Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bangkok Adrenaline goes all Thai, all the time

Plans to have a handful of original-soundtrack screenings of Bangkok Adrenaline (อะดรีนาลีน คนเดือดสาด, or Adrenaline Kon Deuat Sat) have fallen through and so this action-film about English-speaking foreigners getting into trouble in Thailand has opened in Thai cinemas today, playing with only a dubbed soundtrack and no English subtitles.

I'm told that distributor Box Office Entertainment "didn't have time" to complete the Thai subtitles, so they didn't want to show the original soundtrack anywhere.

I understand that the emphasis on the dubbed soundtrack is to make this movie totally a "Thai film" and heavily market it to suburban Thai audiences. According to MovieSeer, the central Bangkok screenings are extremely light -- just Paragon, Major Cineplex Sukhumvit, Century the Movie Plaza and MBK. The rest are in suburban Bangkok and further afield.

Too bad. I was looking forward to seeing Bangkok Adrenaline, but I simply can't stomach a dubbed soundtrack right now and I'm afraid it would negatively color any review I could come up with.

I feel bad for the actors. It's directed by Raimund Huber with action choreography by Daniel O'Neill, Pangrit Sangcha and Ron Smoorenburg. O'Neill stars, with the Thai cast including "Pu" Priya Suandokmai, Dom Hetrakul and Somlek Sakdikul. Plus there's Conan Stevens, Lex De Groot and Geoffrey Guiliano. Many of these guys are stuntmen who don't get too many speaking parts, and here they've made their own movie and they're dubbed over. I guess they are used to it by now.

Hopefully someday Bangkok Adrenaline will get a release that honors the original soundtrack.

Update: Conan points out that MovieSeer lists Major Cineplex in Pattaya as having "Thai/English", which is different from the other listings that just say "Thai/N/A". So what's the deal? Anybody in Pattaya know for sure?

Update 2: Conan Stevens recaps the premiere and the reaction of the crowd.

Update 3: According to a correspondent in Pattaya, despite what MovieSeer says, the Pattaya screenings are the same as they are everywhere else -- Thai soundtrack and no English subtitles.

(Poster via Deknang)

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