Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Sucky By Any Name (Especially So By This One)
Got myself back to the theater tonight by squeezing in a showing of Stop-Loss, which I’ll review later in the week. I was planning on arriving at the theater just before the opening credits. Instead, I got there in time for the full slate of previews. Damn promptness! If I could manage to be a little more nonchalant I would have saved myself the agony of watching the trailer for an upcoming film starring your favorite Oscar winner and mine: Nicolas Cage.
I needn’t say it here, but the movie failed to entice me. Fucking brutal were words that came to mind, and that was just the experience of enduring the trailer. Cage, wearing a long hairstyle that only accentuates the massiveness of his forehead, apparently plays a gunman for hire who gets pissed off over a shady business deal and goes on a rampage in some Asian country or another. Truth is, I did my best to keep from paying attention. Cage’s goofy hairstyle sure helped.
Still, I was attentive enough to catch the title of the film at trailer’s end: Bangkok Dangerous. Seriously! I’ve done a little Googling and it seems that this is an American knockoff of a 2001 Thai film, so I’m guessing the title is a literal translation. Too bad, because it sounds like a bad porn name, more specifically like an action hero played by Dirk Diggler. Or, maybe more accurately, it’s the character Will Ferrell would play if allowed to take his Ron Burgundy/Ricky Bobby/Jackie Moon act to the world of adult film: “Hello, I’m Bangkok Dangerous.”
But here’s the thing: it turns out that the movie’s title and the casting of Cage in yet another a leading role are not the most curious decisions related to this project. No, what’s downright preposterous is this: the 2001 film upon which the movie is based might not be very good. Over at Metacritic the original Bangkok Dangerous pulled a score of 45 (out of 100). That would put it behind movies like Beowulf (59) and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (48). But, hey, the new film has Nicolas Cage in an unforgivable hairdo! How could it fail?
So I offer this post as a public service announcement, but also to ask: What are some of your favorite awful movie titles? The invention of those computerized ticket kiosks has created a less embarrassing alternative, but has there ever been a movie you skipped at the theater simply because you were too proud to say its title out loud at the ticket booth?