April 11, 2012
There is a slim story laid out to get you into the movie and enough development to make you interested in a couple of the characters. Still, it is so much lip service to get you from point A to point everyone gets the snot beat out of them. While this may be a problem for some, I am not one of them. This is a pure action movie. It is all about the execution of the violence. Where some see repetitive fights and shootouts with little else to cling to, the genre fan, however, sees some inventively vicious fights, a team of talented martial artists and stuntmen, and a nice build from the initial blows to the final showdown. The story is of little consequence when the orchestra of fists play this well.
The story, such as it is, finds a police tactical unit going into an apartment building that is controlled by a powerful crime boss. It is a building that has long been a no-go zone for the police and has been battleground for other crime families who have tried to take over. This does seem to be odd timing for the police invasion, some of them wondering "why now?" Whatever truth will be revealed, there is plenty of fighting to be had.
The police enter the building and quietly begin to take control, floor by floor. The last thing they want is for word to get to the boss and him to unleash his attack forces. Well, floor six proves to be a sticking point as they are spotted and the alarm is triggered. The crime boss locks the building down, let's the police knows his building is being attacked, and promptly puts a bounty on the heads of the police infestation. This leads to an outpouring of bounty hunters seeking to take down some cops.
That is about all there is. On the character side of the coin we first meet our hero, Rama (Iko Uwais), leaving his pregnant wife and going off to work. There is also a vow to bring someone home. Finally, the guy in charge of the invasion might know more than he is letting on.
All right, with the story bits out of the way, sit back and enjoy some great fights and large amounts of violence. Now, it is hard to discuss this without using words that can get you all excited for it, the last thing I want to do is hype it up too much for you. I know what overhype can to expectations.
Let's just say that once the guns run out of bullets, there is a steady stream of inventively choreographed fights. There are some really hardcore fights and it does not look like anyone is pulling any punches.
What it simply comes down to is if you like action movies, you need to see this. Yes, it is subtitled, but there is about 5 pages worth of dialogue in the whole thing, so don't let that get you down.
Posted by Christopher Beaumont at 4/11/2012 09:13:00 PM
Chris has been an avid movie watcher for decades, getting into the writing game in 2004. Since that time he has contributed to a number online publications as well as running CriticalOutcast.com. In addition to movies, Chris is a big fan of music, particularly metal, and will never give up hope on his beloved Mets.