When a young Vietnamese-Australian thug botches a gangland assassination and runs into serious debt with his triad, his younger brother is forced to embark on a harrowing drug run from Vietnam to pay off the mob bosses.

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(story), (screenplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
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Alison Reid
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Tran
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Female Police Officer
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Father Holland
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Cop
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Prison Guard
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Truong
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Dahn
Kelly B. Jones ...
Saleswoman
Lawrence de Stefano ...
Australian Cop (as Lorenzo de Stefano)
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Detective Cavendish
Viktor Krav ...
Australian Police Officer
Greg Matt Garcia ...
Boss of Warehouse
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Storyline

When a young Vietnamese-Australian thug botches a gangland assassination and runs into serious debt with his triad, his younger brother is forced to embark on a harrowing drug run from Vietnam to pay off the mob bosses.

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Action | Drama

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2015 (Thailand)  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Heart in the right place but the acting, oh dear...
22 April 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It feels harsh to slam a film that is made with the best of intentions on a tight budget, but these are professional film-makers and they deserve not to be patronised. The story, about two Vietnamese refugee brothers who get tangled up in drug dealing, is moving and involving and the fact that it's based in fact makes it more so. But the execution leaves plenty to be desired.

First, to deal with what they get right. Bar a few establishing shots, the whole movie was shot in Bangkok, which stands in for Saigon, Sydney and Singapore. I guess people who know these cities very well might be able to see the joins but as far as I could see they pulled off the deception very well, conjuring up a Vietnamese brothel, an Australian orphanage and a Singapore jail very well: even the exterior scenes looked right.

The problem, though, was probably a by-product of the Bangkok location. Many of the Thai actors veer between woodenness and over-emoting, as if they're in one of the inexplicably popular TV soaps. The reactions of Hao and Ling to the court verdict are particularly hammy. Moreover, the two actors playing these parts (Guy Ratchanont Suprakob and Krystal Vee) speak English with distinct US/international school accents despite their characters supposedly having been brought up in Australia. Some of the supporting performances are even worse, and not just the Thais pretending to be Vietnamese - the various actors playing Australian cops, priests, schoolboys, newsreaders etc seem to have been little more than random Aussies pulled out of a Bangkok beer bar. Jonathan Raggett as Dahn is a little better at communicating baffled innocence - and his Aussie accent is mostly passable - but he's also pretty stiff at times.

Despite their appearance at the top of the IMDb cast list, the relatively big-name actors aren't around for long enough to really make much of an impact. Amanda Donohoe is OK as the lawyer but hers is an underwritten role: Om Puri as a Singaporean judge has about five minutes of screen time, if that; and Vithaya Pansringarm (who was the best thing in Only God Forgives, on which director Larry Smith was the cinematographer) also doesn't have much to do in his gangster role.

Overall, not a complete failure, but it could have been a whole lot better with some stronger actors in the key roles.


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