Bangkok Dangerous: Bangkok Retarded! more like it…

Worst chase sequence...ever!

Worst chase sequence...ever!

 

 

 

Bangkok Dangerous is a remake of The Pang Brothers first Hong Kong action film – a movie I have not seen. Since then they made a film called The Eye, a trite collage of other horror films in which a woman gets an eye replacement and can not only see ghosts, but can see into a future which she tries to stop from occurring. It was a retarded movie. Then I saw their first American film, The Messengers, a retarded horror film about a family moving out into the middle of absolutely nowhere to start a cotton farm or something to that effect…it was simply retarded.

The Pang Brothers are not good filmmakers. In any sense of the two words that comprise that single word, film and makers. They are not even mediocre filmmakers, so it was a little surprising to see some mediocre elements in their remade version of Bangkok Dangerous. Which in fact is a little derivative of a much better Hong Kong action film called Running Out of Time by the far more prolific and competent director Tsui Hark.

In Dangerous Nicholas Cage plays an emotionally exhausted and depressive hitman. He takes heroin to relieve the pain that murder and loneliness has left him with, maybe he should just stop killing people(?) And he’s on his final assignment (as most movie hitmen are), he follows a set of rules that he breaks (as most movie hitmen are prone to do), he takes on a student (like most movie hitmen) and he falls in love when he knows he shouldn’t (as most blah, blah, blah…)

The biggest flaw with the film is the end. The Pang Brothers obviously knew how they wanted it to finish and tried to build everything backwards. Not a bad way to do it, they just don’t know how. They want the lead to be charismatic, but in order for Cage to make the final moment at all logical he also has to play deeply depressed. The two ideas butt heads. It’s like watching water and oil trying to blend for two hours. So when we get to the final moment, there’s nothing honest, genuine or effective about it. It was a complete misstep to force this moment into the story and onto the audience.

Most parts of the film are so poorly executed that when you get to something interesting it’s really interesting. And you’re like, that was really cool. Until 4 seconds later you realize that that really cool moment made no sense what-so-ever. For instance: Cage has to chase one of his targets down in a set of boats that serisouly move about 15 miles per hour – top speed. It’s the most pathetic chase sequence ever put to film. But then Cage gets his man. Fires some bullets into him. The Pang Brothers cut under water and we see the bullets cut through the bottom of the boat and into the water in this nifty pattern, which blood then seeps through into the murk below. Cool, right? But wait, for that to happen it would have meant that Cage had fired his gun all over the place from 8 different angles – not a very precise hitman.

Then there’s another part in a park following a lovely moment between Cage and his love interest. A moment that’s genuinly charming. And it leads to a moment that’s really quite interesting and kind of scary. But once it’s done you wonder where these two guys suddenly came from and what they wanted. It’s never dealt with. The film keeps under cutting it’s own uniqueness with sheer stupidity. And the excessive use of camera movement and character movement is silly. Did I mention the bad guys stand dumbly in open windows like bad guys in video games waiting for you to shoot them…it’s ridiculous!!!

Nicholas Cage finds a little time to act amidst being lit in really cool ways with harsh light and shadows. You see the heartless hitman open up and you kind of start to care for him. The ending is that much worse because of it. Actually, now that I think of it, the end was completely derivative of a Japanese film by director Takeshi Kitano. A hitman movie called Sonatine, with a similar ending that’s far more poetic and potent.

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8 Responses to “Bangkok Dangerous: Bangkok Retarded! more like it…”

  1. john Says:

    While this wasn’t a great movie by any stretch, your review is far more terrible. For one, Cage’s character doesn’t take heroin, he used that to get rid of his middle men. It is very obvious. I don’t know how anyone could miss that. Maybe if you are going to take the time to poo-poo a movie you should pay attention.

  2. Phillip Says:

    I guess after the first 7 minutes of the film when I realized it was going to be a cliche piece of crap (from the obnoxious voice over to the lame “one final job” setup) I stopped paying attention to the details, and started paying more attention to my watch. I tend to miss details when the movie doesn’t care enough about itself to be in any way at all good. If a filmmaker wants a viewer to pay attention, then they have to do a little better job than this. I’d say it’s more the films fault than my own.

    Though, wouldn’t it have been that much more interesting if he had been taking heroin? Give the guy a flaw or two that he has to overcome? Some dramatic gravitas that explains his depression other than the fact that he’s lonely?

  3. Tommy Says:

    Sorry but just wanted to correct you about Running Out of Time being a Tsui Hark film. It is actually directed by Johnnie To.

  4. Phillip Says:

    Tommy! My God, you’re absolutely right! I can’t believe I’d make such a mistake! In fact, I meant to be talking about the incredible Johnnie To to begin with. In my late night writings Tsui Hark (while still a great director) somehow found it’s way into my head. But no one can beat Johnnie To when it comes to modern Hong Kong action! Hark is the master of martial arts extravaganzas!

  5. Don Says:

    He did take heroin–inferable from the way he was pale and sweating when he was without it.

    Movie sucked overall though.

  6. daniel Says:

    what kind of ending was that??? absolutely the worst ending I have ever seen in a movie, I cant believe those brothers are allowed to make movies after that ending. Now yes the movie might have been a little cliche, but Cage is great and the movie had its good parts but what the hell happened at the end.

  7. Patrik Johansen Says:

    came across this when i was lookin for some nfo about the movie, first of all he used the heroin to kill his “helpers” and make it look like they overdosed, second the guys he murdered when he was on the date with the def girl, that was a simple robbery that went wrong and putting a gun to a hitman’s head well, what do you expect… just wanted to share this, tought the movie was ok’ but the ending sucked… peace

  8. Georgeanna Pater Says:

    Thanks for this information, saved me a few hours of trawling google!

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