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Wow… this is no, well… low frills action cinema, with a straightforward setting (“Get in. Get him. Get out alive.”), expected twists (“You were dead the moment you came here.”) and the necessary level of emotions (“you will be an uncle.”). Between those, it’s ruthless action, with guns, knives, and fists. The heroes are brave, but vulnerable. The villains are gorgeous and valiant. There is a point near the end of the film where my sympathies actually tended to turn and I wanted to reward the heroically fighting bad guy with my shouts of support. I think I did shout, actually… That the action is set in an Indonesian high-rise mostly does not matter. Neither does that it is about a fight between a police squad and a local gang. What does matter is the combination of stylish-gritty setting (yes, there are slow-motion sequences of flying bullets, but they are not glittery, they are mean). What also and in particular matters is that at some point the combatants are reduced to their skills in martial arts (some by necessity, some by choice, interestingly, because killing with guns, in the words of my secret hero of the film, “is just no fun”). Gratefully, nobody flies around on string wires. If people fly, they fly because somebody throws them out of the window or because they are in the midst of an explosion. There is a tangible feeling of hurt and pain everywhere, nobody hits or gets hit for free, everyone pays a price for his actions. The one thing martial-arts-related films seem unable to overcome is the rule that regardless of how many opponents are around, the hero only gets attacked by one or two at a time. I appreciate the sportsmanship, but that is something I already found irritating when Bruce Lee fought his way out of his calamities…

A very entertaining piece of genre film-making, not just for martial arts admirers, but for anybody who is not squeamish and occasionally enjoys observing other people having much greater problems than oneself.


  1. I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award.

  2. A piece of action that everybody has been praising. I definitely have to see it. Good job on the review!

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