10:42 - 22nd April 2014, by Calum Waddell

Bangkok Assassins

Despite the '15' certificate that accompanies Bangkok Assassins in the UK, potential viewers should be warned: this action-revenge romp features some of the most harrowing scenes of kiddie-crippling since Slumdog Millionaire. We are barely even past the credits before we are introduced to a gang of Thai street thugs who kidnap children and turn them into blind / deaf / limb-lopped beggars. Do you really want to see a screaming eight-year-old having his eyes poked out? What about another little fella experiencing some swift tongue removal? Well, this is Bangkok Assassins - at least, until an old Shaolin master infiltrates the scummy operation, takes down some of the adult nasties (without killing them or turning them into the law - for reasons unexplained). Four of the orphans are taken in by the elderly kung-fu wizard and trained as assassins - but when he is killed, they must avenge his death, whilst also seeking out the men who caused them such hell in their formative years.

Not a lot makes sense here - including why writer / director / producer Yuthlert Sippapak throws in a strange romantic subplot featuring the Old Master's cute daughter (herself offered up for comedy relief as a budding reality-show singer). Technically, Bangkok Assassins ticks all of the right boxes: fight sequences are often superb and the city's skyline makes for an inevitably stylish backdrop. A few good scenes of assassination, naturally, also arise - including the inventive use of chopsticks - but the whole shebang is so silly that one cannot help but wonder what we are supposed to make of all the onscreen slicing and dicing...

Daft, dumb and occasionally fun - Bangkok Assassins has potential to be a classic, but its stillborn script hampers the frantic action...
SCORE: 2.5/5
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