Sunday, August 31, 2008

As Bangkok Dangerous release nears, Pangs are loving Hollywood

Bangkok Dangerous, now tipped as the first major Hollywood release of the North America's autumn movie cycle, opens in Thai cinemas on September 4, and elsewhere on September 5.

Directed by Oxide and Danny Pang as a remake of their 1999 debut film, it looks to be a Hollywood-tailored reimagining, with big explosions and the unstoppable force of nature that is Nicolas Cage and his ridiculous hair. Indeed, it was Cage's production company that snapped up the remake rights for the film.

Instead of the protagonist being a deaf mute as in the original, his handicap is that he's a conspicuous foreign assassin in Bangkok, where he doesn't know the language and is unfamiliar with the culture. But the hearing-impaired angle is still covered, in a romantic interest for Cage's character, played by Charlie Young. Thai actors Shahkrit Yamnarm, Panward Hemmanee, Nirattisai Kaljareuk and Dom Hetrakul also star.

The movie has been in the works for quite sometime, with principle photography taking place in Bangkok in 2006 at the same time a military coup was going on. (Gee, it's funny how times have changed.) One of the stories told about the production is that the only gunshots during the coup were fired on the set of Bangkok Dangerous. But this is perhaps apocryphal, as Danny tells Hollywood Reporter that they "were advised to film silent gunfire shots for their numerous gunfight scenes".

Danny says the Thai system of making movies prepared them better for Hollywood, than working in Hong Kong. Here's more from the Hollywood Reporter:

Bangkok Dangerous director Danny Pang said the Hollywood system is the perfect fit for him and his brother Oxide, twins collectively known as the Pang Brothers.

Having started their directorial career in Thailand, the Hong Kong-born brothers were used to the systematic approach of filmmaking in the country, which, incidentally, had a lot in common with the Hollywood process. Contrarily, the more improvisational approach opted by Hong Kong filmmaking was harder for the twins to accept.

Meanwhile, the first review for the new Bangkok Dangerous has been turned in by Variety. Critic Jordan Mintzer writes:

Heavy on the spice and cheap on the meat, Bangkok Dangerous adds plenty of Thai seasoning to the Hollywood lone-assassin recipe, but the result is only mildly pungent. Rehashing certain elements -- including striking location shooting -- that marked their much grittier 1999 feature of the same title, Hong Kong's Pang brothers increase the decibel level of the gunshots and the schmaltz level of the scenario, but such embellishments, not to mention a Nicolas Cage doused with Clairol, make this hefty remake seem less dangerous than incongruous.


The review goes on to praise the performances by Young and Shahkrit, and says one of the highlights is a boat chase through a canal community.

More about Bangkok Dangerous is detailed at Movie Cafe. And the trailer that's been playing in Thai cinemas for the past few months is embedded below.



Related posts:

(Via the Golden Rock)

2 comments:

  1. Too many guns - and how are we supposed to look at that dreadful hair for 90mins?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nick Cage seems to have a long hair cycle... he grows it out long just before he cuts it off about every fourth movie, i.e. ConAir, Next and now Bangkok Express

    ReplyDelete

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