Bangkok Dangerously Bland
Cage-starring remake of Asian hit lacks the spice of the original
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2008 10:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Pang brothers' Hollywood rehash of their 1999 hit Bangkok Dangerous lacks spice despite the exotic locale, say critics. The "rough, Bangkok underworld-set story" has morphed into "a cleaner tourist's take on crime and corruption," Jordan Mintzer writes in Variety, with Nicolas Cage playing a more conventional hit man than the deaf-mute of the original.

The film didn't screen for critics, the LA Times reports—typically not a positive sign—but Katey Rich of Cinema Blend manged to get a look and finds Cage's performance unusually charmless. "All the fun, violent parts of a movie about a hit man are set aside in favor of a handful of emotional side stories," she writes. The Pangs use Bangkok to create "an enchanting, slightly mystical sense of place," but  "unlike the city it's named for, Bangkok Dangerous is merely average."