Imagine a film that just doesn’t bother too much with story. One that sets up its entire premise by having a bloke stroke his wife’s pregnancy bump, promise to ‘bring him back’ to his dad then cuts to heavily-armed police folk in a van where their boss man describes to them what they’re doing and why.
Then that’s about it, bar a bit of talking here and there for the next hour-and-a-half.
You might think that’s a load of shit. Which is fair. But then, when you add the rest of The Raid into it you realise just why it absolutely is not shit at all. In fact, it’s one of the best action films I’ve seen in quite a while, and it’s figuratively smacked my face off just like Ong Bak did all those years ago. Also literally.
It’s just utterly brutal. It feels real. I have no idea about martial arts. I am not a lover, nor a fighter, so I don’t know. But this feels like it could actually happen. I was jerking with every punch, block, kick, jump, snap, stab, slice, HORRIBLE BROKEN BACK and every other smashbangwallop yeeeeah I don’t know what I’m saying anymore.
The fact it was all made on $1.1 million, while making perfect sense (Indonesian production, not exactly massive on locations, special effects or whatever else), is still astonishing. And it means that even though barely anyone will watch it at the cinema (Indonesian production, not exactly massive on locations, special effects or whatever else), it’s already made at least four times its budget back. Which makes me happy.
I still have a place for Tony Jaa and his brand of set piece-driven ridicu-action. Mainly because it’s brilliant and if you don’t like it you’re dead inside and an idiot. But this is something different, and it’s feels totally fresh as a result – even if it isn’t (I’m not saying it is or isn’t – I genuinely don’t know). More please.
Now we await the terri-shit American remake, currently being planned, or whatever it is they do to make films.
This was almost a straight up review, sorry about that.