In One Night time In Bangkok (HBO Max), Mark Dacascos performs a person on a mission to settle some scores. His rideshare driver finally figures out what her passenger is as much as, however the greater thriller is why this ripoff of Collateral masquerading as a tribute wanted to be made in any respect.
The Gist: It’s 4pm, and a person in a gray go well with, touring enterprise class, has landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport. He’s arrived in Bangkok, Thailand with no baggage aside from a toothbrush. He takes a practice to town middle, and accepts a package deal from a courier. It’s the pistol he’ll must carry out his duties. One Night time In Bangkok doesn’t conceal from its Collateral comparisons, proper all the way down to the colour of the killer’s go well with. However as an alternative of Tom Cruise’s amoral hitman Vincent, Bangkok has Mark Dacascos as Kai, whose listing of targets was made for a extra private motive. Dacascos, the B-movie martial arts common and erstwhile Iron Chef America host, obtained an enormous enhance in 2019 when he appeared in John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum as Zero, one of many killers on the hunt for Keanu Reeves. However right here, the veteran actor’s expressive eyes and painfully fervent sincerity are performed means, means down, a lot in order that Bangkok typically slows to the tempo of that metropolis’s infamously snarled visitors. And the Jamie Foxx cabbie function? This time round, it’s a younger Thai native named Fha (Vanida Golten), and he or she’s a rideshare driver. So no less than One Night time In Bangkok gives one novel replace to Michael Mann’s 2004 city tone poem.
Kai pays Fha to drive him round for your entire night time, and as he begins rubbing out his marks, their dialog turns to broad meditations on free will, decision-making, the burden of guilt, and the way individuals are like fish. (“Some are actually dumb and simple to catch,” Kai muses. “Others are extraordinarily sensible and way more troublesome to catch.”) Darwin, shit occurs, I Ching, this isn’t.
Because the physique rely ticks upward and Kai’s composure begins to falter, it begins to daybreak on Fha that this facet hustle may not be well worth the $5,000 he supplied her. The cops get entangled, too, and so they start to type out a sample to the bloodshed. By the point the wee hours of the morning roll round, issues haven’t precisely gone the way in which Kai deliberate it, and everybody — the dwelling and the lifeless — has realized a factor or two about motivation.
What Films Will It Remind You Of? One Night time In Bangkok isn’t a lot homage to Collateral as it’s a film dwelling contained in the pores and skin of a significantly better movie. In its moody nighttime cruising by Bangkok and bursts of occasional violence, there are flashes of Nicolas Winding Refn’s weirder and way more wicked Only God Forgives (stream it on Tubi). And whereas we’re as regards to focused killings in Thailand, there’s the Pang Brothers’ 1999 crime saga Bangkok Dangerous, which later appeared in considerably tepid remake kind with Nicolas Cage because the hitman. (The Cage model is streaming on Cinemax.)
Efficiency Price Watching: Mark Dacascos has a really deliberate type as an actor, in every thing from his exact diction to the style wherein he strikes his eyes. He employed these instruments to nice impact in Parabellum; for that matter, he did in order The Chairman on Iron Chef, too. The wavering script of One Night time In Bangkok is simply too scanty for Dacascos to essentially seize on a second he may make memorable. However there are hints of it as you look at him within the rearview mirror.
Memorable Dialogue: As Kai scratches increasingly folks off of his ‘To Kill’ listing, Dacascos turns up the warmth on his demise blow traces. “You’re sufficiently old to kill…you’re sufficiently old to die” (and the suppressed pistol goes fffffft fffffft fffffft.)
Intercourse and Pores and skin: Certainly one of Kai’s targets is partying in a on line casino that additionally options writhing unique dancers. The identical unlucky soul can also be seen utilizing cocaine and fascinating with prostitution.
Our Name: One Night time in Bangkok was written and directed by Wych Kaosayananda, who additionally helmed the bloated 2002 motion head-scratcher Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. He’s made some VOD actioners since that large price range debacle, too, so it’s curious that One Night time In Bangkok is at its least attention-grabbing when Kai is dispatching his victims. The supposed motion scenes are as an alternative transactional: Kai walks into an workplace, a elaborate lavatory, or a hospital restoration room, kills one or two and even three folks with bullets to the top or chest, and exits through the construction’s loading dock. Even Kai’s raid on a felony’s well-defended mansion is totally empty of pressure. (It does nevertheless have loads of comfortable henchman targets in cute matching tracksuits.) In a movie with violence at its core, what ought to be pivotal is as an alternative paced at a murmur, as quiet as Dacascos’ cerebral Kai is as he sleeps within the backseat of his rideshare between varied murders.
Dacascos has confirmed that he can dangle with higher materials, and he does handle to eke out the traces of a personality right here, regardless of being handed an entire lot of nothing. His plan turns into frayed and torn earlier than the night time is thru, and Kai turns into more and more frazzled. However he stays honorable to the ethical normal he’s set for himself, and we have interaction with that principally due to Dacascos maintaining us within the recreation. All the things else on this muddled noir is simply collateral injury.
Our Take: STREAM IT. Properly, stream it for Mark Dacascos, who deserves a number one man function, even when it’s on this obscure, unconvincing noir. It’s a drag, it’s a bore, it’s actually such a pity, to be this riff on Collateral, and never that significantly better movie.
Johnny Loftus is an impartial author and editor dwelling at massive in Chicagoland. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Information, Pitchfork Media, and Nicki Swift. Observe him on Twitter: @glennganges