The most notable aspect of 'Bangkok Adrenaline's cover -- aside from the very strange artwork that looks like dueling atomic farts from the main characters have given birth to a hottie with a gun -- is the quote from KungFuCinema.com that says: "Some absolutely fantastic martial arts sequences!" On the back of the case, more praise from NinjaDixon.com that exclaims: "Awesome action sequences!" Not one comment saying, "Amazing characters," "Gripping story," or "Brilliant acting." That's a wise decision because none of those are traits of 'Bangkok Adrenaline.'
I respect filmmakers who set out to make a movie on a budget that wouldn't even cover the catering bill for most Hollywood blockbusters, but when they're as bad as this it's hard to find anything to really like about the final product.
Dan, Mike, Conan, and John are vacationing in Bangkok when they get caught up in a game of high stakes cards, and end up losing a ton of money to the local ring leader of an organized crime syndicate. With guns to their heads they're forced to come up with the money, which they don't have. They convince the mob boss to let them go so they can get the money together. Brilliantly they all decide to get jobs in Bangkok, and after a few days they figure out that they aren't going to earn a million Baht in time (Duh!). So, it's time for another brilliant idea, kidnap a rich man's daughter and ask for ransom. This idea they got from seeing a newspaper article with the girl's face on it. These guys are smart.
Halfway through the movie we realize that all of a sudden these fools have become martial arts specialists, who also dabble in parkour. This actually could have come in handy to escape the evil clutches of the mob boss, but I guess it slipped their minds at that time. Later on, they take on hordes of bad guys kicking and punching them into submission. If they would have done this earlier, we wouldn't have to endure the rest of the movie. Oh well.
Get this, the movie is actually written by Conan Stevens, yes the very same goliath in the movie who looks like he has a bowl of steroids every morning for breakfast. Maybe this explains the utter stupidity of the "humor" contained in the movie. From a car repair garage run by a band of midget repairmen, to a not-so-hilarious bit where the kidnap victim ends up peeing herself. (long sigh)
This is one of those movies that you stick in and about ten minutes into it you realize this isn't going to be any good. After twenty minutes you're ready to strangle every single character. After thirty minutes the acting has gotten so bad you wonder if these people have even been in home movies. After around an hour you'll find that even with all the kicks, karate chops, and furious flips that you're bored beyond belief. After it's all over you find yourself wondering exactly how awesome the movie would have been had it kicked all the parkour and kidnapping nonsense and gone straight for the gold. 'Midget Repair Shop!'
'Bangkok Adrenaline' has a decidedly home video feel to it, which is most likely a product of the low-budget that led to poor production value. That said, the 1080p transfer provided for the movie looks reasonable.
Never at any time will this transfer wow you. Instead it lumbers along with the same flat, home video look that will begin to wear on you. The colors are dim, and never really pop off the screen. Blacks waver around inconsistently, never offering true deep satisfying depth. Soft shots persist throughout the movie. Detail is noticeable, but never really grabs your eyes and pulls them in. I didn't notice many digital artifacts, but I did notice a handful of scenes that contained flickering, errant noise, and aliasing.
It's just one of those movies that if you're a fan of this kind of stuff then you deal with the inconsistencies in the picture because you know that it's never going to get any better than this.
The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix on the other hand could use a lot of help.
Every bit of dialogue in the movie sounds like it was recorded with tin cans covering the boom mics, almost to the point that dialogue echoes when they're not in a room that would provide an echo. Hissing is present during many lines of dialogue. When the fight scenes commence, the sound effects of punching and kicking overpower everything else that's going on. The prioritization needs a lot of work. Too much priority is given to the oomph of a punch as it connects with a face. It sounds odd and unnatural. The surrounds channels flatline for much of the movie, not even uttering a peep during more intense fight scenes where hordes of bad guys have surrounded the good guys from every angle. LFE isn't much of a help either. It comes to life during some of the musical soundtrack as hip-hop blares from the speakers, but it never really helps to create a believable world.
This mix just sounds so abnormal that it's tough to listen to at times.
I'm not even sure that I can recommend 'Bangkok Adrenaline' for a "Bad Movie Night." It's so awful I wonder if even the 'Mystery Science Theater' guys would have touched it. I'm sure they would have done a great job making fun of it, but man is this movie bad. The main bad guy, who has his daughter stolen, is by far one of the absolute worst actors I've ever witnessed. The movie is so packed with ridiculousness that it's hard to even imagine a world where more than a handful of people purchase this. In short, this is a title that you should never waste your time on. My advice would be to write into Conan and tell him that he should have written a movie about a car repair shop full of midgets. Now that's got some promise.