would be wasted if he kept his mouth shut for 90 minutes, so we now have a hired gun in full command of all his senses, which leaves him with little novelty compared to the countless other similar films we’ve seen over the years. And most of them were on their supposedly-last assignment too.

Weird

To retain some of the original concept, a new subplot is crafted involving a deaf-mute female interest, which plays out rather awkwardly, and ends up adding very little to the story, besides being quite unconvincing. It’s nearly as weird as Cage’s haircut, which is once again altered conspicuously, presumably to distinguish his character from the numerous similar characters he’s played in the past.

Brand Thailand

If the mention of Thailand conjures up mental images of idyllic beaches for you, then this film won’t have you phoning your travel agent in a hurry. Hardly any scenes unfold in daylight, and apart from a brief prologue in Prague, the entire film immerses us in a dark and bleak Bangkok underworld. And this is no classy, Blade Runner-type noir environment. It’s just dank and depressing.

Worth it for the action?

Amongst the few redeeming features are a couple of decently-orchestrated action sequences, including a memorable chase through Bangkok’s floating market that owes much to Roger Moore and his Bond escapades in ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’. In the end, there’s very little here that’s original, and most of it is gloomy and forgettable.

 

Mark4

 

Trailer:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/lions_gate/bangkokdangerous/ (High-res QuickTime)

 

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