Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death.
A story about a troubled boy growing up in England, set in 1983. He comes across a few skinheads on his way home from school, after a fight. They become his new best friends even like family. Based on experiences of director Shane Meadows.
Bangkok. Ten years ago Julian killed a man and went on the run. Now he manages a Thai boxing club as a front for a drugs operation. Respected in the criminal underworld, deep inside, he feels empty. When Julian's brother murders an underage prostitute, the police call on retired cop Chang - the Angel of Vengeance. Chang allows the father to kill his daughter's murderer, then 'restores order' by chopping off the man's right hand. Julian's mother Crystal - the head of a powerful criminal organization - arrives in Bangkok to collect her son's body. She dispatches Julian to find his killers and 'raise hell'. Written by
Production hit a snag when it became necessary to pay off the local authorities in order to get permission and protection to film at night, including firing gunshots, for certain scenes. Refn and star Ryan Gosling were invited to a film festival in Thailand. After some negotiating and taxes, they received 90,000 USD in cash for showing up. Refn recounts in his commentary how, having never seen that amount in cash in his entire life, he enjoyed counting it out himself. It was enough to bribe the necessary authorities, and production continued. See more »
When Julian fought Chang, Chang kicked Julian in the left leg several times leaving Julian unable to walk normally, but later on Julian is seen stumbling on his right leg rather than the left. See more »
Depending on what you look for in a film you could either consider to be an artwork or a let down
I went into the movie theater looking forward to this film. Expecting something along the likes of Drive, which was a great cinematic experience in my opinion, I got to see something which had similarities in execution and style but turned out to be a very different movie from the latter.
Without saying too much I will say that this will be one of the weirdest movie experiences you will ever get. It has the same type of artwork that made Drive such a great accomplishment but it takes it a little further. This is done to a point where you can either choose to relate to its ruthlessness and brutality ( it is an extremely violent film) or discard it for it. The setting and scenes are played out beautifully but the pacing feels off as it builds up really slow and never gains pace throughout the showing. At times you feel like you are witnessing scenes from a wonderfully shot masterpiece, yet the next moment it can be as if these scenes add up to nothing substantial. To me it feels as if the director has been overly ambitious and at particular moments he managed to make it work but overall it doesn't hit home. It tries so hard to be memorable and refreshing that at times it turns into a parody of itself.
This being said I still enjoyed it for what it was and though the brutality and violence won't be for anyone to be appreciated ( it gets very raunchy)it's an experience I'm glad I did not miss out on. Some other people in the theater where less forgiving ( no pun intended) and left it running for the exit. It's not as accessible as you would want it to be, and it's not as great as it feels it could have been but if you want to watch a film you won't be able to wrap your head around entirely for the next few days I'd say: give it a shot. You might find it worth your while. I certainly found it to be so. A decent piece of artwork or a let down? Depending on what you look for in a film you can only consider it to be one or the other.
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