Bangkok Dangerous

Director: Danny and Oxide Pang
Year: 2001
Starring: Pawalit Mongkolpisit, Premsinee Ratanasopha, Patharawin Timkul, Pisek Intrakanchit.
Time: 105 minutes

In their film debut, the Oxide brothers take a well-worn story that has been played out on the dirty streets of Hong Kong in a multitude of films and transfer it to the hardened streets of Bangkok. The story itself though seems to really not be the point – it’s the fast changing style that the Oxide brothers really seem to relish. The film is built on a gangbang of visual flourishes that feels as if they squeezed Wong Kar-wai's films through a fruit blender and splashed the output on their film canvass. For me it was the pulsing beat of these cinematic stylings that gave the film a fast dancing heartbeat and made it a pleasure to watch. It certainly can be accused of being derivative of previous films, but its done with such energy, joy and commitment that it feels like their own.

Kong (Pawalit) is a deaf mute and a professional killer. Give him a fistful of baht and a picture and you have a dead man. He doesn’t worry who the intended victim is – if he is a good man or a bad one – it’s all the same to him – dead is dead. Not having feelings is part of the trade for the deaf and mute and poor in the City of Angels and it translates well into being a perfect killer. Kong works with his friend and mentor Joe (Pisek) and they get their assignments through a go-go bar girl (Aom). Kong falls in love with the lovely Fon (Premsinee) a pharmacy clerk who tries to guess what Kong does – a bartender – no – a security guard – no – a gas station attendant? When Kong kills two muggers without blinking she gets her answer in spades.
Falling in love for a killer almost always foretells bad tidings in a film and soon things go very wrong for Kong. Aom is raped and filmed by the right hand man of their boss – and Joe exacts revenge for his friend with a flurry of bullets to the body and one to the groin. Now he is an open sore waiting to be wiped clean and Kong gets pulled into this impending speeding car wreck of betrayal and revenge as well. There isn’t much doubt where the film is going but the garish hues, sullen noir streets, slo-mo killings and need for redemption bring you there in style.

The DVD has English subs.

My rating for this film: 7.5