I’ve just been to see the Pang Brothers’ Bangkok Dangerous with Nicholas Cage. This version is a remake of the Thai film of the same name, which was released in 2000 and also directed by the Pang Brothers.
According to accounts in the local press the original was better. I’ve never been a big fan of Nicholas Cage and it was a bit violent for my taste but if Husband and don’t compromise with movies, we won’t ever see anything together.
My main reason for going was to see how they presented Bangkok. I like seeing places I know in movies – it’s worth remembering that setting is as important to those that know the place, as those that don’t. (I recently read Two Caravans which is set in my home county, and honestly, apart from the names of places, I could hardly ‘see’ the place. I enjoyed the book, but it didn’t feel ‘home.’)
Bangkok Dangerous didn’t feel a big Hollywood movie - despite Nicholas Cage – which is no surprise since the Pang brothers are predominantly Asia based (I think.) When they made the version released in 2000 it was an entirely Thai cast and Thai production team. I was delighted to see that the Nicolas Cage version was mostly a Thai production team too. One of the concessions they made to the second making of the film was the hit man in the original was a deaf mute – but my local rag says ‘Since the A-lister “needs to have some lines,” the twin directors make the hit man’s girlfriend deaf mute instead.’
Poor Nicholas Cage had to run around Bangkok in full motorbike leathers so he spent a lot of the film looking unattractively greasy. I did wonder what the love interest saw in him. The girls in the go-go club looked way too cheerful from the limited experience I’ve got of being inside those places. The majority of them have looked sad and bored when I’ve taken tourist friends inside.
They made our home look pretty real, I thought: filthy, polluted, busy, colourful, friendly and characterful.