The Pang Bros.
BANGKOK DANGEROUS would be great had there never been any other hitman or assassin movies made before it. Unfortunately there has, and all the occupational explanations, rules of the trade and cold voiceover feels cliché and expected. Even the action and kills, most of which are well-executed (pun intended), feel old hat. It’s nice seeing Cage wield two guns John Woo style again, but BANGKOK is for the most part plain boring. That’s unfortunate because the Pang brothers were a solid filmmaking team in Asia, especially with their original BANGKOK DANGEROUS a decade ago. But even in 1999 the “assassin with a heart and conscience” story felt tired. Now it feels like a joke.
Speaking of jokes, I can’t just explain some of the bizarre choices in this movie. Like when Nicolas Cage decides to randomly teach his assistant kung fu in the kitchen. Or his romantic relationship with a deaf mute girl, which is nothing short of hilarious. It literally amounts to scenes of him talking to himself while a confused Asian girl looks on. There’s a touching part where they fall in love while feeding an elephant. (And between this and the ONG BAK movies I’m beginning to think elephants just run rampant in the streets of Thailand.)
I won’t completely fault Cage here, even though he produced and starred in this mess. Wanting to work in a foreign production with talented directors from across the ocean may sound like a decent challenge. It just didn’t turn out anything worth watching.
From Hong Kong to Bangkok (15:21): A look at the Pang brothers and their influences before coming to the United States. It’s HK Cinema 101. If you already know anything about Asian movies, skip it.
The Execution of the Film (13:31): A behind the scenes piece that mainly deals with shooting in Bangkok and sticking Nic Cage in the middle of an all Asian cast and crew.
Alternate Ending (8:38): I don’t want to give away the actual ending of the film, so I’ll say that this is pretty much the opposite of what happens. I like the current ending better.
Trailers and Previews.
Extra Tidbit: In the original BANGKOK DANGEROUS, it was the hitman who was deaf and mute.