Bangkok Dangerous (2008)
Main Menu Audio
|Year Of Production||2008|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
Oxide Pang Chun
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English (Burned In)||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Bangkok Dangerous is cult directing duo The Pang Brothers' attempt to remake their 1999 debut feature of the same name for the Western market. Unfortunately, in doing so the pair have stripped away the very angle that made the original story interesting in the first place and churned out a paint-by-numbers Nic Cage action flick. The film manages to re-create a number of the cooler bits of the original, and the brothers storytelling ability has undoubtedly improved in leaps and bounds over the decade since the original, but the pair have simply elected to water the story down to the point of irrelevance. In a nutshell, this is a much less interesting story better told.
This particular version of Bangkok Dangerous concerns an American hitman named Joe (Nic Cage), whose name echoes just how interesting a character he is, that heads to Bangkok on a four-hit assignment. Joe hires a young thief named Kong (Shahkrit Yamnarm) to act as his go-between with the gang who have hired him. Joe's intent being to 'dispose' of Kong once his usefulness has expired so that not even his employers will ever be able to identify him. Unsurprisingly, this hardly goes to plan and Joe bonds with Kong to the point that he agrees to teach him the tricks of the trade and more or less take him on as an apprentice.
Along the way Joe also falls for a young deaf lass named Fon (Charlie Yeung), which loosely harks back to the original version of Bangkok Dangerous which saw Kong being a deaf and mute hitman supporting his mentor, Joe. Alas the deaf girlfriend setup makes for an infinitely less interesting affair.
Bangkok Dangerous really is a missed opportunity. The film fails to make the most of its exotic locale. The cast sleepwalk through much of the film (a dull script must do that...). That said, the production is slick and the movie is quite digestible as disposable action fare if you are happy to have completely forgotten all about it five minutes after the credits roll. Rent before you buy.
The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.
The video looks very good. The image is clear and sharp, aside from a stylish, harsh level of grain about some shots. The film uses deliberate blue-saturated colour palette that has translated well to DVD. The image features a good level of shadow detail, although some of the deeper blacks lack finer detail.
There is no sign of compression artefacts or aliasing. Only one or two minute specs of dust were visible throughout the entire feature.
Forced English subtitles are present for parts of the film that are not spoken in English. The subtitles are quite small, which will be unpleasant if you are watching on a small TV, but are clear and well timed.
The film features a single Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kbps) audio track, which is predominantly in English.
The audio is clear and slickly mixed. The dialogue is at a good level in the mix and is easy to discern. Aside from some obvious ADR the soundtrack appears to be well synchronized.
The surrounds get a good workout, but the finer environmental effects are overrun in the action scenes by over-the-top pans. The city buzzes with environmental audio throughout much of the film, creating a great atmosphere. The subwoofer gets a reasonable workout from the music and action clangs and bangs.
|Surround Channel Use|
The disc opens with a forced anti-piracy clip that cannot be skipped, which is followed by a skippable trailer for Dolan's Cadillac.
It always brings me a cheeky grin when a film that never made it to Australian cinemas includes a "Theatrical Trailer". Admittedly, the film did make it to theatres across much of the world, so I guess what we have here is the trailer they ran overseas. Much like the film itself, this is a fairly nondescript
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 release of the film includes 2 "making of" featurettes, a substantial alternate ending, and greater subtitle options, any one of which makes it a clear winner over the Region 4 edition.
Another paint-by numbers Nicolas Cage action movie. Rent this one before thinking about buying it.
The video looks good and the audio has a decent punch. Extras are pretty much non-existent.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3, using HDMI output|
|Display||Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub|