In the world of the appropriately-named Only God Forgives, all sins eventually find you out. Years ago, Julian committed a heinous crime and was forced to flee to Bangkok. Now, he runs a Thai boxing studio that doubles as a front for his family's drug-smuggling racket. When Julian's brother kills a prostitute, he inadvertently begins a cycle of bloody violence that will bring Julian face-to-face with Chang, a local cop known as "The Angel of Vengeance."
Only God Forgives reunites director Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson) and star Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines) after they struck success with 2011's Drive. The movie's other headliners are Kristin Scott Thomas (Bel Ami) and Vithaya Pansringarm (The Hangover Part II) as Julian's manipulative criminal mother and Chang, respectively.
This first, full-length trailer confirms the teaser's hints that Only God Forgives will bring the same kind of brutal, evocatively-shot violence, and tense contemplation that proved so effective in Drive. Soaked in neon and heavily stylized, Only God Forgives looks to feature some beautiful cinematography as it explores the dark underbelly of Bangkok.
Given the subject matter and genre, comparisons between Only God Forgives and Drive are all but impossible. It's still too early to figure out whether Only God Forgives will be a rehash of Drive's themes, but this preview at least indicates that Gosling will be playing a much different character than the nameless Driver of Refn's previous film. The film looks great so far, but we'll have to wait until it debuts at Cannes to see whether it can live up to the legacy established by its principals.
Only God Forgives will likely kick down the doors of US cinemas in the autumn of 2013.