ONLY GOD FORGIVES
Only god forgives is a dark Asian thriller starring Ryan Gosling directed by Nicolas Winding Refn a Danish film director, screenwriter and producer who's most notable film to date was "Drive" also staring Ryan Gosling.
The film is set in Bangkok Thailand Julian (Ryan Gosling) is an American expatriate who runs a muay Thai club that is a front for a family drug smuggling operation. Julian’s older brother Billy commits a hideous crime when he rapes and kills an under-age prostitute and is caught by the Thai police. A police Lieutenant named Chang allows the girl's father, Choi Yan Lee, to beat Billy to death for raping and killing his daughter, but Chang cuts off the father's arm for allowing his young daughter to be a prostitute as a punishment. Julian also has his own strange sexual desires that isn’t uncommon in Thailand's murky underworld where he prefers to be tied up while he watches his favourite prostitute, Mai pleasuring herself. Julian and his gang find who's responsible for killing Billy but when Julian confronts his brothers killer Julian is told the full story of his loose cannon brothers actions and takes pity on Choi Yan Lee, the brothers crazy mother Crystal played by "Kirsten Scott Thomas" shows up in Hong Kong to collect Billy's body and return it back to America but when she finds out Julian hasn't avenged Billy's death she flips on Julian and vows to avenge her first born sons death.
Crystal pays Gordon to kill Choi but it isn't long before the police arrive at Julian's club believing he's actually behind the revenge killing but once confronted by Julian Chang concluded Julian isn't the suspect.
After learning that Chang was involved in Billy's death, Crystal meets arranges Chang's assassination. Three gunmen on motorbike are sent to kill Chang at a restaurant with machine but the attempt fails and only one of Chang's men is killed in the shoot-out. Chang kills two of the gunmen and follows the third on foot, He leads him to his boss Li Po who is feeding his young crippled son. Chang then kills the third gunman, but spares Li Po after seeing him show affection for his son the film focuses on relationships between parents and children through the film.
Li Po points Chang to Byron, who ordered the hit. Chang finds Byron in a club and tortures him to get answers. Byron reveals the reasoning behind the hit, but refuses to give a name. Chang continues to torture Byron. Julian tries to put a stop to the killing by challenging Chang to a fight which Chang accepts but the more accomplished fight Chang batters Julian and leaves him on the floor of his gym. Crystal approaches Julian telling him she fears for own safety now that Chang is on to the fact she ordered the hit on his life Crystal persuades Julian that if he helps her she will take him back to America and become the mother she never was to him. Julian's only option is to go to Chang's and end it once and for all, he and a boxer from his gym turn up at Chang's and murder the police office guarding the house but when his accomplice discovers that Crystal wants Chang and his daughter killed Julian changes his mind and kills his accomplice before he can kill Chang's daughter. Chang meets Crystal in her hotel room but exacts revenge for the hit on his life by murdering Crystal leaving the body for Julian to find. Chang learns of the attack on his family and tracks Julian down in the strip club he often visits where Julian is taken to the woods by Chang although the film cuts to Chang signing on karaoke and you never find out what actually happens in the woods although it appears as if Chang cuts off Julian's hands. This is a dark and violent movie at times but Gosling is excellent as Julian but it's also worth mentioning Kirsten Scott Thomas as Crystal and also Vithaya Pansringarm who plays Chang is absolutely mesmerising, he is also a decent karaoke signer too. One final mention has to go to the beautiful Rhatha Phongam an actress and singer who plays Mai the prostitute Julian is besotted with.
This movie is another reason why Ryan gosling is fast becoming one of my favourite current actors after his performances in Drive, The house beyond the pines and now only god forgives I can't wait to see what his next movie is.