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  Bangkok Dangerous  
  |     review    |     notes      |     awards     |     availability     |
Pavarit Mongkolpsist
 
  Year: 2000  
  Director: Oxide Pang Chun, Danny Pang Fat  
  Producer: Nonzee Nimibutr  
  Writer: Oxide Pang Chun, Danny Pang Fat  
  Cast: Pavarit Mongkolpisit, Premsinee Ratanasopha, Patharawarin Timkul, Pisek Intrakanchit
 
The Skinny: In this stylish film noir effort from the Pang brothers, a deaf-mute hitman gets a first shot at love and a final chance at redemption.
Review by Calvin McMillin:       From the twin brother directorial team of Oxide and Danny Pang comes Bangkok Dangerous, a gutsy plunge into the dark depths of Thailand's criminal underworld. Unlike most "contract killer" films, Bangkok Dangerous does not contain the suave, glamorous assassin cliché popularized by John Woo and his imitators. Instead, it gives us the story of Kong (Pavarit Mongkolpisit), a simple deaf-mute who, after years of anguish due to his disability, finds that solace and strength can come from the barrel of a gun.
     At the beginning of the film, Kong's ailing, insecure business partner Joe (Pisek Intrakanchit) has parted ways with his still-very-much-in-love girlfriend Aom (Patharawarin Timkul), a moll who serves as a go-between for the Boss and the two killers. But as Joe's chance at romance seemingly ends, another begins when Kong meets and befriends Fon (Premsinee Ratanasopha), a local pharmacist who helps the beleaguered hitman when he wanders into her store one fateful day. As their relationship blossoms, the once-unfeeling killer begins to change for the better. But that romantic bliss is only momentary. The party's over when Fon discovers - in highly dramatic fashion - Kong's true identity. Worse yet, Aom is raped, an incident that sets in motion a bloody trail of revenge from which no one will survive.
     Though Bangkok Dangerous explores the seedy underbelly of the professional assassin gig, it would be a mistake to compare (as some critics have) this Pang Brothers flick to the crime films of John Woo and Quentin Tarantino. Whereas the crooks of Woo's films are majestic, dark knights and the hoods of Tarantino's movies are manic pop culture junkies, the Pang brothers' killers are a different breed altogether. Kong and Joe, with their very human frailties, seem far more real. While there is one scene in Bangkok Dangerous that clearly apes a popular Chow Yun-Fat moment in Woo's A Better Tomorrow, the Oxide brothers make a nifty addition to the sequence that sets it apart from its predecessor, a touch that solidifes the brotherly bond of Kong and Joe in cinematic fashion.
     Ultimately, Bangkok Dangerous is a satisfying film, if for no other reason than Pavarit Mongkolpisit's depiction of Kong's guilty conscience. Though numerous filmic assassins have expressed remorse for their killings onscreen, never have I seen it so believably portrayed. The poetic justice dealt out by Kong at story's end allows Bangkok Dangerous to rise above the trappings of a mere genre film. It may be dark, and it may be gritty, but it's still art. (Calvin McMillin, 2002)
 
Notes: • The raindrops in the last scene were created digitally in post-production by the folks at Centro (the HK effects house that did Storm Riders and A Man Called Hero).
 
Awards: 2000 Toronto International Film Festival
• International Critics' Fipresci Award (Oxide and Danny Pang)
2000 Bangkok Critics Assembly Awards, Thailand
• Best Film
• Best Director : Oxide and Danny Pang
• Best Actor : Powarit Mongkolpisit
• Best Screenplay : Oxide and Danny Pang
• Best Cinematography : Dacha Srimunta
• Best Editor : The Pang Brothers
2000 Phra Surasawadee, Thailand
• Best New Actor: Pisek Intarakanchit
• Best Score: Orange Music
 
Availability: DVD (United States)
Region 1 NTSC
First Look Home Entertainment
Full-screen
Thai Language Track
English Subtitles
Trailer
 
   

DVD (Thailand)
Region 0 PAL
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Thai Language Track
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Surround Sound
Removable English Subtitles
Trailers

 
   
image courtesy of First Look Home Entertainment
 
   
 
 
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