Bangkok Dangerous (2008 film)

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Bangkok Dangerous
Bangkok dangerous 2008 poster.jpg
Teaser release poster
Directed by Pang Brothers
Produced by Nicolas Cage
Norman Golightly
William Sherak
Jason Shuman
Written by Pang Brothers
Screenplay by Jason Richman
Starring Nicolas Cage
Charlie Yeung
Chakrit Yamnam
Narrated by Nicolas Cage
Music by Brian Tyler
Cinematography Decha Srimantra
Edited by Mike Jackson
Curran Pang
Production
company
Blue Star Entertainment
Initial Entertainment Group
Virtual Studios
Saturn Films
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release dates
  • September 5, 2008 (2008-09-05)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$45 million[1]
Box office US$42,487,390[1]

Bangkok Dangerous is a 2008 crime thriller film written and directed by the Pang Brothers, and starring Nicolas Cage. It is a remake of the Pangs' 1999 debut Bangkok Dangerous, a Thai film, for which Cage's production company, Saturn Films, purchased the remake rights.[2]

Known by its working title, Big Hit in Bangkok,[3] and also as Time to Kill, it began filming in Bangkok in August 2006.[4][5] The film was financed by Initial Entertainment Group, with Lionsgate Films acquiring its North America distribution rights.[6] The film was released in North America on September 5, 2008.

Plot[edit]

Joe (Cage) is an professional freelance contract killer. He works strictly by the rules; He never socializes outside his work, he stays secluded in quiet spots, never meets his handlers and always leaves on time, leaving without a trace. He usually hires young pickpockets or small-time criminals as his local help, whom he usually murders after the end of the job to prevent any identification. He uses multiple aliases and also has middlemen between him and his handlers. He also carries a watch to perform a hit in specific time and correctly visualizes his every target.

After completing a hit in Prague and killing his current help, Joe travels to Bangkok for an assignment to assassinate four people for notorious Bangkok gang boss Surat, whom he never meets. Joe occasionally provides insight via voiceover narration throughout the film. He hires a local pickpocket with simple English knowledge, Kong, as his go-between in Bangkok, a condition of the contract being that the gang will never meet Joe. Contracts from the Bangkok gangsters are passed to Kong one by one via a nightclub dancer, Aom.

Joe's first execution in Bangkok is done on motorcycle; when the target car stops at a red light, Joe kills all the passengers with a machine pistol. Kong retrieves information about the second target, again via Aom, and the pair become friendlier with every contact. Joe's second target is a notorious gangster who acts as a sex trafficker, buying young girls from impoverished parents. Joe sneaks into the target's penthouse and drowns him in his pool. Unsatisfied with Kong's assistance, Joe contemplates killing him, but after a brief confrontation when Kong is ambushed by gangsters regarding a package, he instead decides to act as Kong's mentor and trains him for self-defense.

Midway through the movie, Joe meets Fon, a deaf-mute pharmacist, with whom he becomes intrigued after a brief consultation. Joe later returns to the pharmacy to invite Fon out for dinner. Soon after Joe falls for Fon and meets her mother. The affair is cut short when he shoots and kills two assailants in Fon's presence. Blood splatters on Fon, and she runs off, trembling and traumatized by the violent deaths. Feeling betrayed, Fon cannot forgive Joe and ends their relationship.

Before the third kill, the gang attempts to identify Joe, and he warns them off. For the third execution that takes place at the Damnoen Saduak market, Kong assists Joe. The kill does not go as planned, and the target nearly gets away but Joe manages to catch and assassinate him. Before beginning his last mission Joe visits Fon, presumably to say goodbye. She initially ignores him but as Joe begins to drive away she runs after his car.

His fourth target is the Prime Minister of Thailand. Joe is about to make the kill when he has second thoughts, is spotted, and escapes through a panicking crowd. Meanwhile the gang has abducted Aom and Kong with plans to execute them. Joe, now a target, is attacked at his house by four of Surat's henchmen. He uses explosives to take them out and is faced with the choice of rescuing Kong or leaving the country unharmed. Joe decides to rescue Kong, so he sets off to the gang's headquarters with one of the half-alive attackers.

Joe goes to the gang's headquarters, kills most of the gang including his bodyguard (who is blown into half by explosives), and saves Kong and Aom. The fearful gang leader flees to his car with three other accomplices. Joe spots him and shoots the gang members, then gets into the back seat with Surat. As the police arrive at the location, Joe realizes he has only one bullet. He puts his head adjacent to Surat's, puts the gun up to his temple and pulls the trigger, killing himself and Surat.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The original film's main character is a deaf hitman, whose disability makes him a fearless, unflinching gunman. That character has been changed in the remake. "We'd like to keep him the same, but we understand that from a marketing point of view Nic needs to have some lines," Oxide was quoted as saying in the New York Times. "So what we’re going to do is transform his girlfriend instead into a deaf-mute. This switch will maintain the drama of communication between the two main characters."[7]

The Soi Cowboy entertainment district was among Thai locations used for filming.[8][9]

Release[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed US$42,487,390, of which $15,298,133 was from the US.[1] However, the film grossed US$7.8 million on its opening weekend making this the first film since Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star to debut at number 1 with such a low gross. Lionsgate distribution topper Steve Rothenberg said, "It will be a nicely profitable film for us."[10] When compared to the film's $45 million budget, Bangkok Dangerous was a box office bomb.

Home media release[edit]

Bangkok Dangerous was released on DVD and Blu-ray on January 6, 2009. As of December 1, 2009, 760,178 units have been sold, gathering US$15,058,164 in revenue.[11]

Alternate ending[edit]

An alternate ending to the theatrical version shows that before Joe is about to kill himself, Kong arrives in a car to rescue him. Joe then gives money to Kong and leaves.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

The film received mostly negative reviews. As of April 7, 2013, the film has a 9% approval rating based on 94 reviews from critics at the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with its site summary saying: "With murky cinematography, a meandering pace, a dull storyline and rather wooden performances, the Pang Brothers' Hollywood remake of Bangkok Dangerous is unsuccessful."[12] At the website Metacritic, which utilizes a normalized rating system, the film earned a rating of 24 out of 100 based on 16 reviews.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Bangkok Dangerous (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ Fleming, Michael (June 6, 2006). "Cage's 'Dangerous' liaison". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved August 7, 2006. 
  3. ^ "Nicolas lands in Bangkok for Pang brothers movie". Agence France-Press. August 22, 2006. Retrieved August 24, 2006. 
  4. ^ "Stickman Weekly 20/8/2006". Stickmanbangkok.com. August 20, 2006. Archived from the original on August 31, 2006. Retrieved August 21, 2006. 
  5. ^ "Thai filmmakers hope remakes will lure overseas audiences". Channel NewsAsia. Agence France-Presse. July 20, 2007. Archived from the original on August 22, 2007. Retrieved July 20, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Lionsgate Acquires Cage's Bangkok Dangerous". Comingsoon.net. February 7, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  7. ^ Jessop, Sonia Kolesnikov (July 13, 2006). "Pang brothers see eye-to-eye on horror". New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Stickman Weekly 20/8/2006". Stickmanbangkok.com. August 20, 2006. Archived from the original on August 31, 2006. Retrieved August 21, 2006. 
  9. ^ "Thai filmmakers hope remakes will lure overseas audiences". Channel NewsAsia. Agence France-Presse. July 20, 2007. Archived from the original on August 22, 2007. Retrieved July 20, 2007. 
  10. ^ McClintock, Pamela (September 7, 2008). "'Bangkok Dangerous' on top with modest take". Variety. Archived from the original on September 26, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Bangkok Dangerous — DVD Sales". The Numbers. 
  12. ^ "Bangkok Dangerous". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Bangkok Dangerous". Metacritic. Retrieved December 13, 2008. 

External links[edit]