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Reviews: Films

 

Merantau Warrior

UK Release Date: 07-06-2010
Price: £12.99
UK Certificate: 18
Director: Gareth Evans
Country: Indonesia
Distributor: E1 Entertainment
Rating:

Farmer boy proves himself in the big city

Luckily, Merantau Warrior knows its own strengths and that these do no include an original storyline or subtle characterisation. So it wastes little time on plot - noble country boy saves tart-with-heart from villainous gay European people traffickers - and just uses it as an excuse for the fighting, which is awesome. This is an Indonesian film and the characters practice Silat, which rather than the cartwheeling balletics so popular in martial arts films is a mean-looking jabbing and twisting, low-down, brutal style, full of blades and iron bars and with the personality of a cornered snarling animal. Aside from the ridiculous over-use of slo-mo, which can't add gravity to a scene in which there is none, this is a fast-paced adrenaline rush and the fighting almost does enough to take your mind off the script's icky stereotyping; you might have expected more sensitivity from writer/director Gareth Evans, as a Welshman.

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