Luckily, Bangkok Adrenaline is packed with inventive, acrobatic fights that keep this from being just another generic Thai action flick. The film centres around four buddies on a backpacking holiday in Thailand, where a string of poor bets leaves them owing a large sum of cash to the local loan shark, who threatens them with death unless they can pay up by the end of the week. In desperation they kidnap the teenage daughter of a local millionaire and attempt to ransom her back to him and then there’s some fighting. Predictable stupid plot but despite the wobbly thespian skills of its main actors, is actually quite a fun action ride.
There’s a very, very good chance you weren’t watching this for the plot twists and deep philosophical implications. So does it really matter? I guess not. The actors handling of comedy is also slightly skewed, and so many of the intended jokes fall flat, but then again, you came for the action, right? As it is, the cast mistakenly place their faith in the script and their own acting ability and end up with egg on their faces. However when the action finally shows up every now and again, it’s a pretty good effort.
Bangkok Adrenaline displays an extraordinary showcase for the martial artists’ involved skillsets. It’s marred only slightly by some completely unnecessary and needless flips and somersaults. If you’ve been suffering from withdrawal symptoms since you saw ‘Ong Bak’, then this is a fine footnote that pushes a lot of the same buttons. It’s also exciting to think ahead and realise that they’ll learn from their mistakes and hopefully bring us an even more polished actioner next time around. Lastly, the attempts to twist and add surprises to the plot were childish at best.
It does take a while for the action to kick in, again too much time spent on comedy mugging but once it does, the action and fights are gloriously inventive. As illustrated in the above youtube clip, the performers clearly know what they’re doing, and when the time comes to kick random Asian men butt, it delivers. But it’s Daniel O’Neill that really makes his mark. He’s got the looks, is easily the best actor in the cast, and he hogs all of the best fight scenes. I also have to mention Priya Suandokemai, who makes a funny, rude and very physical performance as the bitchy daughter Irene. All in all, another example of a garbage movie with great fight scenes. I don’t think we could ever really have enough of these types of films, right?