Saturday, October 4, 2008

Review - Bangkok Dangerous

A hired hitman has four assassinations to complete while he is in Bangkok. The assassin has a few rules to follow in order to keep total anonymity so that his jobs go off without a hitch. On his most recent assingment, one by one he begins breaking his own rules which leads to a complete breakdown of the job and his rules.

Bangkok Dangerous is directed by the Pang brothers and unfortunately their second attempt at the same film comes across very flat with not much to keep the viewer enticed. In 1999 Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang wrote and directed Bangkok Dangerous for Film Bangkok, which was released in Asian cinemas. The second effort was a way to bring the story to America, but the remake while it did change up the story, it did not bring anything new and overall lost me about halfway through the newest version.

Nicolas Cage stars as Joe in Bangkok Dangerous and provides a very typical performance that we have grown accustom to in his action roles. Cage has another bad hairstyle in this film and uses once again only the lower register of his voice to try and make his character feel weathered. Instead it comes across and a bad rehash of Cage's other characters in a script that is lackluster to say the least. Cage does have the ability to carry a film, but here in Bangkok Dangerous he just feels like he is going through the motions.

The story itself of Bangkok Dangerous is not very desirable. We are introduced to a perfect assassin, who has yet to break a rule and always completes his jobs. Instantly however Joe, quickly begins breaking his rules that he just finished telling the viewer about. I really hate when the antagonist gives us all of these guidelines and then two minutes later begins breaking each of the guidelines. Just doesn't make sense. The first quarter of the film is actually strong and leads the viewer to believe we might be in for a decent film, but quickly the script and film spirals out of control leading up to a very anti-climatic ending.

The relationships that Joe forms with a local street kid and a local deaf/mute girl are weak at best and really do not giver the viewer enough insight to see why Joe so quickly breaks the rules he said he would never betray. The film tries to lead us to believe that he see's himself inside of the street kid named Kong, but it is so heavily contrived, I just couldn't buy it. The relationship with the deaf girl is Joe's connection into the human world, which he says he does not feel apart of, but I found it to be just annoying and really went nowhere in the grand scheme of the story.

The last half of the film is pretty dismal and really began to wear on me quickly. By the time you get to the third act of the film, all interest was lost. The film quickly throws one cliche after another at the viewer, which becomes so tedious that you are more than happy with the abrupt ending, mainly because the nightmare is over. The ending itself, simply put, is just a disaster! Overall, Bangkok Dangerous had potential, but it is spoiled on tacky cliches and a story that does exactly what the preface told us not to in the introduction. Skip it.