Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
The mean men break into the house and kill the proprietor of this home and his wife.  There's a little boy in the house as well, and I don't think this particular mean man was initially going to kill him, but then the little bugger pulls off his mask so now the mean man puts his gun up to the boys temple and pulls the trigger.  I guess the mean man shot the boy in the head at point blank range with one of those .1 caliber bullets because little Manit is fighting for his life.  Well, mean men can't have this boy surviving and identifying them, so they try to kill him, but fortunately a kindly nurse is looking out for the boy and scurries him a way to safety, to a kung fu master, where the boy will grow up and seek revenge.  In Bangkok.  Which is why they called this movie 'Bangkok Revenge' I think.

The truth of the matter is that adult Manit, Played by stuntman John Foo, isn't really looking for any revenge at all.  Because of the injuries to his brain, Manit doesn't feel pain or emotions or nothing.  He just kind of wanders around in a daze doing not much of anything.  At least until that thing happened.  Going back twenty or so years, while at the hospital after the boy disappeared, one of the bad men gave some random nurse a business card and told her to call if she should hear anything about the missing boy.  Now back to the present, while Manit was visiting his adopted dying mother, and she passed him some documents about his murdered parents and the police conspiracy behind it… we are not going even get into how in the hell she acquired these documents… this nurse overheard the conversation.  Twenty years later.  She STILL has this business card in her nurse uniform.  How hard would it have been just to let that go?  Now the bad men know where Manit is and now they can finally finish off this little boy.  Why?  I have no clue.  I'm thinking, by now, if he knew anything he would've long ago gone to the police, but I guess it's always better to be safe than sorry.
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'Sorry' would be the operative word here.  Not to describe this movie, per se, which is pretty sorry to be honest with you, but more so to describe how these people are going to feel after they start messing with Manit.  Manit, in a word, is awesome.  He kicks ass with such free reckless abandon that he, and the actor that plays him in John Foo, are truly something to see.  In a sentence, if you want to know what I thought about this movie, scenes where John Foo is kicking ass… awesome.  Everything else… horrible.  But back on point, emotionless Manit is now curious why all of these people, all of the sudden, are trying to kill him.  He gets a little help in this after rescuing a pretty reporter (Caroline Ducey) who will do some reporting stuff to help.  Not really.  Actually what she's going to do is provide this movie with a touch of gratuitous skin and then get captured so she can get rescued, and that would be about it.  There is also a tortured, disgraced former French policeman / Ultimate Fighter… don't ask… who also helps.  Kind of.  Who knows?  All I do know is that Manit will get this revenge, that he doesn't care about, while in Bangkok. 

Directed by Jean-Marc Mineo, 'Bangkok Revenge' is a fairly terrible movie.  I said this same thing about another movie with the word 'Bangkok' in the title a couple of years back with 'Bangkok Knockout', and while that move was terrible as well… it ended up being terribly awesome.  The difference?  If one has bad actors and bad dialog but great fighters… then don't have the actors act or talk that much.  Just have them kicking ass.  That's a solid recipe for success for there.  'Bangkok Revenge' on the other hand has so much dialog, and so many plot points and turns, and so many actors trying to speak in languages they clearly aren't comfortable with, that the movie just collapses under its own weight of general nonsense.

I see the effort to try to mask a few of these things though.  I guess the director felt John Foo wasn't a good enough actor, even though I've seen him in a couple of things and he didn't seem all that bad to me, but to hide his perceived inability, he was given no emotion.  That takes a load off of an actor, now doesn't it?  It is a little odd to hear this alleged 'Thai Native' speaking with a British accent, but in the end analysis I'd rather hear his British accent than having to listen to him utter the few Thai words he had to say, or listen to the two French actors in this film struggle with English, or hear the rest of the Thai cast struggle with English.  Subtitles work.   And the narrative was about as slipshod as the language problem, dropping plot points out of the middle of the sky, introducing all kinds of strangeness such as opera singing drug dealers and kung fu transvestites and more dirty cops than you can shake a stick at… with none of these plot points ever coming together to form any kind of a cohesive story.

But at least John Foo is a helluva athlete and martial artist.  Like I mentioned earlier, when he's doing that thing he's doing, the movie is tolerable.  Even enjoyable at times.  But an emotionless 'Thai' ass kicker with a British accent can only carry you so far. 

Love 'Bangkok Revenge' for John Foo's amazing skills, despise it for everything else.
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