Eye For Film >> Movies >> Bangkok Dangerous (2000) Film Review
Reviewed by: Trinity
Kong (Pawalit Mongkolpisit) is a professional killer on the streets of Bangkok, looking for a way out. Deaf and mute since childhood, his job at a firing range brings him into contact with the rash Joe (Pisek Intrakanchit) and the sultry Aom (Patharawin Timkul).
They take him under their wing, and Joe trains him to be a numb, impersonal killer, avenging wrongs on behalf of their boss. But a series of events, including meeting the beautiful Fon (Premsinee Ratanasopha) leads Kong to feel remorse for the family and friends of his victims. Ultimately, he must choose between love and revenge, his heart and his soul.
With Bangkok Dangerous, the Pang Brothers lay claim to the throne of those other action thriller maestro siblings, the Wachowskis. Oxide and Danny pull no punches in this exhilarating plunge into the seedy underbelly of Bangkok.
Visually, the film is simply stunning - the Brothers edited the film themselves - and displays a love of the medium with an attention to detail which ranges from authentically scratched 16mm film to depict Kong's childhood to little jump cuts in action sequences to ever so slightly tweak the pace of a shoot out.
In a way, this is more reminiscent of the style of Wong Kar Wai, than the slomo ballet of John Woo. This isn't to say that the film lacks action, but the abrupt juxtaposition of violence with moments of peaceful solitude seems more akin to the yakuza films of Takeshi Kitano.
The dialogue is sparse, and to the point - after all, professional killers rarely find time to make conversation, even more so if they're mute. Instead we have a superb soundtrack which changes from booming bass beats to subtle string variations without hesitation, perfectly capturing the mood of a scene.
This film has been mixed using the Dolby Digital EX standard and the sound fx certainly add a lot to the overall atmosphere of the film. Each of the actors is natural, if not exceptional, although you might accuse some of the "baddies" of hamming it up a bit. But this is not the point of the film, and it's not something which detracts from your enjoyment.
The film is even more impressive when you consider it was made on a budget of just $800,000. With two more talents like the Pangs coming out of Hong Kong, one can only hope that Hollywood finally stops watering down its films to cater for the lowest common denominator.
Bangkok Dangerous may be a triumph of style over substance, but when it's this stylish, you really don't care.Reviewed on: 14 Aug 2001