The second film from Hong Kong-born twin directors Danny and Oxide Pang to earn a U.S. remake (after 2002's THE EYE), BANGKOK DANGEROUS differs in that, this time around, the brothers are doing the remaking themselves. Swapping Pawalit Mongkolpisit's mute Thai hitman from the original 1999 film for Nicolas Cage's brooding (but talking) American assassin, this version is less moody and stylized. Still, fans of Cage, and action aficionados who favor exotic locales, should find much to chew on in this unique thriller. Following an assignment in Prague, lonely hitman Joe (Cage) arrives in Bangkok under contract to a mobsters who have hired him to kill four people, including a trafficker of young girls and a politician. After seeing young street criminal Kong (Shahkrit Yamnarm) in action, Joe hires him to be his liaison to his employers. During a trip to a pharmacy to get disinfectant for a wound gotten during a motorcycle chase, Joe meets pretty mute pharmacist Fon (Charlie Young). The two begin to date, and though she is oblivious to his profession, she provides some sweetness in his dangerous, lonely life. Joe also becomes a mentor to young Kong, but these meaningful distractions in his life could prove dangerous to his job.
BANGKOK DANGEROUS has an unglamorous slickness that makes it seem as if it could've been made in the late 1980s or early '90s. Cage is appropriately stoic as Joe, and sports a bizarre mane of jet-black hair. The Bangkok locations are effective and the crowded nighttime streets make for exciting chase sequences. The onscreen violence is not exceptionally graphic with the exception of a realistic arm severing, and one sequence of bullets puncturing a boat as seen from underwater is beautifully shot. Most surprising, though, is the film's final sequence, which is uncharacteristic of most American-made action yarns.
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