The Pang Bros.' remake of their own Bangkok Dangerous is the film that the movie pundits love to hate this season. And they haven't even seen it.
They are uneasy with Nicolas Cage, whose most recent outings in National Treasure, Ghost Rider, The Wicker Man and Next haven't won him admirers. They aren't convinced the Pangs can deliver a winner, having been disappointed with their first Hollywood outing, The Messengers. They even blame the Pangs for The Eye remake (finally opening in Bangkok tomorrow), which they didn't have anything to do with.
The Onion AV Club weighs in on how Bangkok Dangerous stacks up among the summer blockbuster line-up, saying:
There's no greater sign of creative desperation than having a foreign film Americanized by its original creators, especially when those creators are as reliably mediocre as the Pang brothers, who have already failed twice in Hollywood with The Messengers and the Jessica Alba redo of their passable film The Eye.
And this is from the same crew that like Face/Off and Con Air. Hey! It's wacky Nic Cage in Bangkok! What's not to like?
Rope of Silicon, opening up a gallery of 45 new stills from Bangkok Dangerous, is nicer. They could use the new photos as ammunition, but Brad Brevet remains somewhat hopeful:
Don't you hate it when a new movie is coming out and you want to say, "Yeah, can't wait to see that one," but there is that one issue that gives you pause? The upcoming Lionsgate release Bangkok Dangerous is an example of a film that does that for me.
I am whole heartedly interested in seeing what Danny and Oxide Pang are going to bring to the table even if I wasn't interested in seeing The Messengers. These brothers have vision and a little crime drama involving a "cold-blooded hitman" sounds like something up my alley. However, there's a catch ... that hitman is being played by one of the most notable over-actors of all-time: Mr. Nic Cage. Yikes, doesn't anyone even try directing this guy?
Siam Sentinel, meanwhile, has posted an interesting review of the trailer. Here's an excerpt of the posting, "Nicolas Cage loves the King":
I see that Cage plays a hitman who comes to Bangkok, befriends a young Thai on the streets, falls in love with a Thai woman, and refuses to assassinate a powerful figure who is loved by all the people and is above politics.
From the trailer, there are clips of this final target as he is riding through the city with soldiers all around him and Thais waving flags and cheering him. Cage's new Thai friend also tells him that all the people love this person who helps poor people and we see doubt in Cage's face as he sets up the kill.
Will anyone ever make a film about Thailand that does not fit into stereotypes and old plots? This is just the story of the farang who comes to Thailand, falls in love with a Thai woman, appreciates the culture, and changes his ways. Add to that some Thai nationalism and pro-monarchy scenes and you have a hit for the Thai theaters. But maybe the censors will not allow the film to be shown if it does not portray the monarchy in a positive enough light.
Still tentatively, Bangkok Dangerous is scheduled to open on August 22.