Bangkok Dangerous, an R-Rated action movie starring Nicolas Cage and Chakrit Yamnam (Thai: ชาคริต แย้มนาม) released at cinemas in Bangkok yesterday. The film has been released just two days after a State of Emergency has been declared in Bangkok by Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej. Sounds like a perfect timing? Déjà vu?
The movie title says it all, as countries like Britain, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Japan have issued travel advisories telling their citizens to avoid traveling to Bangkok unless necessary. The situation has severely affected the tourism industry, as many tourists have canceled their tickets to Bangkok.
The question is, is it really unsafe to travel to Bangkok? Is Bangkok dangerous or not so dangerous? I personally think that the streets in Bangkok are safe except for the areas around Government House and Saphan Makkawan Bridge, which should be avoided. The emergency decree is having little effects on Bangkokians, as they carry on with their lives as usual, go to work, visit their dentists, and freely wander from place to place in search of food and clothing, and some entertainment.
Buses, taxis, tuk-tuks, songtaews, skytrain, subway are running as usual in Bangkok and so are hotels, restaurants, resorts, shopping centers, markets, you name it... its business as usual in Bangkok.
Bangkok Dangerous is written and directed by Hong Kong-born identical twins, Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang, also known as Pang Brothers, and is a remake of their original 1999 Thai film of the same name.
Bangkok Dangerous 2008 was actually shot in Bangkok in 2006 during which a military coup was going on!
Wise Kwai mentions in his blog that "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".
The films picks up the story of a loner assassin, played by Nicolas Cage, who goes to Bangkok to pull off a series of assignments and find himself falling in love with a local girl. The Thai actor Chakrit Yamnam plays an "errand boy" character.
The current tagline states: "It's all in the execution", after the "One Man. One Bullet. One Shot." was shown on previous posters.
The adrenaline-charged thriller is expected to rake in $10 million in North America and top the weekend's box-office rankings, as it is the sole major release hitting the U.S. multiplexes.
Bangkok Dangerous Reviews
Times Online UK writes:
"Cynics may be tempted to dismiss Bangkok Dangerous as money for old rope but the Hollywood firepower under its gleaming bonnet would make a Top Gear presenter shiver with pleasure. Nicolas Cage is a ruthless hitman who is as reliable and expensive as a Swiss watch. His kills are immaculately planned pieces of art."
Mercury News 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."