After a crazy misadventure in Las Vegas that made "The Hangover" (2009) a big comedy franchise, "The Hangover Part 2" (2011) became another hit raking in millions at the box office. This time, the comedy riot traveled to Thailand where the main characters attended a pre-wedding brunch that got out of hand. As the highlight on this Southeast Asian location captured the appeal of this wild comedy escapade, it's interesting to look into other popular Hollywood films that were also shot in Thailand.
Most big Hollywood movies shot in Thailand were action movies. The two "James Bond" films "The Man with the Golden Gun" (1974) and "Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997) were filmed in Bangkok and Phang Nga Bay. For the 1974 "Bond" movie, James Bond attends a boxing match at a Thai boxing stadium and he and Scaramanga had a face off in Phang Nga Bay. For the 1997 "Bond," Bangkok stands in for Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City in the story, while Phang Nga Bay also substitutes for Vietnam's Halong Bay.
"Mortal Kombat" (1995) and "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" (1997) were filmed in the historic old Ayutthaya as the movies depicted some sacred ruins in various scenes. The first film also filmed around the Sukhothai historical park. Long before he became a world-renowned action star with his "Ong-bak" films, Thai actor and martial arts expert Tony Jaa worked as a stunt double in "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation."
"Stealth" (2005) filmed its R&R scenes in a beach island in Ko Phi Phi Leh. "The Medallion" (2003) also had Thailand as one of its locations. Meanwhile, "Bangkok Dangerous" had Bangkok and the cave called Tham Khao Luang in Phetchaburi Province as its major locations.
A number of war movies, primarily those depicting the Vietnam War, used different parts of Thailand for filming. Given its geographic similarities with its neighboring Southeast Asian country Vietnam, Thailand became movie locations for "Off Limits" (1988), "Casualties of War" (1989), "Heaven and Earth" (1993), "Operation Dumbo Drop" (1995), and "Rescue Dawn" (2007).
Two "Rambo" films also used Thailand as one of their backdrops. The second movie of the franchise "Rambo: First Blood Part II" (1985) was partially shot in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Meanwhile, the fourth movie "Rambo" (2007) shot many scenes in Chiang Mai.
Epic and Romance Movies
With the availability of exotic plants and animals, tropical beaches, a thriving local film industry, and relatively lower production costs, Hollywood found many ideal locations for epic and romance movies in Thailand. "Alexander" (2004) was filmed along the Mekong in the northeastern part of the Ubon Ratchathani Province and in the Saraburi Province. The approach to Kashyyyk, the planet of the Wookiees in "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005), was filmed around Krabi near Phuket. The erotic classics "In the Mood for Love" (2000) and its follow-up film "2046" (2004) were partially filmed in Bangkok. "The Beach" (2000) was primarily shot in the beach of Ko Phi Phi Leh.
Comedy and Adventure Movies
Thailand incorporated Asian flavor to some Hollywood comedy and adventure movies. "Around the World in Eighty Days" (1956) made Bangkok one of its dozens of country locations and it was able to borrow one of the king's royal barges for its filming. Its remake "Around the World in 80 Days" (2004) also shot in Thailand, mainly in Krabi. "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" (2004) shot scenes in Bangkok, Phuket, and Nakornpathom. The swashbuckler "Cutthroat Island" (1995) was shot in Maya Bay.
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