Dir. Gareth Evans; 2009; Indonesia; Action/Drama; Iko Uwais, Sisca Jessica; 106 mins
There’s no doubting the boy can fight. Iko Uwais and his chosen martial art, Silat, certainly tick the “kickass” box and, from the brief glimpse the trailer provides, Evans has succeeded in capturing the brutal effectiveness with which Uwais puts his skill to use. However, Todd Brown over at Twitch films (who has been involved with this project) mentions that there’s more to this film than choreographed fight sequences, particularly during the film’s first half as the story is set in motion.
Now, that’s no bad thing of course and it’s film making 101 to get your audience to care about your characters before you throw them kicking and slugging from one perilous situation to another. Indonesia, too, has far more to offer than Jakarta, Bali and coffee, so the inclusion of scenes from her rural side, as well as being necessary to the plot, are to be welcomed.
However, knowing us as we do, the film’s action packed second half is unlikely to provide sufficient pay-off for the film’s earlier preamble and we (being shallow) would just prefer an all-out bust up over a shorter period.
But, as usual, we shouldn’t be considered as anything more than a couple of monkeys with a laptop so read on to see what the pros think.