Director: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Life After Love, The Rocket)
Screenplay: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
Novel: Win Lyovarin
Producers: Raymond Phathanavirangoon, Pawas Sawatchaiyamet
Starring: Nopachai Chaiyanam, Sirin Horwang, Chanokporn Sayoungkul, Apisit Opasaimlikit, Kiat Punpiputt
MPAA Rating: NR
Running time: 105 min.
Country of Origin: Thailand
An interesting premise with engaging character quickly goes sour and strays dangerously close to flat out boring in the second half of Pen-Ek Ratanaruang’s ninth feature film, Headshot. A talented under cover cop/detective is framed for a murder he didn’t commit. In order to leave prison early, he agrees to work as a hitman for a mafia-like political faction. In an assassination gone wrong, our hero takes a bullet to the head,wakes up from a coma three months later to find that his vision is now upside-down. From there it’s a non-linear story about revenge, corruption and finding solace.
Using mostly flashbacks, we’re told the back story of our hero and how he came to be the man he is today. Watching this slowly evolve is a treat and rather quite exciting and engaging… for the first thirty minutes or so. As the story unfolds, bringing us closer to the present, the more and more contrived and convenient things start to become. And likewise, more and more tedious.
Things get pretty boring from about the halfway point to the end; with even the action sequence(s) being not of any particular interest – though I can appreciate the heartful attempts in at least trying to make things interesting with locales and style. In the end, the plot is obvious and contrived; feeling a bit like bad 90s film making. On top of that, the craft is not all that stylistically interesting. Headshot is a good premise that goes uphill really fast, then the bottom falls out from beneath us…