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In Minangkabau, West Sumatera, Yuda a skilled practitioner of Silat Harimau is in the final preparations to begin his "Merantau" a century's old rites-of-passage to be carried out by the community's young men that will see him leave the comforts of his idyllic farming village and make a name for himself in the bustling city of Jakarta. After a series of setbacks leave Yuda homeless and uncertain about his new future, a chance encounter results in him defending the orphaned Astri from becoming the latest victim of a European human trafficking ring led by the wildly psychotic, Ratger and his right-hand man Lars. With Ratger injured in the mêlée and seeking both his "merchandise" and bloody retribution, Yuda's introduction to this bustling city is a baptism of fire as he is forced to go on the run with Astri and her younger brother Adit as all the pimps and gangsters that inhabit the night hound the streets chasing their every step. With escape seemingly beyond their grasp, Yuda has no ... Written by
PT. Merantau Films
Gareth Evans met Iko Uwais when he was hired to make a documentary film on Silat produced by Christine Hakim production company. Impressed by the young man's screen presence, Evans casts him as the leading role for his first action movie. See more »
When Yuda is putting coins into the telephone for the second time, you can here the coins get rejected yet the phone goes through anyway. See more »
That's bullshit. Anything I earn on stage is mine and you know it.
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Action for the guys and drama for the girls, what more can you ask from a movie? I just cannot say enough good things about this movie and I really could not fathom how it could garner a negative review at all. I watched Merantau some months ago and I just finished watching it a second time. I had forgotten it a bit, but as soon as it started I remembered everything and how amazingly good it is. I was noticing that part of it at the end reminded me a little of Tony Jaa at the end of Protector, but I do not think it was a copy of it at all. Another thing is that even though the Indonesians are right to praise this new movie of theirs, and Iko Uwais did show us some really great acting and martial arts skills, I still would not go as far as to say that Iko is better at either one than Tony, especially since the latter has more films under his belt (more experience, hello?). Tony Jaa has joined the ranks of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Donnie Yen, and Jet Li as the greatest martial arts movie heroes. If you are a martial arts movie fanatic as I am and you analyze Ong Bak 2 then you cannot argue with this statement. Iko Uwais is also really awesome and I see good things happening for him. He might join those ranks one day, we'll wait eagerly to see what he does next.
The fighting choreography I thought was really fantastic. I really thought Iko added a lot of feeling into his actions and I liked how it made me feel that it was realistic in the way that people who get punched and kicked a lot start to stagger a bit even when they're fighting for their lives. The actress who played the mother character was also really great even though her role wasn't too long. I was preparing to steel myself to the agony of watching the two Americans doing their super cliché way that they are always portrayed in any Asian film, but I was pleasantly surprised in their commitment to character and they made convincing bad guys. Lots of good acting and directing all around. The camera, sound, lighting, and editing were all very fine. The music was especially good in places. The script is so good that this time I shed some tears. I almost never cry, especially during my action movies, but this one is so good. Great plot! The entire story ties itself together really well from beginning to end and is told in the traditional way of the ancient storytellers. What transpires between the hero and the bad guys' main bounty hunter is truly one of the best parts of the movie. There are other places where philosophy and political statements are blatantly obvious, but it really shines between these two warriors on opposite sides of the battlefield. I really think many young people, the ones who have to struggle through this often harsh world and suffer terribly when there is no one to help them, would really sympathize and feel a connection for the story and the main character who looks quite young himself. It irritates me very much that millions of action fans in my home country in the United States have never seen or heard of this movie. Needless to say I am also extremely upset about many really great foreign films not seeing the light of day here especially when many of them outshine the awful vomit Hollywood spews in my face on a constant basis.
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