Reviews by Country
Indonesian/Japanese co-production Killers screened at the 2014 Sydney Film Festival in the Freak Me Out program, which is exactly the right place for it. Programmer Richard Kuipers said in his intro for the screening that their intention for Freak Me Out is to show films that sit at the extreme ends of genre cinema, from horror spectaculars heaving with gristle and gore to the weirder side of arthouse. He suggested that Killers could be a worthy entry on both fronts, … (read more)
Three years ago, director Gareth Evans’ second film, The Raid arrived in Aussie cinemas with a bang. It’s the first Indonesian film I can remember ever getting a wide release here (and in North America, where it was first retitled The Raid: Redemption and given a soundtrack workover), and it won a great deal of attention from critics and dyed-in-the-wool action cinema fans. Evans had managed to craft a taut, focused genre film fusing well-trodden Hollywood tropes with the harder … (read more)
The Raid opens nationwide on the 22nd of March. Check Madman’s site for more details.
Director Gareth Evans and newly-minted action star Iko Uwais have followed up their 2009 martial arts flick Merantau with this hard-edged action film, and Madman have been good enough to bring it to cinemas nationwide! The last big action movie I remember them doing a cinema release for in Australia was Ong Bak, a logical point of comparison for this one — both come … (read more)
It seems that every time I read or hear anything about Merantau, the new action film from Indonesia, it is invariably being compared with the Thai martial arts classic Ong Bak. Having just seen Merantau myself, I can certainly appreciate some similarities between the 2 films, in particular the starring of an unknown actor who has amazing fighting skills, combining speed, agility and fearlessness to wow the audience. However, there are also quite a lot of very obvious … (read more)
I have, on occasion, had the moral dilemma of whether I should review a movie in light of its cultural context or whether to discuss it as it stands on its own. Admittedly, this tends to happen after a pretty ordinary movie, so I try to justify it in any context whatsoever. If nothing else, it tends to lessen the bitter, bitter bile that tends to build up.
And if you haven’t guessed, yes, this was a mental exercise I … (read more)