In Only God Forgives, director Nicolas Winding Refn promises to take us through the seamy underbelly of Bangkok’s red light district, blue light district and then back through the red light district. Not since 2007’s I Know Who Killed Me have we seen such a bold attempt at tinting things red and blue and I, for one, am excited to see how such a daring director applies this tactic to a movie with male strippers in it instead of female ones. [Ed note: Remember when Gizmo the Mogwai wore 3-D glasses in Gremlins? What if he wore them to famous Atlanta male strip club Swinging Richards? Like that, maybe?]
Because let’s get real. This trailer promises us a movie chockablock full of jacked Thai strippers in jockstraps flexing for what I can only hope is 75% of the film’s running time.
Besides these gyrating hunks, the film also stars successful internet meme Ryan Gosling returning to the silver screen as a taciturn, steely-gazed antihero who raises important questions like “Wanna fight?” and “Was that really the best take?” This trailer doesn’t give us too much of Gosling’s performance, allowing us to fill in his acting choices in our own mind, which is basically what we’re required to do any time we are privileged enough to sit through one of his movies. Besides, it’s clear that this film’s acting budget was mostly used on Kristin Scott Thomas’s delivery of the word “platter” and there’s only so many Oscars the Academy can give out, people! [Ed note: I pronounce it, “Pláttêr!” Which is why my house is like the goddamn Burlington Coat Factory, except with Oscars instead of coats.]
Besides, you don’t need dialogue when your film features machete-wielding maniacs, sullen women behind beaded curtains, and a score ripped straight from Castlevania. And wait a minute, is this a film adaptation of Castlevania? We’ve got a family with a knack for violence, an assortment of brutal weapons, and all the time my grandfather wants to talk about how the Thai people are “bloodsuckers” (which I’ve always found confusing as he was stationed in Korea but, hey, respect your elders I guess). [Ed note: Also, Ryan Gosling whips a Thai stripper, just like Alucard in Symphony of the Night. Dracula got his start as a Thai stripper, right?]
I think the real lesson here is that sometimes making a film is like boiling a pot of coconut curry soup; you’ve just got to add the right ingredients and let them simmer. Simmer in the eyes of Ryan Gosling, that is. [Ed note: Gross!]
In theaters July 19.