Bangkok Dangerous (2008) Poster

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7/10
What's The Deal With Nicholas Cage?
ccthemovieman-114 January 2009
Is it my imagination or has Nicholas Cage been involved in a lot of B-type films the past decade? I pretty much enjoyed this movie, don't get me wrong - but it's still not what you'd call a classy movie, not the kind of film he'd be involved with years ago. Now, he seems to prefer playing total wackos in stories that don't have a lot of credibility.

Here, he's a Joe The Hit-man in Thailand, who falls for Miss Wholesome, and then turns "Rambo" by killing 50 people while en route to saving his protégé. The only thing not a cliché was the ending; that was a bit of a shocker.

Shahkrit Yamnarm costars as "Kong," a man who becomes "Joe's" student. He's the one Joe saves. Charlie Yeung, a winsome Hong Kong actress who is almost 35 years of age but could pass for 21, plays Joe's love interest. Get this: she's a pharmacist, beautiful and wholesome as they come, and a deaf-mute! Yet, sleazy Joe sweeps her off her feet in no time!

Man, you have to really enjoy the stylish visuals and sound (which ARE very good), the pretty good.....and leave it at that, to enjoy this movie. It's better to just watch it with your brain on hold and enjoy it, because if you start thinking about it, the film gets dumb and dumber.
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7/10
If you understand a bit of Asian philosophy, but in the same time like brain numbing action movies, this is for you
siderite24 November 2008
It wasn't bad. Nicholas Cage looked really fat and tired, not his usually fit and tired self, and he played the cold assassin part with ease. But when it went into the 'shy in love assassination teacher that cares about his student and doesn't kill the good guys' part, it kind of felt rushed. I am sure you can see the problem here.

Basically it is a film about a man that rediscovers his soul... then dies from it. Not a fresh thing in Asian movies, but something that the (re)makers of this film bet the Americans will find cool. I, myself, understood the idea, but saw no reason in remaking the Thai movie that had the same idea and add almost nothing to it other than production costs.

Bottom line: sad-good-assassin story, with no twist. If you like stuff like that, watch it. Better than Hell Rider, anyway.
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7/10
Is it predictable ? - YES. But it is also very entertaining.
fczenit27 October 2008
So what if I can predict what is going to happens, I can do it with most films nowadays - its not about that. Its about making a movie that entertains, and IMHO they have achieved that.

OK, some of the shooting sequences were a bit dodgy and the narration descended into the cliché on occasions but overall I rate this film better then most action films I have seen in recent months.

Cage is solid in his role and so is his side kick. The elephant did a good job too but his role was only in 2 scenes :) So all in all 7 is my vote and it could have been better if not for a few lines of monologue and a couple of silly shootouts across water canisters.

Watch it and make your own mind.
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3/10
Lame, boring and obvious
azgalarneau9 September 2008
I don't care how interesting the scenery is if you know the entire story arc in the first 45 seconds - and you haven't even watched the trailer. Nic Cage looks like a corpse and his acting isn't much better. The relationship that the film puts forward is as believable as a love affair between a squirrel and a stuffed alligator. Plus of course the story has Cage break every rule he says is important - but never offer a plausible motivation. Maybe the original was really something, but this version is dead on arrival and should be saved for the second DVD in a video night, when you want everyone to leave your house and let you get some sleep.
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7/10
Reasonably good movie
michelhovenkamp10 September 2008
First of all, for those of you seeking an incredibly deep and intriguing story line, this movie is not for you! This is a movie for people who just want to see some good solid action and good entertainment.

When i first saw the grade on IMDb i was a bit skeptical, but after seeing the movie i was quite satisfied with it.

Sure, it is quite predictable and the acting is not ground breaking. But the lasting action was quite entertaining for me.

The biggest flaw of this movie is probably the story line. Some parts of the story are rather rushed without telling background information. Sometimes the story feels a bit rushed with more focus on the action than the actual reason for an event to happen. Some parts of the movie feel a bit overdone and unnecessary making the main character look quite dumb...

I find this movie worth a 6,4 (i did not want to give it a 6 because i do find it deserves higher than a 6, this explains the 7 star rating)
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8/10
It is not incredibly bad as the critics or the public would like you to think.
hu6754 March 2009
A mysterious professional assassin, who called himself Joe (Oscar-Winner:Nicolas Cage) goes to Bangkok to do his last job. His mission is to kill four strangers by killing one at the time. Joe becomes tired of his so-called profession, he teaches a curious young man (Shankrit Yamhnam) to trained as a killer. Meanwhile, Joe falls in love with a lovely young woman (Charlie Yeung), who's deaf-mute. But the people, who hired Joe tries to double-cross him by trying to find his identity and kill him, once Joe's last hit is too risky to handle. Joe takes his skills and decide to use it by the people, who hired him for the work.

Directed by the Pang Brothers (The Messengers) made an lively action-thriller with some good scenes and excellent locations. Cage is fine in this movie but Yamhnam and Yeung have the better moments in the film. Actually the Pang Brothers remade their own film with a bigger budget, American lead actor and changing a few plot points from the original 1999 version. Plenty of film critics hated this remake but isn't as bad as what they say about it.

The DVD Special Edition is from the two-disc set. Disc one has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) transfer and an good Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The DVD includes two featurettes, an interesting alternative ending and the original theatrical trailer. Disc two is the digital copy of the movie. "Bangkok Dangerous" isn't a great flick but it's fairly fast paced with some stylishly photography action sequences and a few good moments. Fans of the filmmakers work and fans of action movies will enjoy it. (*** 1/2 out of *****).
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5/10
Shockingly mundane & ordinary
Coventry14 September 2008
"Bangkok Dangerous" isn't a bad film – or at least not as bad as most of the reviews around here claim – but it is an astonishingly ordinary film that features literally every cliché of "hired assassin" concept you can possibly think of. There's the lonely and super-skilled hit man who intents to pull of one last job before quitting the business for good, he teaches his errand boy to become his successor, finds love and happiness with a girl for the first time and – last but not least – refuses to make the final hit because his target is a noble individual. We know this is the prototypic pitch of every thriller in its type, yet we still pay the full price of a cinema ticket because the film stars Nicolas Cage and we'll probably see a lot of spectacular action and virulent gunfire. "Bangkok Dangerous" is a big-budgeted remake of a Thai thriller released in 1999, which was also directed by the Pang brothers. In the original, the hit man was a deaf-mute but since Nicolas Cage is far too expensive to have him shut up the whole time, they made his love interest a deaf-mute instead. Unfortunately, this takes away the one truly ingenious aspect about the original. What remains is a painfully predictable and bland thriller that can't even be saved by the handful of impressively staged action sequences. Still I wouldn't call "Bangkok Dangerous" a complete waste of time, though, as there are a couple of stylish and worthwhile – albeit less obvious – elements working in its favor. Nic Cage gives a good performance as the unworldly killer and particularly the Pang Bros' depiction of the city of Bangkok is deeply enchanting. Especially at night it looks like a melancholic and depressing place infested with prostitution, petty crimes and perverted tourists. The moody soundtrack emphasizes the atmosphere of melancholy even more. This is definitely not a film that'll increase the tourist business there. Otherwise there's very little to say about "Bangkok Dangerous". If you're a fan of Nicolas Cage and rough action, you won't regret giving this one a look. Just realize you'll have completely forgotten about it the next day.
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5/10
definitely not as bad as its reputation... and yet still not very good
Quinoa19845 June 2010
Bangkok Dangerous comes to viewers who approach it on DVD with a stigma. Matter of fact, it just kind of came and went when it played in theaters for a few weeks in September of 2008, around that time (i.e. Labor Day weekend) when few movies really do well with audiences or critics. It looks like it will be garbage just from the video cover: a half interested Nicolas Cage in damn-ridiculous hair (basically a Muppet called and wants its body back), and with a premise that sounds just like it is, a remake of an action movie from years back. But going into the movie my expectations were altered within some minutes. The initial thought was 'well, this will just be another hackneyed, predictable action movie in the Asian setting of Bangkok and stuck with what I call 'genericitis, which means a movie suffers from its perpetual sense of the usual... and in ways the movie is that.

It also surprised me with a few things, and it actually made me take the movie seriously as an actual piece of work as opposed to something to deride with teeth gnashed like Ghost Rider. Nicolas Cage is trying for something a little different here. At first, yes, it may look like he's bored, or wooden, or both in the character of "Joe" the hit-man who has his four rules and, naturally, breaks at least a few of them during the run time of the movie in Bangkok (i.e. be anonymous, don't make connections with people you don't know, and know when to quit), but this gives way to something else. He's trying for nuance and observation, of being subtle in a role that should call for it (albeit Joe isn't a terribly interesting person save for his detachment). While he's definitely no Alain Delon when it comes to playing cold killer who may have a couple of portions of humanity in him, I actually did find myself being drawn into the character just based on Cage's projection of this detachment as a means to hide himself away from people. And for good reason, since he's not a "people person" really.

That is until Joe meets 'Kong', who is a guy he hires for work but then takes on as his pupil (as the narration dutifully and unnecessarily tells us, because he sees something in Kong), and then also a romantic interest in a deaf-mute girl who works at a pharmacy. The latter scenes especially were touching because of it becoming a kind of silent movie, perhaps by default, when the two of them were together, and there's a rather sad, painful scene later on in the film between the two that is shockingly good and believable. I even liked the actors who played Kong and the girl, and how their characters unfolded in the story, limited as they might be... and yet, that old bastard cliché and convention kept coming back, more-so into the action scenes and set-pieces; whenever a chase happens in the film (save for one moment involving an arm dismemberment) you can zone out and not miss much. The editing is that kind of fast- kinetic style where you can barely take in a shot before it goes whizzing by. There's also some scenes that are ludicrous that are taken dead-serious, such as when Cage's Joe practically has gills and drowns a man underwater without any trouble.

It's really a matter of the plot just not giving anything much for the characters or actors to do. And yet there is a misconception that becomes apparent; this is much more about the characters than the plot, at least for a while, and when it sticks to that the Pang brothers sense of cinematic style, of the love of dirty Bangkok and elephants, works and is enjoyable. When the story comes back though, particularly in the last twenty minutes when Joe makes a fatal choice, it turns into something else - something frustratingly forgettable. For a short while there is hope, which is nice, until it reverts to what the expectation foretold. It's truly a mixed-bag, but far from the failure that was projected by the reviews and audience reaction... Oh, and of course, try not to look at Cage's hair. The bad jokes would never end. 5.5/10
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6/10
Average remake plenty of action , suspense and thrills from Nicolas Cage and Pang brothers
ma-cortes24 August 2008
This story deals with an American hit-man (Nicolas Cage, also producer) in Thailand , he kills his victims with no remorse . The drug addict murderer forms a relationship with a young man (pleasant Shahkrit Yamnarm) , as he teaches his craft to Thai hustler . Meanwhile , the killer falls in love with a deaf-mute (in the first version this handicap is borne by the murderous) pharmacist (enjoyable Charlie Young) and he shares brief moments of happiness .

This detailed study about an assassin and a youth he trains is an exciting movie with a great visual style . It concerns about murders , vengeance , a love story and this one delivers it well . The picture reworks many familiar issues , as a double-crossed hit-man falling in love . The rate of events blending drama and action are enhanced by extended length of the hunting scenes and occasional flashes of brilliance . There takes place a great deal of killing with some creative moments wrought from heavy stylistics and in a John Woo style . It succeeds in building intrigue , tension and nice performances , thanks to the affecting acting of the girl who plays the deaf and mute , she's frankly marvelous . The characters are well portrayed and they are persons for who the viewer has feeling and compassion . Worth it for the terse script and twists ending .

Furthermore , colorful and granulated cinematography by Decha Srimantra , Pang brothers' usual . Atmospheric musical score fitting well to action by Brian Tyler (author of notorious soundtracks from Rambo 4, Constantine , War , among others). The motion picture is professionally directed by Pang brothers (Messengers , Re-cycle , The eye), shooting during Thailand coup d'etat . Directors , Danny and Oxide Chun Pang did a cool but uneven work in making this violent story .
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8/10
I enjoyed it
JoeMcDonald8 February 2009
I've read many of the reviews here about this movie and I must disagree with most of them.

While the original was definitely grittier and more native, due in part to the lower budget I'd guess, this production was more polished and even a bit "Hollywood like". Cage's acting was exactly what I expected and the location filming lent a very accurate air of realism.

There is a story being told here so the movie does move between intense action and quieter moments.

If you dislike remakes of films in general then I suppose this may not appeal to you. But if you are a fan of Nicholas Cage, or have ever visited Thailand for that matter, then I can wholeheartedly recommend this film to you.
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6/10
The Last Job
claudio_carvalho12 January 2013
The hit man Joe (Nicolas Cage) is a professional killer with a peculiar code of honor and modus-operandi. He travels to Bangkok to kill four persons and he hires the smalltime hoodlum Kong (Shahkrit Yamnarm) to help him in his job.

When he meets the deaf and dumb Fon (Charlie Young) in a pharmacy, he falls in love with her and breaks his code. Further, he teaches Kong how to become a hit man. But when Kong is abducted by Surat (Nirattisai Kaljaruek), who had hired Joe for the assignment in Bangkok, he is forced to betray Joe. But the hit man decides to rescue Kong in his last job.

"Bangkok Dangerous" is an action movie by Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang with the nihilist story of a professional killer. I bought this DVD a couple of years ago and only yesterday I decided to watch it.

The cinematography and the camera work in the chaotic and exotic Bangkok is a chance for those like me that have not had the chance to visit Thailand yet to see the beauties of this city. Charlie Young is perfect in the role of a sweet woman capable to bring love to the heart of a cold blood killer. However, the conclusion is disappointing and inconsistent with the behavior of Joe. Nevertheless I recommend this movie to viewers that wish to see an average story in an environment unusual for Westerns. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Perigo em Bangkok" ("Danger in Bangkok")
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2/10
Shockingly bad stuff!
peter_okelly8 September 2008
i went to watch this movie last night because I had a bad hangover and just needed to sit in front of stupidity on a screen. Usually, Nic Cage action flicks are cheesy but have some sort of entertainment value as he can act it up when he chooses to. I couldn't believe my eyes and ears in almost every scene. Even some local chavs behind me were laughing in disbelief. The montage scenes where he is taking the deaf and dumb girl out to dinner and stroking elephants were among the worst I've ever seen. Also, his smile is disturbing. Nic, what the hell's going on brother? Also, the Pang brothers were an edgy asset to film-making. I'm surprised that between them and Cage, they did not sit forward in the editing suite and say 'we can't release this crap!'
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1/10
Sub-zero
Mihnea_aka_Pitbull16 September 2008
Let's take it in order:

THE SCRIPT: - Illogical, incoherent, confusing and confused. - Unprofessionally conceived and constructed. - Apocalyptically retarded

THE DIRECTION: - Slow, messy, chaotic, disordered. - Amateurish, didactic, explicit. - Doomsdayishly moronic.

THE ACTING: - There was none. The performers were simply reciting their lines.

THE WHOLE: - Permanently oscillating between lethally boring and killingly grotesque. - When Nick Cage comes for that tragic good-bye to his deaf-and-dumb Asian ad-hoc sweetheart, literally all the theater was guffawing in laughter.

THE SOLUTION: - Bring together all your noisiest and rudest buddies, buy many six-packs of beer, fill up the last row in the cinema, and make it rock!
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1/10
Awful tedious overblown poorly filmed clunker
charles198 September 2008
This is probably the worst movie to come out in years. Production values of a junior high school 8 mm hand held. Cage races through this with the look of a man trying to get off this set asap. It is an exaggeration to use the word plot, the screenplay has less suspense than watching somebody paint a fence. The so called plot turns were painful to watch, and the "arty" grainy washed out look of this film was probably an attempt to save a few bucks by producers who belatedly realized they had been steering this overloaded barge onto the rocks. For the first time ever, I actually asked for my money back after seeing this dreadful film. I got it. Why did I see it in the first place? I heard Mr. Cage on the Adam Corolla show. Nick and Adam, you owe all of us a huge apology.
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6/10
I was taught four rules...
hitchcockthelegend15 May 2015
The Pang Brothers remake their 2000 Asian film for the American audience with mixed results. Starring Nic Cage, film follows Cage's hit-man to Bangkok where he is to complete a number of hits. He tells us via narration that he has a set of rules that he follows so as to survive in the "business". He then promptly breaks his own codes and his life comes under threat.

That's pretty much it as regards plotting. The Pang's bring much visual style to the picture, and show themselves to be adept at action sequences, but it all feels so familiar. Action movies are rarely going to bring new stuff to the table, they often, as is the case here, are kinetic popcorn pictures missing some emotional depth to marry up with the carnage. Thus this is not a film to be sought out by any action junkies looking for something new to add to their collections. As it happens Cage is fine and broody, managing to blend hard ass machismo with vulnerable traits. He, and the filmic style make it above average, even if ultimately it's instantly forgettable afterwards. 6/10
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1/10
Alan Smithee's dazzling comeback
CineCritic251712 November 2008
This is one of those rare movies where the dullness surpasses the badness. Nicolas cage, for those who didn't notice it already, is willingly in the process of committing cinematic suicide and with his latest entry has tightened the knot to choking level.

I was never a big fan of his films, but surely they weren't all as bad as Bankok Dangerous. A tedious, completely unbelievable film in which he plays a top notch assassin who, for no reason to be fathomed, drops all his principles that made him one of the best in the field. of course it's all downhill from there and that would include the script, sequencing and ending.

If I had been the executive responsible for green lighting this film, I would have buried the finished product in a deep hole or sent it directly to DVD.
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Frustrating and disappointing.
Otoboke21 December 2008
Bangkok Dangerous is an oft frustrating and disappointing experience, not because it is inherently bad per se, but rather because it shows promise yet consistently squanders it. At its core, the movie exists as a compelling and –at times- engaging feature that caters to high octane thrills and adequate drama. Yet burdened with an overwhelming sense of kitschy design put in place to satisfy those looking for no-fuss action, the feature inevitably comes to a close in a manner that reflects the experience as a whole. This unconvincing back-and-forth structure inevitably hinders the movie's ability to fully envelop in the manner that it hopes to; the action can be potent, but all too contrived; characterisation welcome but treated as plot devices; drama which is emotive and interesting but underplayed all the same. A jarring, neurotic affair with underdeveloped promise and too many flaws to capitalise on such greater features, Bangkok Dangerous is a two headed monster, one of which is far easier on the eyes than the other.

Following impeccable and high-end contract hit-man Joe (Nicolas Cage), the focus of Bangkok Dangerous is simple; a man who lives by 4 rules which dictate how to do his job with precision and success, Joe is also one ridden with loneliness, unable to create relationships with anyone for fear of breaching his security. At its heart, this is the story that Jason Richman wants to bring out, and for the most part, it's what gives the feature its most engaging form of narrative. Going from here it's only natural that Joe should find a woman within his new location of Bangkok, who comes in the form of a deaf pharmaceutist. This subplot plays out well in the context of Joe's story; through her we see his softer, more human side, and Cage does well in getting across such sides of his character naturally. The romance isn't as potent as one might hope, but given that Bangkok Dangerous isn't exactly a movie likely to pander to the whims of romantics, such casual development is forgivable.

What isn't quite as forgivable however lies in two other subplots which too often distract and take up too much time from the two characters in the story that we care for. The first of these unwanted aspects comes in the form of Kong (Shahkrit Yamnarm) who essentially plays the part of Joe's apprentice of sorts, because, well, Joe sees a little of himself in Kong. Granted there are some strong moments that play out in this dynamic, but again hindered by a sense of trying too much in too little time, such moments are lost within a cloud of underdeveloped ideas. Branching off of this subplot is another which goes even further and tries to develop some sort of romance between Kong and a distant associate that supplies Joe with his contracts. Not only is it a superfluous and unnecessary inclusion, but it doesn't even provide any substance when it does show up. Every time I had to sit through such moments I couldn't help but think of what could have be shown on screen between Joe and his love interest, instead of the perplexing and inane "romance" that was in front of me.

Reinforcing the central motif of the film's sporadic and mixed bag nature though is its aesthetic design which often complements the movie's biggest and most poignant moments- action and character orientated. Perhaps the most significant and consistent of these elements is the enveloping score penned by Brain Tyler who has made a habit out of writing for creatively jarring movies such as this. Remaining as the only real constant of the film outside of Cage's natural performance, Tyler reinforces the moods of the film throughout, echoing themes of loneliness, confliction and unbendable duty through his similarly structured compositions. Although not quite as complementary or remarkable as the score, the photography by Decha Srimantra has some interesting moments in itself which help to draw the attention past the numerous instances of dry, uninspired action.

In the end however, Bangkok Dangerous essentially comes down to a battle between opposite forces, literally speaking. Like their central character, directors Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang are too often found conflicted by a willingness to stick to the genre's action-orientated blueprints and a more natural but fleeting sense of romantic characterisation. It's a statement in itself that Bangkok Dangerous, a film that will most likely attract those looking for explosions and gun fights, will no doubt leave such audiences underwhelmed by the mediocre action, and unfulfilled by a distinct lack of focus on such. Indeed, it's an interesting and ironic twist that the real substance and entertainment value to be had here lies in the character of Joe himself, and his conflicting state of mind rather than his weapons. That's not to say that Bangkok Dangerous is neutered, because it certainly has its thrilling moments, but such instances are best when left to pander to character rather than run off on their own. So while the movie certainly doesn't ever take off, it at least stays close to the ground with a fine and fitting performance from Cage, and tells a decent character story all the same; a throwaway action movie for those only interested in seeing action as consequence of drama and character.

  • A review by Jamie Robert Ward (http://www.invocus.net)
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4/10
It Just Falls Short
james18446 September 2008
Nick Cage has shown to be a flexible actor with a wide range of movies showing his talents to adapt to a character in any given film. In this his portrayal works some of the time and fails badly others. The love interest is mainly the biggest problem. Not believable is all I can say. There was a kind of generic cookie cutter flow to this film that bothered me also. The shoot-em-up scenes were like so many others. After seeing the film I felt short-changed expecting more from it. I guess I just expect more for my money and time. One other thing worth mentioning. I never once found redeeming concern for any of the other characters in the film.
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2/10
Bangkok Lame-gerous
ajbru11 September 2008
Man oh man, how Nick Cage has fallen. From Ghost Rider to Next, National Treasure 2 (not that bad), and now Bangkok Dangerous. This movie was badly paced, with less than stellar dialogue and waaaay too much of Cage's overly-serious narration. The biggest problem I had with this movie is how little talking there was, especially in the latter half. A lot of the scenes were only supported by soundtrack, and actors giving visible reactions. Also it was funny to see super hit-man Joe not be able to hit a guy through some water bottles when he was 5 feet away. Cage is a much better actor than he showed in this movie. It really isn't worth seeing unless you're some hardcore Nicolas Cage fan, and you thought Ghost Rider wasn't a big steamy pile.

It only gets away with 2* because there really are a lot of movies out there that are way worse
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6/10
Bangkok boring...
shadowman12310 November 2008
Just because a movie has a a big name attached to it does not always mean that it will be a class hit. Although I am against Hollywood stealing other movies for their own useless gain. Bangkok Dangerous is further proof that Hollywood still can't master the brilliance of an original masterpiece and this is just an inferior time piece although from the out set it seems that it has lots of potential it however just falls flat and fails in a lot of places. First of Nicholas Cage , provides interesting insight into the character but however he just never seems to have his heart in it and thusly he seems disconnected rather than engaged giving us a performance that we know he is capable of. Although the location is great , and there seems to be action it is just hampered by issues with the script and not to mention thin plot and mellow acting. I would say stick to the original unless your a fan or Cage.

BANGKOK DANGEROUS : 6.1 OUT OF 10
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1/10
Bangkok Retarded
Tek-Jansen22 April 2010
I rented this knowing full well I was getting a dumb action movie. I'll pretty much give anything with Nic Cage in it a try because he either acts decently or is so bad that it becomes a comedy. In this movie he just seemed tired and bored which is exactly how I felt. Jumbled action scenes, stupid plot and characters. I never even finished it because I was so disinterested. I haven't seen the original and can already tell you it's much better. Not fast-paced enough to keep my attention and not horrible enough to make fun of, this is one of those crap movies that falls right in between. This movie should have been called Bangkok Retarded.
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not as bad as it looks
murlangpabst8 March 2009
Bangkok Dangerous, a remake with alterations of the first Pang Bros' flick, makes adequate use of the exoticism of the city, while the line of action is not in disagreement with the mainstream tendency characteristic of this kind of action film. I must concede that Nicholas Cage' performance cannot measure up to the caliber of the hard-boiled, stone-faced, cold-blooded assassin he desperately tries to depict. It was reminiscent of two extraordinary characterizations of the type, one by Alain Delon in Melville's masterpiece Le samourai (1967, and Edward Fox in the original version of The Day of the Jackal (1973). Nevertheless, to dismiss the movie as poor entertaining or highly confusing is more a matter of expectations than of analysis.
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4/10
Nick was so much better as a b*stard
anxietyresister19 September 2009
He stars as a hit man who has four simple rules. During the film he will break all of them, by taking on an apprentice, falling in love with a deaf girl, turning against his employer etc. YAWN, YAWN and YAWN again. I was reminded of that great movie Lord Of War, where he started off as a nasty piece of work and stayed that way till the closing credits. In this one when he turns over a new leaf and starts going out on dates and chatting with the Thailand locals, he becomes a very dull character. And as for his 'final act of sacrifice' well, I was so moved I almost threw up. PUR-LEASE.

They are some well directed action sequences on a canal with speedboats and a warehouse lit with red light, but so what? We've seen it all before. They would only be interesting in conjunction with an interesting narrative, and this one is as predictable and clichéd as it gets. In fact a more accurate title would be BANGKOK TEDIOUS. I thought that one all up by myself. Tee-hee. Anyway, the film pretty much sucks, and Nicolas Cage's career tailspin continues. Quick man, bail out before you become another Cuba Gooding Jr!! 4/10
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3/10
A good remedy for insomnia
LazySod17 September 2008
The story of this film is an easy one: a hit man has an assignment in Bangkok and during that assignment he finds out he's come to the last stage of being a hit man. He's crossing the rules of the business. This story, although simple, can be the base for a film. The Matador (2005) for instance was a good example of a similar story in a film. That film worked very well. This one does not.

For me this film does not work because of two major factors: 1) it is hard, if not impossible, to grow some liking/sympathy for the lead character, and 2) it is as boring as the average re-run of a soap series. Cage is playing on auto-pilot, not trying anything impressive and the rest of the cast is just running along on the same pace and that doesn't do the trick.

This is a remake of a Thai film and although I've not seen that one yet I highly recommend everyone to watch that one instead. It must be a dozen times better than this one.

3 out of 10 hit men falling asleep at the job due to utter boredom
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8/10
A lean, loud gnarly self-remake
Chris Knipp6 September 2008
The Pang twins have done a Hollywood remake of their own 1999 film about a solitary hit man who gets into deep trouble when he becomes less solitary. Nicolas Cage plays Joe, the hit man. Things are different from the original, which being entirely in Chinese and Thai, had no Americans wandering around in it. But what remains consistent is a chilly, acid blue look, a bleak world view, and a style that is admirably lean and focused. I love the name Oxide; it evokes the look of the Pang's films. In their The Eye, their style was hauntingly hallucinatory. That one had an inferior US remake by somebody else; no such trouble here. This movie is thoroughly enjoyable, if you don't mind the occasional severed limb or trunk. The Pang's material is limited, but they're in excellent control of it and direct with urgent forward momentum. And urgent fatalism: the wages of sin is death. The Pangs are the artiest of committed B-picture filmmakers.

In the original version the hit man is Kong, and he's deaf from childhood. He can be a killer partly because he can't hear the shots. He goes to a drug store and meets a pretty young woman who can communicate with him using sign language and a relationship develops. How sad it is when one day she discovers her gentle, sensitive boyfriend is a killer. The same thing happens here but it's the girl, Fon (Charlie Yeung) who is mute, not Joe. Since this more expensive film is noisier than the original Bangkok Dangerous, I missed the moments of intense silence it had. The soundtrack is rather too relentless. But relentless isn't altogether undesirable in a movie of this kind. You don't really ever want it to stop.

Joe (Cage) comes to Bangkok to carry out a series of four hits for unseen, unknown bosses. Kong (Thai actor Shahkrit Yamnarm) is Joe's messenger, who picks up assignments and payoffs. While in the original version Kong was the teacher, this time he's the younger man who offers himself to be taught by Joe. This is a lethal, more grownup version of the Karate Kid.

Everything about the situation contradicts what Joe says is the hit man code: befriend no one, remain secret, do your job and get out leaving nothing behind. He immediately befriends Kong and the girl; and Kong befriends the nightclub go-go girl he picks up Joe's instructions from and she becomes his girlfriend.

But what is right, is Cage's style. He has long greasy hair and a manner and look that combine haggard and steely; he almost looks Asian, and when he tries to blend into a Bangkok crowd it's convincing. He's turning into David Carradine, Tarantino's "Snake Charmer Bill": Caine, "walking the earth." Bangkok Dangerous is rich in what it has to offer: nihilism and violence. This being a bigger budget, there are more crowds, explosions, expensive motorcycles--lots of high speed chases in expensive motorcycles.

The Pang twins work 'seriatim,' when they work together (they've also worked apart). That is, first one directs a scene, then the other directs the next scene, and so on. Being twins, they think alike--yet independently. This is an aesthetics of violence. It's all blue, then yellow, and one scene is shot all in red. It's utterly beautiful, and despite the noise and the American, austere. I even thought of the Melville classic, Le Samourai. Alain Delon might not recognize himself in Nicolas Cage, but there is the same lack of affect. Purists may scorn Cage for World Trade Center and the National Treasure franchise. But he still verges often on interesting projects--e.g., Windtalkers, Matchstick Men, The Wicker Man, The Weather Man, Lord of War (the latter a sort of preparation for this), and most importantly Kaufman's brilliant mind-bender Adaptation. Cage works too much, you can say, but his B-pictures are good ones--or self-consciously, archly B B-pictures, like the Fu Manchu episode in Grindhouse (also an ironic preparation for this movie). It's because Cage is a Hollow Man that he is perfect for this doomed role. Clive Owen would have ruined it.

The US press has shredded this movie (in England it seems to have done better). The question arises: how high can you rate a B-picture? We have to consider that this is also a remake that has lost some of the integrity of the original, even though both were done by the same directors. Under the circumstances I might give this a 7/10, but to counteract Bangkok Dangerous's bad press I'm giving it an 8.
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