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…