If you have not seen Drive with Ryan Gosling, you made the biggest mistake of your life. This is one of those motion pictures that delivers such a strong impact, you won´t forget it. And if you have read my earlier reviews this year, i gave The Place Beyond The Pines the biggest rating of any movie release this year, and praised Ryan Goslings fantastic performance. If you have not seen that movie, buy it. After Drive made such an impact, both critics and cinema visitors loved the story of a stunt car racer going on the wrong path. I was very excited to hear director Nicolas Winding Refn was going to Thailand for his next motion picture, with a completely different story. Is Only God Forgive a knockout experience, or has the hype been too big since Drive ?
Julian ( Ryan Gosling ) is a box club owner in Bangkok, Thailand. The boxing club is not only used to teach boxing, but also used for a massive drug smuggling opertaion. Julian´s older brother Billy ( Tom Burke ) rapes and murders a prostitute, until he finally surrender to the police. Lieutenant Chang ( Vithaya Pansringarm ) arrives to the murder scene. He informs the girls father Choi Yan Lee ( Kovit Wattanakul ), and take him to the crime scene where his daughter lies all covered in blood. Ltn Chang give Choi an opportunity, to do whatever he wants to do with his daughters killer, who is in the same room as Billy. Choi brutally murder his daugthers murderer, as he think this was allowed. But Ltn Chang cut Choi´s arm off, for letting his daughter work as a prostitiute. Jilian finds out his brother is dead, as he and his crew goes out to find out the truth from Choi. He reveals that he was forced to kill Billy by Ltn Chang. Julian spares his life and is very interested in the Angel Of Vengeance ( Ltn Choi ). Julian´s mother Crystal ( Kristin Scott Thomas ) arrives to Bangkok to identify Billy´s corpse. Crystal order Julian to kill the person responsible of Billy´s murder, but Julian refuse, since he believes Billy deserved to be killed, the way he murdered a young prostitute. Crystal does not take no for an answer, and still demand that Angel Of Vengeance must die.
If you were hoped that we would get a motion picture at the same quality as Drive, you will be dissapointed. Visionally it looks great, and the brutal scenes are well made, but the story is a big mess. Some scenes jumps across each other, while you try and keep up with the storyline, which makes it hard to concentrate at certain moments. The colors look great, and the scenery of Thailand fits the style, but somewhere along the way i feel something is missing. Ryan Gossling is one of this generations best actors, unfortunately he does not get much to do here, and not many lines either to deliver something unique. Finally when Kristin Scott Thomas does her entrance, we get something to be excited about. She can do many great characters in many different genre movies. Here she tries to be a real nasty bitch, and she actually does pretty well. Director Nicolas Winding Refn is a very talented director, and have a bright future ahead. But with Only God Forgives he left us something unfinished, that could have been something to look forward too. There are parts i love while watching Only God Forgives, but suddenly some very bizarre scenes turn up and make a big mess. Such a shame, but at least this is not terrible. If you love David Lynch inspired motion pictures, you might enjoy this one, but for those who loved Drive, i suggest you watch it again and leave this one for the art inspired people.