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 motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
A young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter-ego, Charles Bronson.
Two stories for the price of one: Lenny works in a video shop and tries to get aquainted with the waitress Lea. Leo beats his pregnant wife, Louise, which is a VERY bad idea, as her brother, Louis, is a violent racist.
Nicolas Winding Refn
Rikke Louise Andersson
Bangkok. Ten years ago Julian (Ryan Gosling) 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 (Vithaya Pansringarm) - 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 (Dame Kristin Scott Thomas) - 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
After the fight of the opening scene, the arm of the winner is raised by the referee and the defeated fighter is picked up by his helpers in blue. When the camera cuts to the other side of the ring, this is shown again. See more »
An atmospheric tale of revenge, and not the sequel for Drive
Critics have gone way too hard on this movie. Lots of violent, strange et slow films have been presented at the Cannes film festival since its creation but yet every time a film pushes the boundaries of violence while keeping its own style, most critics go mad and sometimes shout at the screening, even leaving the theater before the end and calling it "outrageous". This film, along with "Anti-Christ" is a perfect example of the type of scandals that go on at Cannes for quite stupid reasons.
First of all, forget about Drive. If you know Nicolas Winding Refn's style and like it then you'll enjoy this movie but if you've only seen Drive and believe this is going to be in the same style (because of the same actor, similar cinematography, same musical style...) believe me you'll be disappointed. The trailer might give this impression, but this film is very different. The director had already made other movies just like this, but they did not encounter a really large audience. His works were mostly known by cinephiles, artsy people and intellectuals interested in film analysis (in a general way of course). Drive was his first really big success and also his first film taking place in America, starring a worldwide known star (Gosling) and going deep into its message while keeping a more specific style than his other films.
Here Refn feels a lot more philosophical, and comes back to his original style in directing films such as Valhalla Rising : great visuals, slow-pasted action, scenes that seem a bit detached from one-another, deep character development, little dialogue, extreme violence mixed with soft and/or trance-electro music... all of which are here to deal with philosophical, deep, hard subjects like revenge, good and bad, mother/son relationship etc...
When it comes to the acting Gosling does not disappoints however this time Refn wanted to do the opposite that he did in Drive : showing the weakness of his character. Also, even though he does pull-off a very convincing performance, Kristin Scott Thomas is surprisingly captivating and gives her character a much more "real" dimension than it could have been (like it is most of the time, when a woman is supposed to play a drug-lord badass). But saving the best for the end, Vithaya Pansringarm, an actor totally unknown to me until know, plays wonderfully his role as the mystical bad guy, and really did surprise me by the quality of his acting. He completely understood the movie's atmosphere and makes his character feel mysterious and fascinating.
To sum-up this is a very atmospheric, deep movie with great actors/actresses and dealing with difficult and serious themes, with some philosophical analysis possible, but definitely not in the same style as Drive, even though it has some similarities with it.
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