Directed by: Raimund Huber
Starring: Daniel O’Neil, Praya Suandokmai, Gwion Jacob Miles, Conan Stevens, Raimund Huber, Dom Hetrakul, Liam Noel Harrison, Lex De Groot
So you and your buddies are down to your last three thousand Baht and it’s still early in Bangkok what do you do? Do you call it a night and find a hotel? Not if your Dan, Mike, John and Conan, in that case you find an illegal gambling den and try to turn that three thousand Baht into a small fortune. You can imagine how well that works. Before the sun comes up the boys are a million Baht in hock to the proprietor of the underground casino they’ve been gambling in.
The gambling club owner has a unique way of collecting bad debts. For every thousand Baht owed he breaks a finger. Unfortunately the four friends only have forty fingers between themselves. Obviously other arrangements are going to have to be made. So the four friends manage to talk themselves into a week to raise the one million Baht, that’s around thirty thousand US, so they spend the next couple of days trying to raise the dough. Dan, Daniel O’Neil tries his hand at picking pockets, Conan, Conan Stevens, tries wrestling, Mike, Gwion Jacob Miles, gets a job at a dojo, and John, Raimund Huber finds a gig as a male stripper, but none of these pursuits, while providing us with a few laughs, nets them anywhere near the cash they need. More drastic measures are called for. So the plan is hatched to kidnap Irene, Thai soap star Praya Suandokmai, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy American businessman living in Bangkok. The four manage to pull off the kidnapping but the plan goes awry when the four figure out that the father doesn’t actually want his daughter back.
So the plot is far from original but that doesn’t really matter. The story is just an excuse to string together a bunch of chase and fight scenes mixed up with a bunch of juvenile sight gags. Normally this would be a recipe for eighty seven minutes of unwatchable tripe, but these are excellent fight scenes and the chase scenes are a mixture of parkour and running martial arts battles using Bangkok as a backdrop. The movie never takes it self all that seriously and it never asks you to either. If there is twelve year old boy still lurking about somewhere in your psyche the result is a lot of fun. If not then this is definitely not a movie you want to see.
The whole thing comes across as if four buddies decided to call in a bunch of favors and make a movie, which is not far from the truth. A little googling reveals that the film was conceived by the main actors as a way to showcase their stunt, acting and screenwriting abilities and even if the whole thing bombed they would have some good footage for their reels and hopefully lead to better roles in the Thai movie scene. Somehow the whole thing worked. The acting is uniformly atrocious but the fight scenes are fantastic and the humor while lowbrow and sometimes cringe worthy works. The storyline while derivative has enough little twists to keep you engaged and the filmmakers made good use of the locations to keep it visually interesting Bangkok Adrenaline is a fun movie.
The video is presented in 1080p and in widescreen. The video is usually crisp but the color can vary. Often there is a slight green or blue tint to scenes and in some scenes shot with multiple cameras the color can be way off. In one fight scene in a warehouse the color of boxes in the background kept alternating from purple to orange as the editor cut to footage from different cameras. Blacks are sometimes dark and rich and in other scenes they are washed out and dark grayish. On the upside I never noticed any compression artifacts.
The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 in English. There are English and Spanish subtitles available. The dialog is always clear and discernable and the impacts during the fight scenes have some nice pop but aren’t cartoony like you find in many martial arts movies. The driving score is a little repetitive and seemed a little forward in the mix for my taste at times.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The Blu-ray disc comes in a standard Blu-ray case. The one sided insert artwork is way over the top but manages to convey the spirit of the film if it doesn’t actually reflect the content of the film. The menu is simple and easy to navigate and the only special features are some raw behind the scenes footage.
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10
This is not a movie that is going to pop into the player to show your friends how cool Bu-ray is, but it is a fun way to waste an hour and a half.
The Movie 7/10
The Video 5/10
The Audio 6/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 4/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10