Bangkok Dangerous Review

Published 5 years ago by

Short version: Bangkok Dangerous, isn’t.

nicolas cage bangkok dangerous review Bangkok Dangerous Review
Screen Rant reviews Bangkok Dangerous

If Nicolas Cage doesn’t get a hit movie soon, he’s going to be doomed to doing only National Treasure sequels for the rest of his life. I knew I was in trouble when the showing I attended (11AM on a Saturday) consisted of me, and two other guys who walked in right before the movie started.

That’s it – 3 people.

In Bangkok Dangerous, Nicolas Cage plays an assassin who is the poster boy for the word “loner.” He travels the world and does his job with painstaking precision, but he’s just about had enough and is ready to do one last job and quit.

How do we know this?

Via one of the most dreaded movie gimmicks: The Voiceover.

The movie opened up and immediately went into a Cage-voiced narration. I bristled at this immediately as I am NOT a fan of this style of exposition. Usually I find it to be a “cheat” – a lazy way to bring us up to speed or tell us about a character instead of just showing us.

In any case, I figured “OK, fine, so they’re setting the movie up,”  so I let it go. The movie went on for a couple of minutes and then: more narration. I actually wrote in my notes “Oh man, the voiceover is continuing.” But if that were my only problem with the movie, it wouldn’t have been THAT bad.

The main issue I had with Bangkok Dangerous is that it was overly dramatic – melodramatic to be precise. It felt like the director was trying too hard, similar to an old Saturday Night Live skit where there are a couple of actors in a scene shouting “Acting!” “Very good!” “Thank You!” It was almost written like one of those old poorly written detective novels from the 1940s: “It was a dark a steamy night, the fog rolled in like a hooker schmoozing a ‘John’ on a neon-drenched street corner.”

It’s a shame, because there were things I liked about the film – Nicolas Cage’s highly detailed and methodical planning and execution (no pun) of his assassinations, the performance of the young Thai woman (Panward Hemmanee) who captured his heart, even that of Shahkrit Yamnarm, who plays at first the delivery boy and then the apprentice.

But much of the film was pretentious, ridiculous and predictable. There is one scene where Cage assassinates someone by drowning them in a pool in their fortified home complete with guards standing around the pool area. How does he do this? He lays in wait underwater, drags the guy under, holds him under long enough for the guy to drown and then swims away underwater to avoid detection.

So my question is: Is he an assassin or freaking Aquaman? How did he manage to hold his breath long enough to accomplish all this and outlast the other guy by far?

There was also a scene where the deaf girl performs on stage as a dancer in a musical number. I’m sorry, but to do that shouldn’t you actually be able to hear the music?

The movie almost started to get decent towards the end, but then they had to blow that as well with a ridiculous scene with Cage and a bad guy shooting at each other through a bunch of water jugs from about 10 feet away. Frankly I found that scene to be just plain stupid.

The interesting thing is that the movie was an American remake of a Thai film and it was written and directed by the same guys who did the original. Maybe the original just wasn’t that great either…

Our Rating:

2 out of 5
(Okay)

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TAGS: 2 star movies, bangkok dangerous

30 Comments

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  1. Vic ,I wouldnt touch this with a 10 foot pole.
    and Cage could also end up Doing Ghost Rider sequels for the rest of his life.

  2. Speed Racer got a higher rating !!!

    Hee,hee…..
    Bancock lame-Ο-rious

    8-) :-) :-) 8-)

  3. While I agree that it was a terrible movie I don’t share your hatred for Voice Overs. I actually a lot of times they can add a lot to a film or TV show.

  4. Wrong choice again, Mr. Cage?

    Much finished his career is, Yoda would remark.

    ZAR.

  5. When I first saw this advertise, I thought it was going to be straight to DVD.

    I’d put myself through Street Kings before this movie.

    Thanks for taking the blow for the team Vic.

    Rev

  6. Haven’t seen the movie – but just so know, there are blind dancers who dance to the vibrations and beats they feel…

  7. Crap in, crap out. I’ve been almost completely underwhelmed by Cage in recent offerings. Lord of War was his last true showcase of good acting, and this one – feh. Of the people I want to see philosophize about being the tortured-soul assassin – let’s just say that ass is in the word assassin, twice :)

  8. @soyouknow

    Thanks. Just seemed silly to me.

    Vic

  9. not a fan of Nicolas Cage at all anymore. I’m happy this movie was a bomb, because it deserved to be.

  10. The DEAF can dance to the rhythm of the music by feeling the vibrations.
    Thanks for the review. I’ll netflix it.

  11. saw it over the weekend and well i missed the shoot out at the end, fell asleep. the movie felt just really really over the top. it felt like i was watching a movir from the silent film era nick cage would just stare at the camera and not do anything. the blue filter didnt help at all it just gave the movie and the over all feel of the movie a drap boring and rather cold ,movie. i really didnt feel anything for any of the characters. no conection whats ever. for what its worth i would rather watch another ghost rider then this.

  12. So is Cage playing a deaf mute hit man like the original? If they would have added 5 minutes to the movie would they have been able to cut the Voiceover? The original wasn’t rated much better, you think they would have tweaked the script.

    Vic, you mention liking some of Cages’ performance, do you feel that Cage’s acting rose above the script? Perhaps this was just a payday for him..

    “How did he manage to hold his breath long enough to accomplish all this and outlast the other guy by far?”
    Maybe he pre-breathed pure oxygen for a couple of hours prior to. Of course, even record holders only last around 7-8 minutes.

    I can see the logic in using the filtering Daniel, cold would be the mood you would typically go for.

  13. Whoops, a correction 15 to 17 minutes for record holders. They’re limited to how long they are allowed to pre-breath pure O-2 though.

  14. @the old man

    Like I said, overly dramatic. Didn’t like the film or his performance.

    We’ll be discussing it tonight on /FilmCast Live at 7PM PST: http://slashfilm.com/live/

    Vic

  15. Yes, everybody here needs to hit that and it’s almost time..

  16. There was also a scene where the deaf girl performs on stage as a dancer in a musical number. I’m sorry, but to do that shouldn’t you actually be able to hear the music?
    I haven’t seen it, but she could have use the vibrations to gauge the beat. I can’t stay at most clubs for long because the bass vibrates my bones way too much. Feels like it’s going to break my solar plexus.

  17. I stand utterly corrected on the deaf girl dancing on stage thing.

    Vic

  18. Panward Hemmanee is Kong’s girlfriend, the one who works in the club(wow! i might add).

    Joe’s girlfriend is played by Charlie Young.

    i like nicholas cage but this film just didn’t build any suspense. his tip-over to the good side was just too quick.

  19. What gets me is your hatred for Voice over. I mean some great movies and televisions shows employ this. Think Shawshank Redemption.

  20. @Daniel

    Ok, fine, there are instances when it works, but overall I don’t like voiceovers used.

    Vic

  21. Think what should have been inside of SPIDER-MAN and its sequels a LOT more. Voiceover can be used to convey a TON successfully and just simply isn’t folks.

  22. I saw the original Thai version of this movie but I haven’t seen Nick Cage’s version so I really couldn’t make a comparison. But what I can say is, the original was fairly decent. It doesn’t have the explosive, high speed pace or bloody gruesomeness of a Hollywood action movie but it I liked it mainly because the story delved more on the emotional turmoil of the main protagonists (eg. the assassin). By the way, in the original version, the assassin was the one who was deaf.

    I wouldn’t want to say anything more because some of you here might want to see the original and I don’t want to end up writing a spoiler for you.

  23. I saw the orginal but now im kinda glad i read this so i dont waste my money on seeing this one

  24. Truly awful. A showcase for the weaker side of Asian cinema – too many ‘coincidences’ acting as plot devices, over-stylised shoot outs, arbitrary and shallow romances. Cage certainly put the bullet in what was already a half-dead duck. His hair was, perhaps, more plausible than his character.

  25. I got this on dvd, and i liked it for what it was, basically “american actor in Thailand action film” but what blew me was the ending..If you are a hitman and the thai cops show up, does that mean you kill your target by shooting yourself in the head as well thereby committing suicide??I just didn’t get that ending at all..it just didn’t hold up with the story as a whole and Nic Cage should’ve walked when he was told that was the ending of this film..He actually looked like he cared for the part he played especially when his character was training his protege’..
    Now on the special features, there is a different ending where he survives because his sidekick gets him out of there then taken to a local village and fixed up, which later its decided that he has to leave, then gives his goodbyes to his friend..
    That was better ending to me, made more sense…I was wondering which was the one in the theater version???

    • Thanks for your comment. My dvd player stopped recording when the car went through the gate. I like the 2nd alternative ending also.

  26. Another movie review that shows why movie critics are useless – anyone can criticize what they don’t understand. Sounds like Vic going in with a preconceived notion and already having written a bad review, assuming he even bothered to screen it. If he can’t even get the actors correct, then it’s tough to make the leap that you even watched the flick to begin with. This sounds more like a “review” based on what some other “critic” told you and not based on something you’ve screened.

    You can’t figure out how someone could slip into a pool, a deaf person can dance (aside from vibrations, she’s also not blind – there are visual cues that dancers use as well), and can’t even get the cast members correct. So why are we supposed to believe your “review” is accurate if you can’t figure out simple details? This isn’t rocket science, it’s a simple “Retiring Hitman with 1 more Job” formula movie.

    There was enough vegetation around the pool to hide in quietly and view the target before actually slipping into the pool, and it doesn’t take that much imagination to figure out other ways Cage could’ve gotten into the pool undetected. You assume that the guard was alive prior to him getting into the pool, or that he was in the pool before the target gets in. All we see is cage swimming toward him – he could’ve easily done a silent kill on the guard and slipped quietly into the pool. Or even if he was there, it was dark enough to hide in a corner or shadow of the pool on the surface.

    I agree with Victor’s post that the original ending sucked. I don’t know what it is about the current propensity of films to do European or Asian style crap endings where everyone dies, but here in the States it sucks. We don’t expect that, nor do we prefer or like it, yet it seems more and more directors are going that way. It didn’t surprise me in this film being directed by the Pan’s, but it still sucked. The alternate was much better, and I’m sure they included it for American audiences.

    What Vic and the rest of you naysayers fail to do here is judge the film based on Hong Kong cinema standards – Cage has always wanted to do more HK style flicks, having been a fan for most of his life. If you judge the movie based on HK standards, it’s a very good and well produced film. Cage is the only recognizable actor in the cast – it’s similar to Chow Yun Fat doing a movie here in America and being screened in Asia, where he’s the well-known actor but everyone else is an unknown.

    Charlie Yeung’s performance as Fon (Cage’s pharmacist girlfriend that betrays him) is fantastic considering she’s not deaf – she fooled me and I’ve been around enough deaf people who use sign language. All of the fight sequences are well done, and none of the actors used in the movie are amateurs of any type – most of the key actors are well-known Asian stars.

    Actually screen a movie before writing a “review”. If you actually DID screen this, then I suggest that maybe you should find another line of work or go back to school, because your analysis of the film’s elements isn’t even close to the mark. Critics are supposed to give an unbiased opinion, though these days anything “unbiased” from any media source is a lie or stretch at best. If you can’t be impartial, then do regular writing for any regular newspaper where bias is expected and the norm. People on the ‘net expect more.

  27. Raven

    What. Ever.

    I had NO preconceived notions – I didn’t know anything about this film before watching it. And I didn’t make up that only two other people were in the theater when I was there. And as to:

    “What Vic and the rest of you naysayers fail to do here is judge the film based on Hong Kong cinema standards”

    Um, hello? This was an AMERICAN film made for AMERICAN audiences – why the hell should anyone judge it by Hong Kong Cinema standards?

    And I’m not alone… Here:

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bangkok_dangerous/

    8 out of 86 reviewers thought it was any good at all.

    And even at IMDB.com, where “regular” people vote for movies, it only garnered a 5.4/10. Not much higher than what I gave it.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0814022/

    If you enjoyed it, good for you. But don’t go accusing me of writing reviews without having seen the film.

    Vic

  28. Hmmmmm I think what all of you are forgetting is that it’s a movie not real life , so he held his breath longer than usual lets face it if we ripped every movie apart all off them would be crap! all action movies the hero can run faster jump higher and kill people with a single shot now here is the worst part you guys are american well most of you and yet you don’t even notice that weapons have recoil so how in the hell can you dive sideways and hit a target the recoil will through you even further out lol only way to hit a target running is directly at them using a automatic and even that halfs your chances
    And who cares if the girl cant hear shes there for eye candy come on guys where you realy going oh theres no way she can dance to that music without hearing it or where you thinking damn hot body and tight ass I think the latter lol
    And it’s not strange how he changed sides lets face it how many of you have done totaly opp things in your life based on the fact that your sick of all the bad things so you go screw this its called free will and morals we all have them
    If you think this is a bad movie and you also say Rotten tomatoes gave it a low score then check out the rating on ( Where the wild things live ) now there is a movie that is so bad it is painfull to watch , I took my daughter to it and even she wanted to leave and yet they gave it a high rating , for what the costumes where not fantastic the story line sucked big time it was slow boring no imagination even the speaking was slowed down omg
    End line if you like action movies go to watch for ecapism if you like comedy go to laugh out load if you like thrillers go for thinking , if you like scifi go for the toys and gadgets and fantasy
    if you like horror go for the gore and sickness don’t go to base them on how joe blog up the road can sit straighter than them and look more sincer it’s all about fun
    a good movie can realy soly on the actors After all the actor reads the original script and thinks hhhhmmmm seems ok
    ill do it
    Now how many here realise that the script gets changed throughout the movie is that the actors fault for reading the original and thinking the movies ok or the fact the director wakes up and thinks ill change this scene based on todays feelings and once the scene is changed revised shot and then oh no not so good well cant afford to reshoot cost us $10,000 think about it no one knows how many scene get changed while shooting
    I’m guessing your the type of guys that say wow you suck because the speech you read was crap hhhhmmmmm perhapes the person writting the speech wasnt them
    just look how you run your president down when he did that bad speech wow problem is he doesnt write them other people do go figure
    just way to judgmental and self indulged I blame that on your culture

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