After seeing a ridiculous amount of movies, it is always exciting when I by chance come across one that completely blows me away visually. It is astonishing that one film can seemingly re-invent the look of movies, without resorting to big budget special effects, but instead concentrating on good ol’ cinematography.
The Brothers Pang have obviously studied the school of Hong Kong cinema perfected by director Wong Kar-Wai and his cinematographer Christopher Doyle. But man, the Pangs take the cool visuals, edits, coloring, film stock changes, and urban neon, and bring us somewhere we haven’t seen much of before on screen: Bangkok.
Kong (Pawalit Mongkolpisit) is a deaf-mute gangster hitman, with a face of almost beautiful purity. He falls for a young woman who works at a drugstore when she gives him painkillers after he mimes for help. His partner Joe gets killed after avenging violence to his woman, and the climax has Kong avenging Joe by basically blowing away the whole Bangkok underworld.
There is hardly any dialogue in the film, and the story moves mostly through images. One of my favorite scenes is of Kong walking in slow motion into a Japanese restaurant, looking for thugs to kill. His dead partner Joe appears beside him, fading in and out in black and white, guns ready, strutting beside him, mirroring Kong’s determination… literally a (dead) brother-in-arms. Images like these stuck in my head days afterwards, and have put Bangkok Dangerous high on my list of films to add to my DVD collection.