A film about drug smugglers in Thailand, nothing new about that is there? Well, English Dogs in Bangkok has found at least one new twist, the drugs in question are steroids rather than opioids. Which given my affinity for the gym is a topic of interest to me.
Byron (Byron Gibson, Only God Forgives, Hard Target 2) was a successful mob foot soldier. Until he was set up. By his girlfriend and his best friend (David Gadsby) of course. Waking up in the hospital he decides it’s time to get out of Dodge, or in this case, London. He has some old connections in Bangkok, so he heads there. He’s promptly robbed by the hooker he brings home and finds he’s been framed for murder back in the UK.
His buddy Dutch (Ron Smoorenburg, Triple Threat, Who Am I?) is in the steroid business and could use someone he can trust to help him expand that business. But with success comes enemies, and Byron’s already made some powerful ones.
English Dogs in Bangkok sadly is nothing close to what it claims to be. It isn’t about Byron and Dutch building a steroid empire. That all happens off-screen and we’re told about in voice over. Once they do make it, Dutch is ambushed by a lone DEA Agent, Police Inspector Somchai (Mark Stas) in one of the film’s few fights. From there Byron has to slip back into England to get the money to pay off the Irish mob boss Connors (Eoin O’Brien, M.I.A. A Greater Evil, The Last Full Measure) who can get Dutch out of jail.
Director Taffy Edwards (The Beginning of the End) along with co-writers Damian Mavis and Damian Mavis serves up a film that’s short on action. But long on stock footage of Bangkok, talk and coincidences. How bad is it? After he gets robbed Byron goes out and almost instantly, in a city the size of Bangkok, finds the hooker who did it. He beats up the guy she’s with, who, as it turns out works for Connors.
With only five fights in the whole movie, English Dogs in Bangkok fails as an action film. It doesn’t help that for an alleged hard man Byron is a crap fighter. Even using a pair of tasers he nearly gets his ass handed to him. Unfortunately, as a crime thriller, it’s just as bad. Things just happen, there’s none of the planning and details that makes a thriller thrilling. Not that any of this would have been all that interesting even if they had.
And then there’s the ending…
When all is said and done, English Dogs in Bangkok feels like a bad thriller with some fight scenes hastily added to try and save the film. It seems the British crime film is suffering the same decline as horror films are.