Apr 16, 2012


If America has Jean-Claude Van Damme, China has Jet Li and even Thailand has got Tony Jaa as their martial arts hero, now Indonesia has their own hero too. A new hero is born and his name is Iko Uwais! Thiz super action movie is the second collaboration with Welsh-born Director Gareth Evans since “Merantau” (2009) another great Indonesian movie. A group of tactical team has a mission to infiltrate into the most feared building in town, where in that place live the most notorious criminals. Thiz movie is pure adrenaline-pumping action from the very first minute. It’s flooded with brutal and jaw-dropping fight scenes. Iko Uwais has shown he can do both, dramatic expressions and electrifying moves all together. There are about 20 tactical team members, none of them leaves a special impression, except for Iko Uwais’s character and Joe Taslim as his team leader. But it is the bad guys who make memorable performances, most of them are scene stealers, especially for the big boss’s figure which is played very convincingly by Ray Sahetapy. Sahetapy successfully represents an eccentric and frightening character. Yayan Ruhian who plays as Mad Dog also deserves mention for his memorable performance. Ruhian is no less eccentric than his boss and sometimes comical. The other Cast members are Donny Alamsyah, Iang Darmawan and Pierre Gruno. The movie cleverly inserts some effective humor for interlude. The next thing is great cinematography and lighting, it’s very rare you have a decent cinematography in an action movie. It’s about 30 floors to go, each floor comprises unique bad guy’s characters, it instantly reminds me of Bruce Lee’s “Game of Death” (1978) only thiz time with “Saving Private Ryan” (1998) style. At a glance, thiz movie also reminds me of Tony Jaa’s movies like “Ong-bak” (2003) or “The Protector” (2005) but if you look more thoroughly you will realize that thiz movie also has its own originality. One of them is they have shown some Pencak Silat moves, the Indonesian martial arts discipline. In summary, the first half of the movie is filled with non-stop gun fighting and the other half is about martial arts showdown. If we talk about the ending, they obviously try to put a little twist at the end of the movie but it doesn’t seem to work quite well, it could have been better. I have to tell you, if you are one of the action fans and want to taste a different kind of atmosphere, then you've come to the right place to have fun. Let’s experience thiz Indonesian movie!

Stars : 8/10
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Jonny Fendi

"If I'm fed up, I will go mad!"

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