Written and Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm
Julian (Gosling) and his brother have been successful with their drug smuggling operation in Bangkok. When his brother is brutally murdered, Julian is pressured by his mother (Thomas) to find those responsible and take revenge. His search brings him face to face with a man with a brutal and violent sense of justice.
Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson) has a way with intensely visual films. This movie is no exception. Along the lines of Drive, this film doesn’t hold back from graphic violence and harsh reality. Using uniquely colorful set designs, Refn is able to bring his version of Bangkok to life with wonderful results. The costuming and decor all seem to be chosen with specific intent to accentuate every scene perfectly. Thanks to a nicely written screenplay, Refn tells a story of corruption and murder with a unique visual signature.
Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March) was the perfect choice for the lead in this film. He brings Julian to life as a calculated and intense individual. Within his role he also manages to bring out something very human in his character. This is equally true of Pansringarm (The Hangover Part II), who balances his role between sadistic and judicious. Playing in a very unique role is Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient). Her portrayal of Julian’s mother is cold and violent. It’s an incredible performance throughout the entire film.
The score for this film is unique and powerful. Somehow it seems to play perfectly with the colors and sets used throughout the film. This score is unique and varied throughout the film, adding nicely to the intense nature of the story. The sound is also incredibly well-done throughout the film.
Despite being an incredible movie, this is also an intensely graphic and violent film. This might not work for everyone. If you like Drive, or films with a darker nature, this is one to see. I would also recommend this to fans of films with stories based in the criminal underworld. I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.