Bangkok Adrenaline [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Image Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Anthony Arrigo (26th February 2012).
The Film

I’m not going to lie. I honestly don’t have a single ounce of energy I’m willing to put forth on reviewing this title any more than the few sentences I’m going to cobble together.

And, really, why should I? It’s clear that no one making the film put forth any effort to make it of passable quality. I’ve denounced the crop of martial arts films coming out of Thailand on more than one occasion, but “Bangkok Adrenaline” (2009) takes the cake as THE single worst pile of elephant dung exported from the land of Tony Jaa. The most offensive aspect of the production isn’t necessarily the plot (which is still an unimaginable bore); it’s virtually everything. The cameras used to shoot the film can probably be purchase at Best Buy, the “actors” are clearly nothing more than stuntmen (at best) doing their worst at reciting lines that are garbage to begin with, and the entire thing feels so… boring. Isn’t that a shame? Despite the film’s quality, someone had to write the script, hire people, build sets…. My point being, work went into this thing and the best that could come out the other side is this steaming heap?

The “plot” involves four of the least-likable guys in Thailand kidnapping a mob boss’ daughter after they foolishly lose a large sum of money to another mob boss. Stuff that doesn’t matter in the least happens, and soon our four leads find themselves forced to fight, blah blah blah. You know where this is going already. I’m surprised Thailand doesn’t just start making silent films full of nothing but 2 non-stop hours of fighting. That’s all these movies are anyway. It’s a glorified highlight reel for whoever is lucky (unlucky?) enough to land a lead role. There’s never once a moment that you think ANY of these guys is going to bite the big one. Without a shred of suspense or tension, this film is just another dud. I wish someone in the Thai film industry would try to craft a unique film featuring the world class fighters they possess rather than sticking them in the equivalent of a Mad Libs story with fighting.

Video

The film’s 1.78:1 1080p 24/fps AVC MPEG-4 encoded image isn’t what I’d call a great image. Hell, I wouldn’t even call it “good”. Frankly, it sucks. The picture looks like it was shot on the cheap, with numerous problems appearing in every frame. It’s overly grainy, and colors range from looking totally washed out to being so over saturated that it’s practically bleeding. Black are many things, but “black” is rarely one of them. They usually appear grayed out, soft and/or crushed, leaving anything taking place at night looking no better than a cheap DVD. I could go on and on, but I won’t. This is a substandard image by every definition of the term, but I don’t know if I can fault Image for the picture since it’s likely inherent to the source. The terrible, horrible source.

Audio

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound track mixed at 48kHz/24-bit sounds like someone set the mixing dial to “11” and left the room. This track is LOUD, but not in a good way. Everything sounds completely blown out, with no hint of subtlety whatsoever (not that I expected any). The film opens with a Thai nu metal/rap song that felt like poison coursing through my ear canals. The audio sounds like it was all done in the studio, but never mixed properly, so it can wildly vary. At times it sounds muffled and overly bass heavy, at others it sounds like it was recorded through a tin can. Of course, every punch and kick comes packed with enough body smashing power to remind you THIS IS AN ACTION MOVIE. I don’t recall hearing much out of the rear speakers, but that also might be because everything else was so over-cooked that I simply didn’t notice. Subtitles are available in English for the hearing impaired and Spanish.

Extras

There’s one lone extra feature here, and it’s long, tedious and beyond boring.

“Behind the Scenes” (480p) documentary runs for a whopping 56 minutes and 34 seconds, all of it without narration or direction. It’s an hour of b-roll as we see the film being shot. This might excited the small sector of you who want to see the making of a terrible Thai action movie.

I, however, am not one of those people.

Bonus trailers (480p) are also included for the following:

- “The Crew” runs for 1 minute and 52 seconds.
- “High Life” runs for 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
- “The Stick Up Kids” runs for 1 minute and 53 seconds.
- “Eyeborgs” runs for 2 minutes and 32 seconds.

Packaging

The single disc comes housed in an amaray keep case. The cover art looks like every single other generic Thai fighting film I’ve seen. Whoever they keep hiring to do these must be raking in the dough.

Overall

You really need to ask? PASS.

The Film: F Video: D Audio: C- Extras: D Overall: F

 


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