Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bangkok Dangerous DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Nic Cage Shoot ‘Em Up Out on DVD

When you pair Nicolas Cage with the Pang Brothers, something’s gotta give. While the Oscar-winning actor is ordinarily associated with high-quality Hollywood productions, the Thailand-based twins are generally known as purveyors of micro-budget B-movies lacking in plausibility and coherency. Unfortunately, Oxide and Danny apparently prevailed when it came to this slapdash remake of their first feature-length collaboration from 1999.
The original, a tawdry tale of violence and redemption, revolved around a deaf mute assassin-for-hire inspired to atone for his sins after falling head-over-heels for a compassionate cashier. This new, if not improved, version flips the script slightly, changing the protagonist’s nationality from Thai to American. Another switcheroo involves afflicting the love interest with the aforementioned disabilities, thus enabling Cage’s Joe to be the one that shows empathy. Oh, he also narrates the play-by-play in an annoyingly blasé monotone.
At the point of departure we find Joe en route to Bangkok for a deadly assignment that is supposed to be that proverbial last big payday before retirement. Via voiceover, the cocky mercenary offers a quick primer on his profession: “(1) Don’t ask questions; (2) There is no right and wrong; (3) Don’t take an interest in people outside of work; and (4) Know when to get out and walk away rich.”
Upon arriving in Thailand, however, he immediately proceeds to ignore all of his own advice. For example, the supposedly singularly-focused cold-blooded murderer has his head turned by the cute pharmacy clerk (Charlie Yeung) who bandages his wounded arm after a fierce gun battle.
The two subsequently start dating, and in the relatively-sane private moments they share, Joe discovers his sensitive side. Will the kindlier-friendlier hit man muster up the courage to finish the job, collect his fee and disappear into the sunset with the girl? Be prepared to suffer through two hours of one-dimensional characters delivering cliché-ridden lines laced with fortune cookie logic if you care to find out.
How do you borrow elements of The Transporter, The Karate Kid and Mission Impossible and end up with an unwatchable mess like this?

Fair (1 star)
Rated R for violence, profanity and sexuality.
In English and Thai with subtitles.
Running time: 100 minutes
Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment

To see a trailer of Bangkok Dangerous, visit:

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