I don’t understand why someone would want to remake their own movie ten years after the original came out, especially when the original was a good film. But, apparently driven by this inexplicable desire are the Pang Brothers, the Chinese twins who directed “The Eye”, its sequels and “Who Is Running?” These guys have made award nominated films. So what’s with the remaking of a good film? Nicolas Cages’ production company bought the rights to the remake, that’s what.
That seems to be the thing to do these days; buy the rights to an Asian film and let some American production company fuck it up and release the lesser product to an unsuspecting U.S. audience, most of whom will never know the difference.
American productions have a tendency to remove all the interesting aspects of an Asian film and make them dull, lack-luster and less imaginative. This version of “Bangkok Dangerous is really no exception. But the real mystery is that the directors of the original made this movie and it’s STILL a lame version.
Nicolas Cage plays Joe, a hitman hired by a Thailand mob boss to kill four people. Joe hires Kong, a two-bit street hustler to be his go-between with the mob. Kong picks up the case with the hit information in it, and he picks that up from a cute dancer in a big Bangkok club.
Joe has, like, four rules he lives by that I won’t bore you with here. But, needless to say he ends up breaking those rules by kinda liking this Kong kid, so he decides to mentor him. Kong messes up by, of course, falling for the cute dancer in the club. Well, who wouldn’t fall for a cute Thai girl that wears lots of midriff revealing clothes?
Then Joe screws up by dating a deaf-mute Thai girl that works in a pharmacy. Huh? Well, in the original version of this film, the hitman character is the deaf-mute. Wow, doesn’t that sound WAY more interesting? Of course it does, because it IS! The Pang Brothers knew that they had to give Cage lines, so they thought making the girlfriend the deaf-mute would maintain some of the drama of the lack of communication blah, blah, blah. Marginally interesting, and really only in one scene, which at first comes off as funny. I think it was unintentional, though. Whatever.
And that really is the word for this movie: “Whatever”. The performances are bland, the action scenes are dark and kinda hard to see, not to mention out-numbered by the over-abundance of personal relationships I’m not all that interested in. Everything in this movie is excruciatingly average with the exception of two rather graphic moments of gore that stand out despite the dim lighting. One cut off arm and one guy gets blown in half by a grenade. The moments are completely out of place in the film. Again, whatever.
And would someone please tell Nicolas Cage to stop doing weird shit with his hair? It was all long, uncombed and over-dyed. He looked like a serial rapist/pedophile you see on the news. And they had him wearing these polo shirts with grey sweat pants all the time. For God’s sake, man, put on some decent clothes. Even hitmen should have a little pride in their appearance.
It’s a no-brainer: pass on this and just rent the original version of “Bangkok Dangerous”. It’ll be way better.
—Neil, your average movie-goer, hoping one day to see a GOOD movie again.