Bangkok Dangerous

Bangkok Dangerous is the second film in recent memory to come from Thailand, which apparently now has a burgeoning film industry. However, the quality of this industry, based on this film and The Iron Ladies is scraping the bottom. Instead of making any worthwhile work, it is trolling stupid comedy and standard action movies. Oxide Pang (Who is Running?) and brother Danny co-wrote and co-directed this effort, which is nothing more than a bunch of action sequences haphazardly wrapped around a movie. The action sequences are spectacular, if not a little derivate, but the story is not worth much at all.

Saying that Bangkok Dangerous has a story at all is a stretch. Sure, there are characters, but nothing worthwhile happens until well into the movie. Kong (Pawalit Mongkolpisit) is a deaf and dumb assassin. Still, he manages to do pretty well. His friend Joe (Pisek Intrakanchit) is also an assassin, who recently broke off a relationship with Aom (Patharawin Timkul, Jan Dara). Kong has a woman in his life also. Fon (Premsinee Ratanasopha) works in a drug store. She does not know what Kong does, but loves him anyway. Kong begins to feel the pull between a normal life with Fon and his current life on the edge of society. Needless to say, his current life gets seriously in the way. If it didn't there would be no movie.

It is a pretty standard story of the tug between love and money, but the roles are too one-dimensional to make any difference. The Aom and Kong characters are there mainly to drive forward the plot. The relationship between Fon and Kong is superficial. Fon is much too naive. Kong seems marvelously well-adjusted at some points and seriously daft at others. But the story is not the primary reason to watch Bangkok Dangerous. It is the action. The Pang brothers have a history in commercials and in Hong Kong. Bangkok Dangerous is a good melding of Hong Kong action with Hollywood action violence.

The Pangs have a way with the camera. In what amounts to little more than an exercise in techniques. They know how to fluidly move the camera around the action. They can zoom in and zoom out quickly, and can vary the focus of the picture. Heck, they can even mix in pounding techno music to the action sequences. When showing the world from Kong's perspective, everything suddenly goes quiet, which is pretty effective. The level of violence and bloodshed is pretty high, but any fans of Hong Kong cinema won't be shocked. Kong, Joe, and everybody else look suitably grungy, and Bangkok is a ramshackle collection of close-knit quarters. But a movie needs to be more than a collection of action sequences, something that Bangkok Dangerous does not achieve.

Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 45 minutes, Thai with English subtitles, Not Rated but contains violence, language, and some nudity, and easy R.

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