Stupid Blockbuster going out of sale. Stupid me for being impulsive and buying a bunch of movies when they were going out of sale. So while perusing the rapidly depleting shelves at one of the soon to be defunct Blockbuster stores, I saw a fairly recent movie that, I will admit, I was kind of interested in seeing. So I picked up the American remake of Bangkok Dangerous, but as I continued looking, I saw the original movie sitting on the shelf. Now I like watching remakes and originals to see the differences that directors, or sometimes technology, can make on the two versions so of course, I bought the original as well. That is how I came to find myself watching Bangkok Dangerous (2000) back on this day.
The plot: Kong, who happens to be a deaf-mute, is an assassin for hire that receives his assignments from a stripper named Aom. In flashbacks throughout the movie, you see how he was picked on as a child and how he came to meet Jo and Aom, and trained by Jo into becoming a killer. After receiving his latest assignment, Kong heads out, collects his gun and kills the target, then buy some food and heads back to his apartment. Inside, he eats with Jo, his mentor who taught him how to become a killer. Since Jo’s hand was injured in a gun fight, he is unable to be an assassin anymore and Kong has been handling the assignments. Receiving a page from Aom, the two meet her at a coffee shop, where Aom tries to get back with Jo but he is still depressed and refuses. At a kickboxing fight, a mob boss and one of his henchmen meet with Aom and the boss gives Aom the next assignment for Kong to handle, but the henchman takes an interest in Aom. That night, Kong collects his assignment from Aom but after he leaves, the henchman shows up at the club and asks Aom out but she spurns his advances. This latest assignment has Kong travelling to Hong Kong, where he kills his target an the subway. Coming back to Bangkok, Kong ends up getting sick and goes to the drugstore for some medicine, and meets a pharmacist there named Fon. Attracted to the girl, Kong shows up the next day to giver her a note thanking her for the medicine and when the shop closes, he offers to give her a ride home but since she lives close by, she says he can walk her home. As they are walking, Fon asks Kong for his name but realizing that he can’t speak, she instead uses a marker to write her question on his arm, and the two begin writing on his arm to have a conversation. Reaching her house, Fon says goodbye to Kong and he heads home, where he stares at his arms, rereading their conversation, while lying in bed. Kong and Fon go out on several dates, and the two start to get close. One night, Fon tries to guess what Kong does and misinterprets his gesture to mean he is a gas station attendant. However, as they are walking through the park, they are attacked by two muggers and Fon witnesses Kong killing the two men. Horrified by what she saw, she runs away and Kong catches her and tries to explain to her but she just shakes her head and runs off. Meanwhile, the henchman continues going to the strip club and trying to pick up Aom but after repeatedly refusing him, he shows up as the club closes and rapes her. She tells Jo what happened and he goes after the henchman and kills him. When the mob boss learns of the death, he has his men find out who killed him so he can have the man killed. Getting information on who the henchman worked for, Jo gets a gun and heads there to kill the man, but the gun he was given contains blanks and he ends up being killed. After Kong kills his latest target, he attends the funeral for Jo with Aom, then goes to see the mob boss, who gives him the location of the men that killed Jo. Kong goes there and kills all but one of the men but as he points his gun at the last man, the man says that their boss ordered the hit and Kong gets enraged and kills the man. Kong goes by Fon’s house to try and see her but she continually avoids him. Later that day, Kong meets with Aom and gives her a note saying that their boss ordered Jo to be killed and he was going to avenge him. Aom pleads with Kong to let it go, as she didn’t want to lose her only friend, but he refuses. Suddenly, a news story comes on about the man that Kong killed and disturbed by the image of the man’s crying children, Kong grabs Aom’s arm and they leave the coffee shop. As they are walking down the street, several cars carrying the mob boss’s men show up and try to get them to go into a waiting car but Kong and Aom run and the men chase after them. As they are running through the alleyways, Aom ends up getting shot in the back and while they are hiding, he realizes that she has died. As he holds her dead body, Kong thinks back on all of the people that he has killed and realizes he needs to end things. Heading to Fon’s house, he gives her a note when she answers the door then leaves but after she reads the note, Fon runs outside and grabs a taxi to follow after him. Heading to the mob boss’s hideout, Kong surprises the guard and makes his way inside, where he manages to grab the boss and hold him hostage. When some other guards show up, Kong is forced to shoot them and the boss slips away but Kong shoots him in the leg, but ends up getting shot in the process. As the mobsters search for Kong, Kong begins picking them off one by one until only the boss is left. Outside, the police show up and begin closing off the area. After locating the boss, Kong shoots him in the chest then drags him outside, where the police train their guns on him but try to talk him down. As Fon shows up and runs to stop Kong, he places the mob bosses head next to his own, then puts his gun to his own head and pulls the trigger, killing them both. As the police and paramedics approach the two bodies, Fon begins crying over Kong’s death.
While it may only have a 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I thought this was a pretty decent movie. The acting was pretty good, though I will admit that it can be hard to tell at times since you cant always get all of the emotions from characters when reading subtitles. The plot was interesting and I did like how Kong’s interaction with Fon made for a bit of light-heartedness in the movie to play off all of the death and depression that was in the majority of the movie, as well as the flashback scenes, which helped to give Kong a lot of his character. The action sequences were well choreographed and I did like the scene where Kong killed the men that killed Jo, with his actions mirroring what Jo had done in his attempt. All in all, a decent overseas action movie that is worth a shot if you are in the mood.
Rating: 3 out of 5