So bad it's good... but really folks, it's bad.,
This review is from: Bangkok Assassins (English Subtitled) (Amazon Instant Video)
Why did I choose this rating?
I wouldn't consider myself a connoisseur of fine wine, but when I drink boxed wine my expectations match. That said, I can tell when I ask for Franzia and instead receive a slurry of sediment and clay dumped into a mug. Reading the title of the movie "Bangkok Assassins" I expected Chow Yun Fat, Hard Boiled type action. Instead, I got a confused movie that was neither action, nor love story, nor really anything in between. Returning to my first analogy, I feel like I got cat litter with odor crystals shoved down my throat. It's one of the few movies where I debated for the entire last half whether or not to keep sticking through it just as a test of my patience and resolve.
Where to begin... This is not a kung-fu movie. It is not an assassin movie. It isn't really much of an action movie. Unless you consider slapping each other like 3 year old girls action. And you know, if it were Jackie Chan slapping his enemies into submission, it would still be pretty legitimate. Instead, you get three Asian boy-bandish actors with zero martial arts skills throwing Street Fighter type Hadouken! type gestures and CG doing most of the work.
The story is kind of silly. Not that this genre is known for deep plot - but it's hard to get into. There are a few different stories playing out. 1) Revenge for the child abuser/abductors who made the protagonists blind, deaf, and mute; 2) Avenging the death of their master and mentally challenged friend; 3) A teenage love story; 4) A son trying to find his mother... It feels like it focuses a lot on number 3 and poorly. I feel like the story writer suffers from ADHD and can't stick to one idea for too long or treat it in a meaningful way.
There are a couple favorite moments in this movie:
The first is when the bad white guy sends his "monkey" ninjas out to kill the master. Something like, "he has the dragon tears... monkeys, go!" Then we see a shot of these monkey ninjas backflipping all the way down the hall to their exit. I mean come on guys, this is not really a great way to expend energy. Just walk. Or run.
The second is when he resends the monkey ninjas out to kill the kids. He says something like, "monkeys, go!" Then the monkey ninjas backflip and cartwheel their way down the hall toward their exit but THIS time, the left monkey ninja flips over a picnic table that happened to intercept his backflipping escape route.
The third scene is when one of the characters reunites with his mother. Except it's the face of the mother's daughter that totally kills me. Basically, the son slept with his sister... but it's okay! Because she's... adopted! But he's going to live with them from now on because that isn't weird or anything. But yeah, the daughter's face in all this is the best. It basically expresses "oh my God, this wasn't in the script... you've got to be kidding me..." kind of confusion and horror.
There are some weird things I thought was pretty funny as well:
For example, they introduce the female lead's best friend character who is not as pretty and pretty much I thought the entire purpose of her character was get with the nerdy male extra who has an infatuation with the female lead... but then she does nothing. Doesn't even hook up with him at the end. As a matter of fact, she happens to get stuck at the temple when the assassins attack the master, but she is conveniently no where to be found only making an appearance at the end like she was there the whole time.
The one "moral" character who doesn't share the revenge blood lust that the other ones do, in the end kills a crime boss by poking his eyes out, absolutely negating the character's core compass. But it's okay, because he's going to get with the female protagonist (who loved some other character the whole movie) in the end and that's going to right his compass again.
The female character is totally useless. She knows some CG kung-fu (she can levitate) but she's gives ZERO effort during the movie. I'm not even sure she tries to run away from the bad guys she's so easily caught. I think she may be some pop star whose sole purpose was to be cast as the name brand asset to draw in certain audiences. The males of this movie also kind of have that aura.
Sometimes the movie tries to be serious and sometimes campy - and that was confusing. Like, when the mentally challenged kid gets accidentally stabbed by a poison dart, you know - the innocent bystander thing... usually you give the bystander some dignity like, having the dart graze the victim or wound him in the gut, somewhere where it's like, "oh my gosh... I'm hurt..." [disbelief, falls]. Instead, he waddles over to his master, "Master! That was ama.. zing..." then he collapses with this dart sticking out of his FOREHEAD. I couldn't stop laughing.
Anyway, there are a bunch of these throughout the film. It would make for a good MST3000 episode if it were science fiction.
I guess I recommend this product to people who like scrawny asian boy band boys with some shirtless scenes. And anyone else who wants to watch it with a group of friends and rip into it throughout the showing. There are many hidden gems that can be torn apart for laughs. It's the kind of movie that the peanut gallery enhances.