In Bangkok to make a few quick killings, hitman Joe (Nicolas Cage) is distracted from his duties by an over-eager apprentice (Shahkrit Yamnarm) and a beautiful deaf chemist (Charlie Yeung).
The Pang brothers’ remake of their slick 1999 calling card is saddled with a morose voiceover from Cage plus one of his now-trademark hairdon’ts. A compendium of tired John Woo clichés – shot, incidentally, during Thailand’s bloodless 2006 military coup – it comes alive in fits and starts thanks to some blistering set-pieces that showcase its directors’ percussive editing style and knack for a well-executed shoot-out.
But in between there’s so much sappy romance and exotic local colour (at one stage Joe bonds with an elephant) that a more apt title for this would be Bangkok Laborious.
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