“What about a spoon? Or some chopsticks?”Review by Lewis Goodall
Less is more, a term that I find very appropriate in some cases but also very wrong in others⁹. In terms of food, less DEFINITELY is not more, you go to a fancy restaurant and they bring out a Lego brick sized piece of steak, no thanks, get me half a cow. Money also, a lot of people will tell you that less is definitely more, or maybe the more in this scenario is more outdoors time. Where I do find it appropriate is specifically in action films and their stories. Give me next to nothing story and 99% action and that’s a fulfilling meal. That’s what Gareth Evan’s has done, he’s given a cube of steak but filled it with the intensity of 50 gun fights.
I’m going to describe this in the shortest terms ever here on critically ashamed. A swat team enter a building and take out a gang. That’s it, that’s all the story you need, it’s as simple as that. Obviously theres a few more details in there like how the main characters wife is pregnant but overal thats it and my god is that one, simple story is done to the absolute max.
Seriously, the story is such a secondary part to this film, its gets brushed out the way by a janitor who knows kung fu. Keeping the story as simple as possible when it comes to action films is definitely the way to go because let’s face it, with action films, you’re there for the action baby! I dont want any drawn out monologues, I dont want a scene of someone crying on a beach, NO! Just give me a bunch if action, cut the fat, gimme the steak! This film is very similar to the first John Wick film in this aspect, but this puts a bunch of John Wicks in the same building with eachother.
So the film starts with the swat team entering the building to take out this gang lord who controls it. It’s a 15 story building and they slowly make their way up floor by floor. They start out with guns and pow pow the place up against bad guys who are also pow powing. When all the guns get lost is when the film really starts getting the adrenaline pumping as everyone is forced to use their fists, knives and just about anything they can grab a hold of. The intensity of each fight as the film progresses just seemed to get more and more intense to the point where one of the final fights actually had me out of breathe which is either a credit to the film or shows how serious unfit I am to get tired watching other people fight.
Its all choreographed insanely well where every fight seemed to have it’s own beat. It wasnt just a couple of people flopping around like fish out of water, you can tell these people can really fight. Each punch, elbow, kick really seemed to connect with bone crunching power and made me involuntarily react with ‘ooooh’ and ‘aaaaah’s. The music seriously helped although it’s more of just an extra cog in the fight machine, I couldn’t recite any of the music from the film but it certainly helped tick the fights over.
I just cant stop talking about the action! The film wastes no time in getting you there and continues it the whole duration of the film, theres not a moment where it let’s your pulse take a break. Like I said, cut the fat, just give us the juicy punch steak. I just watched the beginning back and it takes three and a half minutes to get to the point where the swat team are in the vehicle discussing tactics. A further two minutes to show the first death, and then from there the rollercoaster continues. I honestly think that music videos these days have more complicated storylines than this does and that is seriously not a bad thing.
Overal I loved this film if you cant tell so far. I love an action film done right where you actually feel like you’re watching people fight for their lives rather than the naff stuff you get over at marvel where people dont connect with each other and the person they punch, seem to float away for some reason, it’s all just so unrealistic. Indonesia know how to make a super compact action film that will actually have you on the edge of your seat. Oh yeah this is an Indonesian film, forgot to mention that massive aspect of the film.