It just doesn't get more savage than this! Indonesian movies - ever since my introduction to them with The Raid a few years back - are just on an entirely different level. It's like we're back at the nineties of HK action, with similarly depressing classics like Bullet In The Head, or American Deer Hunter with the added martial arts greatness you'd expect from anything Asian, but even bolder. That plus: knives. Lots of knives. And creative angles and methods of manslaughter where the blood just never dries...
It sounds as savage as it is, but amidst the mindless slaughter there are some surprisingly emotional moments too, and no matter how despicable types the movie might portray: their endeavors, their sacrifice, and their relentless will just can't leave you unaffected. They're fighting for something, and so strongly that you hope they win no matter what.
It brings forth the beast in me. The notion that there's something worth fighting for all after all. The thrill of characters who risk their all for the sake of something greater, and stare Death straight in the face - straight into the barrel of a shotgun - straight into the serenade of a dozen machine guns, as the night comes marching in.
Depressing? Inspiring? I'm not sure, maybe a bit of both, but when it comes to action like this there's just no comparison. No room for compromise. No room for mercy. No time for tears. As Faith once said:
no time for regrets.
It's a macabre yet masterful craft. A Triad tale that despite the relevant naming and structure leaves the trademark alive; basking in the veil of mystery and violent terror. But I'd like to think he at least took that one other guy with him when he went. Into the eternal darkness.
It might be nice to end this on a lighter tone though. I really liked this particular, similarly-minded but oh so differently worded review, courtesy of MrSelfPaid:
You think you've seen it all? Action, blood, guts, brains, bullets, body parts, broken teeth, sliced fingers, chopped heads, smashed heads, broken skulls, broken bones, protruding bones, hmmm? Think you've seen it all? SMH ... you haven't... until you watch this film.
Watchers beware, this film is not for the faint of heart. If you plan on becoming an active war medic, or a member of the cartel torture squad... well you get my point. ..
Similar to that one movie I mentioned above this one also stars Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim in the lead roles. I could name plenty more, like the blond girl, but you'd better just watch the movie. And/or read the credits.
Hope to see a lot of these guys again soon, though I wonder if there's any higher level they can bring it to after this. Great watch.
rated 5/5: friggin awesome