REEL Review – The Night Comes For Us (2018)

The Night Comes For Us (2018)

Director: Timo Tjahjanto | Runtime: 2h 1mins | Action

The Six Seas Triad leader Ito (Joe Taslim) has a change of heart when he saves a little girl from the massacre his team is causing. When the Triads learn that Ito had to seek the help of childhood friends, they send Arian (Iko Uwais), Ito’s fellow Triad member and closest friend, to hunt them down.

If you’re wondering where you have seen some of the cast from more than likely you’ve seen the wonderful 2011 film, The Raid. One of the best action films in years that simultaneously shaped how modern Martial Arts should be filmed, that also sent Iko Uwais into the mainstream eye as a modern action-actor. It’s very clear to see how much influence The Raid has had on multiple films, and even more so in the hard-hitting approach of The Night Comes For Us. Actually though what sets this apart, is in fact it’s director – Timo Tjahjanto.

With background in both Martial Arts films and Horror, he combines the two so fluidly into the action, that bolsters heavy fist-for-fist duals and also gratuitous weapon based combat that eventually leads to a thick red spray of blood filling the screen over and over. In some scenes it almost gets so bad you could actually call this a Horror, one early scene sees Ito in a butcher’s shop, and if you’ve got some imagination you’ll be able to tell what comes next: Meathooks, electric drills, even slabs of meat become weapons. It’s the purest form of anarchy that’s balancing the Horror with choreography, and while The Raid is certainly violent, Tjahjanto ups it closer to Grindhouse. But the standout fight, which is saying a lot, has to be the final fight between Ito and Arian. It’s filled with emotion, it’s paced perfectly, and captures the fatigue and style of the films action consistently. Every bump and bruise is felt, and the two actors showcase just how impeccable they are at what they do.

Unfortunately for this film though it does rely a heavy amount on it’s own story, which has never been the style of the Martial Arts genre. You think simplicity, a quick thematic jump just to push the film to it’s next fight, but The Night Comes For Us can sometimes get lost in it’s own plot. Starting out a simple redemption story and slowly morphing into a story of brotherhood, it’s this simplicity that works well with this style of film, where it gets lost though is in it’s convoluted crossing of enemies and in bogged down backstory for a group of friends, and even though Joe Taslim genuinely gives a fantastic performance, the rest of the actors lack of experience begins to show. Even Iko Uwais, definitely the most recognisable face in the film, is not an actor of words but with his fists, and it shows pretty clearly.

It’s mix of Grindhouse horror and Indonesian Martial Arts actually make for quite a unique experience, lending the ingenuity of the choreographed fight and making the gore all the more spectacular, and despite the actors really being fighters and not talkers, you’ll still happily get on board with every action sequence and the characters in the process. With such great action, it’s a real shame it has such a busy script, and the 2 hours can often drag until the next fight.

Verdict:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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