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.
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".
In his commentary, writer and director Nicolas Winding Refn states that Bangkok is a radically different city depending on the time of day. If it is daytime, it is, in his words, like Disneyland. By night, however, things are far more sinister. See more »
A thin border can be seen around the Post Production credits, indicating that the black background may not have been perfectly scaled to fit. See more »
I typically like Refn, but this was just disappointing. The plot line is fundamentally a banal revenge tale, cinematography as always is amazing but thats just not enough to save this.
To respond to the positive reviews i'm seeing: How?
Symbology? Where? Nothing happens in this. You get presented with basic characters that have a potentially interesting dynamic, which is explored with... long surreal scenes in which the characters just stare at each other? Its sad how people won't call out a movie just because they believe that lauding a film that the "simple plebs" have rated negatively will make them seem like a connoisseur or ahead of the flock.
To end this: it feels like Refn tried to avoid making a mindless flick by leaving blanks for the viewer to fill in. Problem is, when 90% of the movie is a blank for the audience to fill in, the result it something that just feels plain lazy more than anything else.
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