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'Only God Forgives' trailer punches up Gosling fan excitement

April 04, 2013|By Steven Zeitchik
  • Ryan Gosling in Nicolas Refn's 'Only God Forgives'
Ryan Gosling in Nicolas Refn's 'Only God Forgives' (Wild Bunch )

Fans of the 2011 artsploitation hit “Drive” have been on tenterhooks waiting for more footage from “Only God Forgives,” the Thai Western that director Nicolas Refn had been talking about for months, then went ahead and cast his “Drive” star Ryan Gosling in.

They can rest a little easier—or feel their blood pressure climb further--at the first sign of extensive footage from the 2013 release.  The red-band trailer for the new phantasma of stylish violence hit Thursday, and it’s a doozy.

As the American expat Julian, Gosling doesn’t say much: His first and last words are ”Wanna fight?” He doesn’t even engage in much of the violence--that comes courtesy of its Thai star and Gosling nemesis Vithaya Pansringarm. But the trailer creates an air of moody tension through Kubricikian hallways and Goslingian stares, all played over the soothing metronomic tones of an unidentified Thai-language ballad (world-music experts, help us out)

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Kristin Scott Thomas plays Julian’s mother, saying in a voice-over that “I don’t understand you, and I never will." And indeed, up in fancy restaurants, down in the streets and out in the field, Julian and his nemesis dance around each other as they seek bloody one-upmanship.

There’s the dragging of a bloodied man by the teeth through the hallways in a manner reminiscent of “Drive’s” famous elevator scene. There’s a cross-cut that suggests a symbolism of thighs (Thais?). There's neon red lettering, translated from Thai into English And there’s blood on hands, sometimes literally.

When we interviewed him for "Drive," Refn told The Times that he was heading to Asia to make a movie far away from the mainstream to "remind myself where I came from," and he appears to have done just that.

The Radius/The Weinstein Company picture is set for July 19; our suspicion is it will hit after a Cannes premiere and international release in May. In the meantime, you can whet appetite and luxuriate in shots with the trailer here.


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