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Bangkok Revenge (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

March 16, 2013 by  



“Bangkok Revenge” resembles an ’80s martial arts film.  Plenty of action, uneven pacing, bad acting, corny humor but it’s one of those films that can be seen as “So bad, it’s good” that you wouldn’t mind watching it again.  Of the many terrible films out there, “Bangkok Revenge” is not terrible and it’s far from being great or even good.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes one of those cult martial arts films that people just watch over and over.  It may be the modern equivalent to “No Retreat, No Surrender”.

Images courtesy of © 2012 Le Cercle. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Bangkok Revenge

FILM RELEASE: 2011

DURATION: 82 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition,16:9 Widescreen, Thai and English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment

RATED: NR

Release Date: March 26, 2013

Written and Directed by Jean-Marc Mineo

Produced by Cedric Jimenez

Executive Producer: Christian Gerber

Line Producer: Patrice Gilles

Music by Christophe Gerber

Edited by Hugo Picazo, Nicolas Sarkissian

Starring:

Jon Foo as Manit

Caroline Ducey as Clara

Michael Cohen as Simon

Aphiradi Phawaphutanon as Chanticha

Winai Kraibutr as samat

Kowitch Wathana as Adjan

Lioutsia Goubaidoullina as Jessy

Julaluck Ismalone as Ying

Manit (Jon Foo, TEKKEN, STREET FIGHTER LEGACY) was only ten years old when they killed his parents. A brutal, thoughtless murder, which included putting a bullet in his own brain. They should have finished the job. Rescued from death by a master of Muay Thai boxing, and afflicted with ataraxia – a brain injury that removes all human emotion – Manit has spent his life training to be a killing machine. It’s 20 years later, and he’s coming for them all. With fists, feet, and bloody vengeance, he’s going to make them wish they were dead already.

Actor turned filmmaker Jean-Marc Mineo had worked on action his share of acting films.  From working on films such as “”Femme Fatale” to coordinating action on TV series such as “The Spear of Destiny”, Mineo has crafted his first martial arts film titled “Bangkok Revenge”.

Starring Jon Foo (“Tekken”, “Street Fighter: Legacy”, “Universal Soldier: Regeneration”), Caroline Ducey (“The Soul Keeper”, “Romance”,  “Handicap”) and Michael Cohen, “Bangkok Revenge” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in March 2013 courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment.

The film begins with intruders entering a house and murdering a married couple, their young child sees what happens and tries to make a run and hide.

The boy is caught and before he is shot, he pulls the mask off the man who is about to shoot him and is shot.

As both parents have been killed, the boy who was shot on the left temple is dying in the hospital.  But a nurse at the hospital hopes he can be revived.   An uncle comes in and tells the hospital staff that the parents wishes were that the kid does not have any life support and to die.  But instead of dying, he has a heartbeat and lives.  We learn that the “uncle” is actually working with the bad guys and they are still determined in killing the child.

The nurse knowing that something bad will happen, takes the child far away to a man who knows the old ways of medicine.  He agrees to help the boy and the boy is healed.  But because he was shot in the brain and lived, he has lost all sense of emotion.  He can’t feel happiness, sadness, nothing.

We see how this boy is not Muay Thai boxing and is trained for the next 20-years and the boy named Manit becomes a man (portrayed by Jon Foo) and a deadly killing machine fighting for good.

But the nurse who helped him is dying and when Manit comes to visit her, she tells him the truth of his past.  He was the son of a major investigator who was trying to bring down corruption in the police force but his men were killed and finally, Manit’s father was killed by those who felt he was disrupting their operation.  She gives him files and paperwork she had amassed during her own investigation to Manit’s past and gives it to him.

Manit vows to get justice for his parents.  But right outside the hospital is a nurse who heard the entire conversation and calls the corrupted policeman that she thinks the child they have been looking for has shown up.

So, as Manit goes back to the city, he is now being followed by the corrupted police, but he manages to thwart their plans of killing them and takes their information, showing they are police.

While walking around, he sees a French journalist named Clara (portrayed by Caroline Ducey) and her cameraman being assaulted by a gang.  Manit who shows no emotion, comes up and defeats the gang and rescues the journalist.  He tells her about what he’s trying to do and for saving her life, Clara tries to find information in regards to the past.

As the two go walking one day back home, the two are cornered by corrupt cops and Clara is kidnapped.  As the bad police try to kill Manit, he defeats him with his super quick Muay Thai boxing skills.

But now, Manit must try to rescue Clara and meets others, who may aid him in his cause to get justice for his parents murder or may be working for the wrong side of the law.

VIDEO:

“Bangkok Revenge” is presented in 1080p High Definition (16:9 widescreen).  For the most part, the film does look very good, especially since many shots are outdoors.  Despite being a low-budget film, the film looks good on Blu-ray.  Skintones are natural, I expected so major noise through the more darkened scenes but nothing terrible was noticeable nor did I see any significant artifacts or aliasing.  Picture quality was very good.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Bangkok Revenge” is presented in Thai and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  While the film is primarily dialogue and music driven, it’s primarily a front and center channel affair. I didn’t notice any major use of the surround channels or LFE.  While a large part of the film is English, unfortunately it’s English that is hard to understand at times that you end up watching subtitles to find out what was trying to be said.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Bangkok Revenge” comes with a trailer.

Does anyone remember the ’80s martial arts film “No Retreat, No Surrender” with its bad acting, martial arts action and the film that probably introduced Jean-Claude Van Damme to viewers in America?

Here comes “Bangkok Revenge” which features bad acting, Muay Thai Boxing and Jon Foo. But like “No Retreat, No Surrender” which you probably caught on HBO, you watched it probably many times because it was so bad. “Bangkok Revenge” makes you watch it because it’s so bad,but yet it makes you laugh. It’s one thing to watch a bad film that bores you, but when a bad film can make you laugh, then you know it’s not that terrible. Of bad films, I probably would watch this film many times rather than watch a film like “Strange Wilderness” for a second time.

Granted, this is not a film you watch for great acting but for the action. And it’s a popcorn action flick that you just should not dwell on and ask why?

For example, the film goes forward 20-years later but Manit who was probably 10 at the time looks more like in his younger 20’s.  While his “mother” is seen to age, the man who brings him back to life and trains him, looks the same.

The film’s pacing is off and its use of foreign actors speaking English makes the film one of the first films mostly spoken in English, where I had to have the English subtitles turned on.  The accents can be thick and even the delivered dialogue feels that the actors are trying their best to say their lines in English that it doesn’t come off as natural.

From the way the film ends (why it ends that way, with another character instead of the protagonist, was just bad), to its use of almost bad ominous music during a sex scene.  When the character could have been killed and shot to death, he manages to survive with no wound.  Typically in a film, they go to explain that a bullet hit something metal that blocked the bullet penetrating but we see Manit going down but is quickly back up.

But let’s eliminate the bad and think about the humor of the film, may it be intentional or not intentional.  Because Manit has no emotions, he says things that make him the ultimate smart ass.

Clara asks Manit if he ever wanted a woman to hold him in her arms and all of a sudden he says, “I can do that” and starts having sex with her immediately (with the ominous music playing) and her being saddened that this man can not feel pleasure.  Obviously he has to feel something to get himself in the mood for sex.

Even post-sex, he is seen giving her a pat on the shoulder and saying “As for last night, it was great!” with the biggest BS face you will ever see onscreen.

But there are little things such as Manit fighting a group of thugs inside the train and seeing this guy trying to film with his cell phone who gets caught up in the fracas, he ends up kicking one of the guys and you can’t help but laugh.

So, there are a lot of interesting moments, dialogue and things that are flat out crazy in this film, but it’s part of that charm that is reminiscent of ’80s martial arts films.  Now, I don’t know if filmmaker Jean-Marc Mineo set out trying to accomplish that but he did.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is good, audio was front and center-channel driven and there are no special features but a trailer.

Overall, “Bangkok Revenge” resembles an ’80s martial arts film.  Plenty of action, uneven pacing, bad acting, corny humor but it’s one of those films that can be seen as “So bad, it’s good” that you wouldn’t mind watching it again.  Of the many terrible films out there, “Bangkok Revenge” is not terrible and it’s far from being great or even good.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes one of those cult martial arts films that people just watch over and over.  It may be the modern equivalent to “No Retreat, No Surrender”.

 






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