The terminator. Kong does his job efficiently...
dir-scr Pang Brothers
with Powarit Mongkolpisit, Premsinee Ratanasopha, Pisek Intarakanchit, Patrawarin Timkul, Korkiate Limpapat, Piya Boonnak
release US 23.Nov.01; UK 22.Feb.02
See also: BANGKOK DANGEROUS (2008)
With more style than is strictly necessary, twins Oxide and Danny Pang attack the cinema with this romantic thriller about a deaf-mute hitman named Kong (Mongkolpisit). Amid the violence of an escalating Bangkok gang war, with bodies piling up on all sides, Kong meets and falls sweetly for a nice young woman (Ratanasopha) who works in his local pharmacy. But as he and his friends get more and more intertwined in the violence, he wonders if he will ever be able to put his murderous ways behind him and find that elusive normal life.
The Pangs use cross-cutting, edgy editing effects, an offbeat sound mix and both colour-saturation and monochrome to paint this cinematic portrait of love amid the bullets. The result is oddly effective, creating an intriguing mood that actually generates some emotional resonance. This is stylish, outrageous filmmaking, and some scenes have so much "style" that we're not quite clear as to what happened or to whom. But never mind, we'll find out soon enough. The violence is also extremely gruesome, not to mention cruel and vicious. It's not hyperbolic and over the top; even though it's utterly excessive, there's a real sense of people dying here! So combined with the rather touching romance that's trying to bloom between rivers of blood, the film is more than a little unsettling ... and unsuccessful. Still, it does show directoral promise, so I'm sure we'll see the Pangs in Hollywood before we know what's hit us.
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