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BANGKOK DANGEROUS, 2008
Movie Reviews!

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BANGKOK DANGEROUS MOVIE POSTER
BANGKOK DANGEROUS
Movie Review

Directed by The Pang Brothers
Starring Nicolas Cage, Shahkrit Yamnarm
Review by Eli Manning



SYNOPSIS:

A hitman who's in Bangkok to pull off a series of jobs falls for a local woman and bonds with his errand boy.

REVIEW:

The first thing you notice in Bangkok Dangerous is that the director/writer team, The Pang Brothers, sure know how to make a film. There's a lot of talent in this tale of a professional hitman settling into Bangkok, Thailand for a bit to do a few 'jobs'. In the last two years, I can't remember a live-action movie that's come of out Hollywood with such little dialogue too. In fact, over half of this film is silent as the visuals and brilliant sound design mainly tell us the story. They put in a voiceover as star Nicolas Cage narrates us through the rules of the hitman game, but that's not really needed and it seems a tad forced.

The whole narration add on in Hollywood films has always been a head scratcher for me. Especially in a movie like this where we are obviously following the journey of the main character, feeling what he's feeling etc.. So why add an element that takes you out of the present time setting? Is it because they think the audience is stupid? All we have to do is go to the film WALL-E, which is basically a silent movie and audience weren't stupid enough to follow that film!

Nic Cage again tries to play a tough guy with an edge, but this is just not his grammar. He's a goofy guy with a definite dark side and when those types of role come up, he is a master at playing them. In Bangkok Dangerous the director/writer's decided to use Cage's personality to their advantage while Cage attempts

to play the cool guy. This is the only flaw in the film really as his character is uneven at times. At times I was watching Joe the Hitman while other times I was watching Nicolas Cage the wannabe cool guy.

There are four rules of being a hitman and Bangkok Dangerous is a movie that tells us those rules right away so the lead character can break them throughout the film. The rules need to be broken because a human being can't really be human if they abide by them. A great hitman absolutely, but a person who has feelings and emotions, no.

And this is the tale of Bangkok Dangerous. Man goes to a new place and forms feelings for the first time in ages. Why he all of a sudden forms feelings falls to a chance encounter. The art of a hitman we learn is always in the eyes. You can tell a lot about someone when you look at them in the eyes, especially how to kill someone. But when Joe the hitman looks into the eyes of a common person, he is smitten and this is when the movie really begins. He goes from one end of the spectrum to the other.

This is really a character study film with a little action mixed in. The action scenes are well shot and original and are definitely the highlights of this film. So good in fact that I haven't been more impressed with a film in the Action genre than this film. I just wished there was more of it and less character study.

I am a reviewer who mainly likes dramatic movies too, but Bangkok Dangerous just gets a little hooky when it tries to get us to emotionally feel for its characters. A bit of it is Cage's performance but it's also his new protege Kong, who is a character we get to observe a lot but never really know. Kong has the largest character arc in the film too, but it's muddled because we aren't convinced with his journey. There is also a love interest. A deaf woman Cage meets at the local pharmacy. This relationship is also interesting since neither character has any way to communicate with each other. A terrific concept that was never really explored at all and the way they handled it is by showing us montages. This is the key relationship in the movie that needed to be presented more and was really just the 3rd subplot.

Overall, I loved and didn't love Bangkok Dangerous. An interesting made film that goes wrong in its essence.

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