Movie Review: ‘One Night In Bangkok’

One Night in Bangkok follows a man and a professional driver as they explore the beautiful capital of Thailand. Along the way, the man meets up with others who have a connection to his past, at which point he kills them… or at least tries. When the driver figures out what he is up to, she must decide what is her right course of action. This “homage” to Collateral is slower, more methodical, and more plot-driven than its predecessor, though it does have its fair share of suspense, action, and thrills.

As the title suggests, this movie takes place over the course of one night in Bangkok, beginning at nightfall as Kai (Mark Dacascos; John Wick 3) lands in the city. He orders a cab by app, similar to Uber or Lyft, driven by Fha (newcomer Vanida Golten) and at his first stop he offers her a large amount of money to turn off her app and drive him to all his destinations that night, claiming she can quit at any time. She agrees and after a couple stops and a quick meal with a heart-to-heart conversation, she realizes what she has gotten into, but she might be in too deep to back out.

Naturally, the deaths do not go unnoticed. A side story follows an offbeat police detective (Kane Kosugi, Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge) as he investigates the string of murders in an attempt to stop the bloodshed. Will he decode the mystery and close in on Kai before the night is through? How will the driver factor into the night’s events? Why do I ask questions I do not intend to answer?

The comparison to Collateral is unavoidable, though there is little in common beyond the basic premise (since it has been over a decade since I have seen Collateral, this statement is based on the story outline on Wikipedia). Kai is not a “hit man” as some descriptions state (including the official synopsis on the back of the DVD case); he is/was a good person who has become consumed with thoughts of revenge (admittedly, you cannot always tell this by looking at Dacascos’ face). The people Kai goes after are not on a list that he is being paid to check off. Perhaps they were trying to hide this by calling him a “hit man”, but the film is a nearly straight-forward revenge story, with some interesting twists.

I enjoyed the actors’ performances and the story; neither were perfect, but they were largely believable and memorable. There are fantastic sights to be seen and a few good realistic actions scenes that are not quite as over-the-top as John Wick 3 (Dacascos’ last big credit), but still entertaining on some levels.

Available on DVD as well as On Demand. If you decide to add this film to your collection, make sure to use movie catalog software to make it easier to find it in the future.

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