Run Time: 120 Mins
What To Expect: Skinned knuckle action, no shaking cameras. Probably a mite too long
Just when I was wondering once again why I bother with Netflix, they throw up a second season of Making a Murderer and more importantly for us, acquire and release director Timo Tjahjanto’s brutal crime actioner The Night Comes For Us. It first existed as a screenplay and then adapted into a graphic novel, before finally being released as a film. And if you have Netflix, you have no excuse to not check this one out. It is the antithesis to the bloated kitsch playing at cinemas these days, good move by Netflix.
A former triad enforcer, Ito (Joe Taslim) suffers a crisis of conscience and must protect a young girl while trying to escape his former gang, setting off a violent battle on the streets of Jakarta. Ito should’ve cleared all traces of the girl and her family (read: kill her too), not doing so doesn’t go down well with triad killers. Among his pursuers is the ascendant but still conflicted former friend Arian (Iko Uwais). And in the end, there’s only room for one man in town.
I would like to get some criticisms of this film out of the way. First, I think the film is too long, given the content involved. The plot is quite threadbare, which means two hours is quite a stretch and with relentless action and quite frankly zero humor, I’m declaring this movie to have some pacing issues. It’s not necessary for a good action movie to have a screenplay from Michael Mann, but for example The Raid (2011) is a superior film because it knows when to call time and leave the stage. Also, while there’s plenty of Joe Taslim, I was hoping for a little bit more Iko Uwais.
That said, there is no substitute for practical action, filmed with a steady camera and considerate editing. Action that is so brutal you fear for the actors involved. This film has tremendous set pieces in spades; extreme violence to rival Rambo (2008) and close quarters combat to rival The Raid (2011). Taslim and Uwais are a joy to watch and the final fight scene between the two, coordinated by Uwais himself, is not going to be topped. Not this year anyway, from my hazy memory.
This is a damn good film. And it’s on Netflix now, so if you haven’t already, what are you waiting for?