An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a war with an alien race. His skills increase as he faces the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.
In Jakarta, Indonesia, Lieutenant Wahyu organizes the invasion of an apartment building that is the safe house of the powerful and cruel drug lord Tama and his gang. The SWAT team breaks in the building but one lookout sees and warns the gangsters and the police force is trapped on the seventh floor. They learn that Lt. Wahyu has not informed his superiors about the operation. Now the police officers have to fight with limited ammunition against the armed and dangerous gangsters. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Yayan Ruhian, who played the Mad Dog character, had once trained Pencak Silat for Pasukan Pengamanan Presiden (the Indonesian Presidential Security Forces- equivalent to US Secret Service) in 1989 and for the Indonesian Military Police Corps in the early 1990s. See more »
When Rama's face is cut by a machete when hiding within an apartment's wall, it leaves a deep, ragged and swollen wound. However, when he exits the apartment his wound is suddenly much neater and more superficial. See more »
OK, let me start by praising Iko Uwais. Of all the actors, this guy fits the character flawlessly and is a highly likable actor. I thought I'd root for Joe Taslim (Jaka) better because of his better looks and taller figure but Iko is perfect.
The movie in terms of story: interesting. The premise is very simple, a bunch of cops trapped in a hellish building filled with the devil's men who knows silat and dead set on killing the cops. However, I can't really tell whats going to happen next, and there's enough twists that actually works, even if they were rather cliché (the rookie, the corrupt officers, the help from a friendly neighbor, the .. i should stop.. or i'd spoil the movie). There's nothing new in terms of plot, but that's not really a big problem. I sure do hope Gareth can find better writers to write the story next time.
What I do like is the pacing. It goes boom boom boom boom! and then it rests a bit before going into suspense mode, scary mode, and then boom some more.
Line delivery? Not very good. Some lines were obviously translated from English (it's written by Gareth himself) and some sounds quite cheesy (overused in other movies), like A: "Why us? why now?" B: "Why not?" Or "I need to get in, my wife is sick" And a bunch of others..
Secondly, some of them are not professional actors and as an Indonesian watching an Indonesian movie without subtitles, I couldn't catch most of the things they said! I wished there were subtitles!! I wished there were Indonesian or English subtitles so that the foreigners in indo can enjoy the movie as well! (although there's one guy with a manado accent who talks funny, obviously a joke which will not be noticed by foreigners) They either talked really quickly, or had poor articulation/enunciation that I couldn't hear what they said and had to ask my sister, who also didn't catch what they said, and had to ask her boyfriend. The only one actor whom I can hear clearly even when talking fast is the gang boss (Ray Sahetapi).. A veteran actor, obviously trained for acting.
By the end of the movie we also concluded that the Indonesian vocabulary in terms of curse words is so very limited. The word "anjing!" (means "dog") is used over and over, by everybody.. And the word "bangsat" (a bedbug) a few times.. "Babi" (pig) once, "kampret" (a small bat) once... They all basically means the same thing "Bastard"... So, this either means we are a really polite culture.. Or that they're trying to avoid censor.. Or that the translator for gareth's script has not enough vocabulary list... or maybe I really didn't get the badness of those animal curse words..
I mean I can think of many English curse words that is not too dirty.. Like.. Scum, filth, bastard, jerk, son-of-a...., prick, damn, what the heck, slime.. OK I don't really know how to translate those words into spoken Indonesian either so...
The fights were great. I can't comment on the choreography because I'm not a professional, but it puts you on the edge of your seat, so I think that speaks for itself. They hit hard, they fall hard, they kill hard, they die hard. I thought that some fights could be sped up a bit, as some moves looks like it lags a bit in terms of syncing, but only by a bit. If not, it adds a real touch to the physicality of the movie.
Most of the girls shrieked and made wriggling sounds during fight sequences (yes, one really shrieked out loud), and many sighed a relief, almost awkward laugh, when those fight sequences end. Which, in my opinion, means that the fights were a great success.
As an animator I felt the CG was a bit...hmmm... CG blood is slightly overused, but still acceptable, but one shot stuck out like a sore finger to me, the one where one guy falls over and lands on a balcony ledge. I really wanted to fix that animation.. Hahahaa... But again, that's because I'm a trained animator, as other people in the cinema gasped in their seats thinking that was real etc.
All I know is, it lived up to my expectations (a minimal story fight movie). I look forward to Iko, Yayan, and Gareth's next collaboration, which is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0hYVksfyrQ Again, if you're an action movie fans, you'd probably like it.
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