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Hit Man File

A master assassin quickly becomes everyone's favorite target in "Hit Man File," but auds will spend more time rifling through the bamboozling plot details in this moody but murky Thai thriller. Pic looks fabulous and contains a number of startling set pieces, but is too confusing to fathom or care about. Set for local release on Chinese New Year (Feb. 9), this pastiche of gangster pics from Hong Kong and beyond could click locally with a major ad spend but offshore is more likely to look like a misfire.

A master assassin quickly becomes everyone’s favorite target in “Hit Man File,” but auds will spend more time rifling through the bamboozling plot details in this moody but murky Thai thriller. Pic looks fabulous and contains a number of startling set pieces, but is too confusing to fathom or care about. Set for local release on Chinese New Year (Feb. 9), this pastiche of gangster pics from Hong Kong and beyond could click locally with a major ad spend but offshore is more likely to look like a misfire.

Former Communist guerrilla Tanthai (Chatchai Plengpanit) has made a post-revolutionary career of being a hitman, anonymously picking up assignments from sexy nightclub manager Chaba (Bongkot Khongmalai). His latest target is a triad boss who’s spearheading an influx of drugs, much to the consternation of more ethical gangsters. The job coincides with an imminent gang war, making Tanthai a target for all participants, including corrupt police. Multiple cinematic references are testimony to critic-turned-helmer Sananjit Bangsapan’s good taste, but pic is less than the sum of its elegantly lensed parts. Actors are well supported by Chatchai Pongprapaphan’s outstanding soundtrack.

Hit Man File

Thailand

  • Production: A Sahamongkol Film Intl. presentation of a Tang R production. (International sales: Golden Network, Hong Kong.) Executive producer, Somsak Techaratanaprasert. Directed, written by Sananjit Bangsapan.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Teerawat Rujintham; editor, Sunit Asvinikul; music, Chatchai Pongprapaphan; production designer, Withaya. Reviewed at Bangkok Film Festival (closing film), Jan. 23, 2005. Original title: Sum meu peun. Running time: 95 MIN.
  • With: With: Chatchai Plengpanit, Saranyoo Wongkrachang, Suntisuk Promsiri, Bongkot Khongmalai
  • Music By: