‘102 Bangkok Robbery’ Review

2004. 102 Bangkok RobberyThailand; 91 minutes
VCD; Region 0; NTSC
Directed by Thanit Jitnukul
With Ampol Lampoon, Chatchai Plengpanich

A bloody gun battle erupts in a jungle. An equally bloody gun battle erupts in a city. What has happened?

According to the helpful site Movies BoOm,
“the Thai Government�s declaration to settle debts with the IMF inspires a powerful secret organization to plan a robbery of the national properties. Leader Nawin (Ampol Lampoon), a former experienced soldier, heads up the mission, and must go head-to-head with talented undercover detective Pakorn (Chatchai Plengpanich), who�s bidding to halt Nawin and his team. Both men have just 102 hours to successfully complete their respective missions.”

If the VCD had English subtitles — or if I’d done a little research *before* watching the movie — I would have known that. But once the bullets starting flying, I was immediately caught up in the action, and compulsively watched more gun battles, sniper fire, car crashes, pedestrian chases, helicopters, CGI bullets, explosions, civilian casualties, and tense stand-offs. The pace rarely slows, and when it does, the conversations tend to escalate quickly into arguments, and director Thanit Jitnukul (BANG RAJAN) keeps his restless camera moving.

The script steals relentlessly from a wide selection of police thrillers. Plotwise, BANGKOK ROBBERY doesn’t feel fresh — though what do I know, I don’t understand Thai — but the pace and the action left me entirely satisfied.

The only thing better would be seeing it on the big screen with English subtitles, perhaps in a major city? (Hint, hint, daring film programmers.)

More information and stills can be found at CinemaThai

* VCD Notes *

The colors are too frequently muddied, to the point where it is sometimes difficult to determine if it was an intentional artistic decision or simply a poor video transfer.

The stereo audio track is adequate.

No English subtitles.

Released theatrically in Thailand on April 29, 2004; VCD released August 2004.

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