Merantau Warrior is the Indonesian answer to Ong Bak, that is obvious. It is likely to gain cult-like status among super fans as the title of this film spreads around the globe. Though Merantau Warrior may seem like another Asian action flick on the surface, but beneath it lies an inspiring story. It follows Yuda, who sets off on his journey, hoping to prove himself by surviving against the odds and gaining valuable life points along the way. The idea here is that, the story is based on the traditional custom of “merantau,” where a male has to make their way to the city to seek enlightenment. This I suppose, means you have to beat the crap out of people.
But like most other heroes, he is not to give up, and in turn we root for him. Do not expect too much of originality in terms of storyline. But, thats now why you showed up for this dance is it? If you were lucky enough to come across this review, let me invite you to check out the youtube video. The fight scenes are sick! The choreography isn’t anywhere near intricate to make your jaw drop but it will still keep your eyes wide with excitement. All in all, Merantau Warrior features some of the best fighting and action set pieces you will ever see.
The action is almost non-stop, save for a scene which has me believing that writer/director Gareth Evans is a big John Woo fan. I just name dropped the director. I did this on purpose as we will al be looking out for the names of Gareth Evans and Iko Uwais in the future. He even included a pretty interesting sub plot that involves our main hero attempt to save a damsel-in-distress from being a pawn in human trafficking. It isn’t everyday we get a beat ’em up film that is genuinely well made, edited and written.
He and this movie will not escape the obvious comparisons to Tony Jaa, but this Indonesian actor has a fresher face, and a more amiable persona. He makes the movie comes alive during action sequences. Each fight scene is better than the last and once Uwais gets into his Silat groove, nothing can stop him. The acting is acceptable from everyone and I loved the setting and atmosphere. Not too much to complain about here, as I urge everyone to go and track this film down. It’s being touted as the “Biggest Indonesian action movie of the year”. I can’t say I disagree with that statement. It has everything that’s needed for a great action film. Go see it!