Image Entertainment // 2009 // 87 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis // August 27th, 2010
The way to raise your adrenaline!!!
Sometimes, you have to wonder what people think when they put together a script. When they finally get to the point when they decide to shoot, do they delude themselves into believing that they're done and that the script will work on film, or do they just give up and decide that they'll try to fix whatever horrible problems they have while they film? Either way, going into production with a story that makes absolutely no sense is pretty foolish, yet here we are with another movie that doesn't seem to care that it makes no sense. It moves right along as though coherency was a meaningless concept.
Four young British jackasses are in Thailand to get drunk and find some girls. Sitting down to a high-stakes poker game, they win a ton and lose it all, running afoul of a mob boss in the process. They owe him big, and he gives them a week to pay up but, in a foreign country and with a complete lack of social skills, they have no options to find the money. Somehow, they decide that their best way to come up with the cash is to kidnap the young daughter of a businessman and extort it. She's a little vixen, though, making trouble for all of them and causing them to fight more just to keep her in the house than to get the money.
Bangkok Adrenaline has one thing going for it: the martial arts scenes. It looks back toward the chop-sockey films of the '60s and '70s, and we get some long, sometimes highly entertaining punch-and-kick sequences that are often cut too heavily to really enjoy. These d-bag frat boys, improbably enough, know their way around a fight and really bring it against a host of baddies. If that's the way it was for the full running time, then great. Mostly, however, it's some of the worst kind of plotting you're going to find, cheap and cliched as can be, with horribly irritating characters and a preposterous story that barely deserves mention.
We were sent a screener copy of Bangkok Adrenaline, so technical issues are to be expected and should not correspond to the finished product. As it stands, the image looks decent, with few defects and a fairly sharp picture. There are some tracking issues and a general cheapness to the look, but it should be better upon release. The sound is just fine, with a solid mix of music and effects throughout. All the speakers get a fair workout; the sound will do even if it isn't improved for the final product. There are no extras.
Bangkok Adrenaline would be one of the worst movies I've ever seen, if it hadn't redeemed itself with some very strong fight scenes. I wish they were a little less edited to allow the audience to appreciate what they can do, but it's the only shining light in this otherwise dismal film.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated R