‘Bangkok Revenge’ fails to pack a punch on DVD
New this week from Well Go USA is the French/Thai co-production that marks the feature film directorial debut of actor Jean-Marc Minéo, Bangkok Revenge. Originally released under the title “Rebirth”, the film features actor/stuntman John Foo, star of the 2010 live action “Tekken” film, as a one man destruction force fighting his way through Thailand. The big question is how does Bangkok Revenge stack up against the plethora of action films coming out of Thailand and other Asian countries?
Bangkok Revenge DVD Review
Starring: John Foo, Caroline Ducey and Michael Cohen
Written and Directed by Jean-Marc Minéo
A young boy left for dead by the assassins who killed his parents is taken under the wing of a martial-arts master and shaped into a lethal killing machine with an insatiable appetite for revenge. As a ten-year-old child, Manit (Foo) saw his parents murdered in cold blood. When the killers were finished, they put a gun to his head, and pulled the trigger. Incredibly, Manit survived, though the bullet in his brain left him devoid of all emotion. Subsequently adopted by a kindly martial-arts master, Manit trained tirelessly for the next 20 years, always knowing that the day would come when he would bring his parent’s killers to justice. When the time comes to embrace his destiny, Manit embarks on a violent quest for vengeance that brings the entire Bangkok underworld crumbling down.
The script for Bangkok Revenge is as thread bare and basic as they come. With very little connecting the plot, the story just focuses on getting us from one fight scene to the next. As you would also expect the dialogue is laughably bad and follows every cliché in the book. The film rests it hopes on the back of Foo who proves that he has limited charisma as his dialogue is purely monotone and emotionless; of course this explains the plot device of Manit not being able to feel or express any emotion. And the fact that Foo is supposed to be Thai born and raise yet possesses a perfect UK English accent, explained away whenever asked about the accent by the multiple utterance of the line ‘You wouldn’t believe me if I told you’ is ludicrous. Even his master speaks English, but with an American accent! The rest of the characters contain less depth that a 2D cartoon character.
Of course with a great action film all of this can be overlooked if the action sequences deliver the excitement and adrenaline packed thrills and in that respect Bangkok Revenge is a mixed bag. Clearly John Foo has some skills and can execute the moves, but all of the fight sequences are noticeable sped up in order to, supposedly, make them look better but it achieves the opposite effect. The frame rate and speed of the scenes becomes distractingly bad, especially when cutting between sped up and regular paced scenes. Michael Cohen joins the fray, inexplicably after meeting Manit just once, on Manit’s side and shows some skill of his own, though his technique is more brawling than style infused and his sequences are also sped up.
Bangkok Revenge comes to DVD without any special features on the disc and little special to feature in the action category. Clearly Foo has some skill in the fighting sense, but he lacks the charisma of newer stars like Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais and the script does not help him here either. In an age where fight sequences are broken down and speed is not as necessary as skill, it is also disappointing to see action sequences noticeably sped up when the martial artist featured does clearly possess some skill.
2 out of 5
Till Next Time
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