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Hit Man File (THAI 2005)

Director : Sananjit Bangsapan
Cast : Chatchai Plengpanit, Saranyoo Wongkrachang, Suntisuk Promsiri, Bongkot Khongmalai

Forsaking his idealist past, Tanthai has become the
Thai underworld’s secret weapon: a remorseless contract killer able to dispatch any target? provided his price is met. But when Beum, a Machiavellian politician, hires
Tanthai to eliminate an upstart drug kingpin threatening Bangkok’s fragile criminal status quot, the lone wolf assassin’s ethical vacuum is inadvertently breached. Caught between rival Triad bosses, mercenary policemen and power hungry parliamentarians, Thailand’s deadliest assassin becomes the country’s most wanted target. As Bangkok boils over into a full-fledged gang war, Tanthai crosses gun barrels with a rival from out of his past and risks everything to answer a conscience he thought he’d long ago erased.

by Edward Tang

II think this film had the potential to be something more than what it turned out to be. It had great cinematography (Considering this is a Thai film, it’s excellent), an interesting cast of characters and some good music. But that’s really it and what truly detracts from these smaller “good” things is the story and how it makes no fucking sense whatsoever. Granted, I didn’t expect a well thought out story but something that was barely adequate would have done well here. There are so many random characters and plot points that really make the film hard to understand: who is who and what their actions actually mean in the long run. Throughout the film I continuously asked my friends who this character was and what he was doing in the story, and they were as dumbfounded as me. I wanted to like this film but I was disappointed in the long run because there really isn’t anything in here that deserves a look.

We follow random territory: Hitman kills bad people, and bad people want to kill Hitman. There you go, but they didn’t want to do it that simply. In this instance they add a bunch of corrupt police officers and army generals in the mix and I never really understood what they had to do with the movie. They’d introduce characters into this film and they’d kill them off about ten minutes later. That I didn’t have a problem with, but what troubled me was the fact that I didn’t really understand what the character’s point was. That annoyed me because it didn’t allow me to enjoy the film, rather than to question every moment by moment just to get the right answer. I hate that bullshit. We start out by introducing the main character who is an assassin. Okay, I got it. He kills for a living (No Shit). Anyways this is where we loose it because they introduce this guy…and he dies..then this guy….and he dies. But to what avail? Then there were some side plots about the police officers and this old assassin guy who killed this young kid’s parents and raised the kid. By this point however, you should be sick of this crap. The story has so many random moments, it feels more like a badly edited shit stain more than anything else.

The film never really goes anywhere either, the assassin character really isn’t interesting or cool. He’s an assassin, a guy who kills for a living and that’s that. There is a lack of character development as well which eventually does lead to a downfall of the film. The assassin character Tanthai meets up with this young kid (after saving him from a beat down) and they kind of strike up a friendship. But there really isn’t anything of the sort to show that these guys are actually friends, the filmmaker decided to skip all of the character moments with more cliched moments, for instance “We must catch the assassin and kill him for wronging us!” He also tries to build some long grudge type thing that involved Tanthai and this guy who he almost killed. But guess what? They do it so badly that you don’t even realize that these two were in the same scene earlier in the film. That’s what this film is, a bunch of moments rather than a full on story. It’s bullshit.

Granted the film does win points because it has a great look to it. It shows a bunch of great spots in the city: the Muay Thai boxing arena, the gambling areas, the funeral homes, the countryside. I truly haven’t seen these shots in any other Thai film I’ve watched so it was a blessing to see one shot the way they should be. There was also a great soundtrack which fit the mood of the somber town and the somber faces. I also think they could improved on the gun battles (lacking) because that could have upped this film in my mind. There were some great scenes showing the assassin taking out his random clients and it was some great stuff. Tanthai takes out four dudes and one guy is still squirming and with a flick of the wrist, he takes out the remaining guy and just walks on. Awesome stuff. But SON OF A BITCH! They don’t expand on any of this and they would rather focus on a story that just plain sucks! What a shame, because I was truly interested in this film and it let me down in all aspects.

The acting is generic at best, there really isn’t anybody who acts themselves into my respect. For the most part, the dialog is sparse which probably results in the character’s being mostly dull which does touch the film in the wrong way. There were too many characters to count anyways and nobody did a standout job. The film ends how it begins, we stay on a corpse that has just recently been struck by bullets and now is corpsey as corpsey can be. That’s how the film ends, killing some random guy whose actual point in the film is lost in the sporadic nature of the events that we just witnessed. But not to fear, there is some Thai phrase at the end that I didn’t catch because the subtitles weren’t exactly working but I’m sure it was bullshit. I’ve noticed the same type of crap in all recent Thai films I’ve seen, some type of message that goes with 2 hours of nothing .

Hit Man File isn’t all bad but the story ruins all of the smaller goods as it sinks into your mind. It just doesn’t make a worth of sense. It’s a good looking film with some good aspects and some good stuff but I’d ignore it and check out another Thai-hitman flick like Bangkok Dangerous….

Plot : 2/5
Acting :  2/5
Entertainment : 3/5
Overall : 2/5

Notable Scenes
- Tanthai saving the young kid and kills the four losers.

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