Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Bangkok Dangerous Plays Too Safe

Plus, The Pool is refreshing and Mister Foe is dark and magical.

by | September 4, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies brings only one wide release: the Pang Brothers’ remake of their own Bangkok Dangerous starring Nicolas Cage as a conflicted hitman. What do the critics have to say?

Nicolas Cage has been on a critical losing streak, one that looks to be extended with Bangkok Dangerous. Cage stars as a cold-blooded assassin who, tasked with executing rivals of a crime boss, finds himself befriending a young street kid and falling into a tentative romance — ending his self-imposed isolation at a time when his life is in danger. Bangkok Dangerous was barely screened for critics, and those who have seen it say it lacks the grittiness and stylistic flair of the Pangs’ 2001 original (at 58 percent on the Tomatometer); instead, the brothers substitute clichés from other, better crime movies, and the action scenes lack punch. At 25 percent on the Tomatometer, pundits say Bangkok Dangerous plays it too safe.

What makes Bangkok dangerous? Well, for starters, steep stairs and ultraviolet rays.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • August Evening, a drama about an aging undocumented worker and his relationship with his daughter-in-law, is at 100 percent.

  • Chris Smtih‘s The Pool, a low-key tale of a hotel employee in India, is at 91 percent.

  • Mister Foe, starring Jamie Bell in a dark magic-realist tale of a young man’s search for the truth of his mother’s death, is at 81 percent.

  • Jessica Yu‘s Ping Pong Playa, a comedy about a hoopster who reluctantly attempts to uphold his table tennis-mad family’s honor, is at 56 percent (see an exclusive featurette here).

  • Everybody Wants to Be Italian, a romantic comedy about a guy who fakes his ethnicity to win a girl, is at zero percent.

    With Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady sidelined with injuries, this guy singlehandedly kept the Rockets’ playoff hopes alive.

    Finally, crazy mad props to man in the water, alsanali, hatingvindiesel, luishere, and quietus28 for correctly guessing that Disaster Movie would score a perfect zero on the Tomatometer. I also gotta give a shout out to rockclmbr6 for coming the closest to guessing College‘s eight percent Tomatometer.

    Recent Nicolas Cage Movies:

  • 29% — Next (2007)
  • 31% — National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2007)
  • 28% — Ghost Rider (2007)

  • 70% — World Trade Center (2006)

  • 63% — The Ant Bully (2006)

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