Monday, January 17, 2011

Bangkok Dangerous

I fought a strong urge to fast forward through the final act of "Bangkok Dangerous." I'm willing to sacrifice substance for style - especially for an action movie - but BK has little of either.

I can't compare it to the original, Thai version, from the same directing duo, the Brothers Pang. Nic Cage plays a lifelong hit man who decides to call it quits after one last job. It's predictable, and maybe that's why the filmmakers make some bizarre choices. Cage's conscience is stirred by a romantic but sterile relationship with a Thai deaf-mute store clerk. She's remarkably adept at reading lips - in English - but the date scenes are strangely one sided.

As far as action - it's rote, quiet and boring. An gondola shootout/chase on a crowded river is the only scene that has any color, tension or originality. Cage's character possesses the superhuman traits of an action hero (never getting hit by the thousands of bullets fired at him), but none of the flourish that an exotic title like "Bangkok Dangerous" promises.

The end is a total head-scratcher. For an assassin who begins the film explaining how to be cold, calculating and inhuman, there's no explanation why his sudden conscience became so strong.

It wasn't a strong start for my year of Nic Cage. May "Bangkok Dangerous" make everything else look stellar by comparison.

Bangkok Dangerous - 2008
1/10 Nics