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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Thriller > Bangkok Dangerous (2008/Lionsgate Blu-ray + DVD-Video)

Bangkok Dangerous (2008/Lionsgate Blu-ray + DVD-Video)


Picture: B-/C     Sound: B+/B-     Extras: C     Film: C



Nicolas Cage plays an assassin in The Pang Brothers new slick actioner Bangkok Dangerous (2008, remaking their own 1999 Thai hit) in yet another “the assassin is turned on” formula film that goes nowhere and if not for Cage, would be another straight-to-DVD shelf-filler.  Because Cage is involved and tries to do something with his character, the film can be watchable here and there, but it is otherwise so enamored with how slick it is that it is almost in love with itself.


Of course, this is supposed to be our killer hero’s last job, but the pseudo-irony is now yet another cliché about the man never being able to have any peace.  There may be a few ideas scattered about that are not bad, but they never add up to anything and the MTV style of pointless editing makes it worse, increasingly unexciting and instantly unrealistic, yet there is Cage making the most of it (including as co-producer) and hoping for some kind of hit or another action franchise.  Unfortunately, even he cannot save it.


Writer Jason Richman wrote the new adaptation and it does not even have the wit of his script for the Anthony Hopkins/Chris Rock actioner Bad Company (2002), a film that I did not think was as bad as many said it was.  Yet the idea is so overdone, especially of late, that unless he did something innovative, this was doomed.  Stuck in the confines of a remake, that was less likely.  This is “one night in Bangkok” you are not likely to enjoy much.


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image looks awful, though reportedly shot on film, is so grainy and noisy that it is one of the poorer Blu-rays I have seen lately.  With that aspect ratio and this noise, you’d think it was an all-digital shoot.  Decha Srimantra was the Director of Photography on the original and is back lensing the remake.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD looks much worse with more noise, less definition and no point.  And no, this look does not equal a darker world, just a noisier-looking one.


The DTS HD Master Audio (MA) lossless 7.1 mix is the default highlight of the Blu-ray with its punchy sound and usually decent soundfield, but Brian Tyler’s score is not his best and there is not much character to the mix.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 EX mix on the DVD is not as good, but it too is the highlight of that disc.  The sound cannot compensate for the many problems in either case.


Extras on both versions include a Digital Copy disc so you can download a copy of the film for PC and PC portable devices, an alternate ending, original theatrical trailer and two making of featurettes.  The Blu-ray adds MixLog enhancements to enjoy the film more, that is, if you actually like it.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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