A hugely enjoyable, viscerally violent film, this has you on the edge of your seat, heart pounding, face wincing, eyes desperately trying to keep up with the complicated, yet beautiful fight choreography.
The action isn’t quite as non-stop as many reviews claim, but the film is better for that, as whilst the plot may be slight, there is more than enough to keep you invested and interested. The cast are superb, a recognisably diverse range of faces and characters, each giving their roles their all.
The first half of the film is brutal, and the fights feel real- this isn’t a case of men lining up to be knocked out with one punch- they are seriously put out of action, and are left suffering in pain on the floor for the rest of the film. Unfortunately, the second half then lets this down as it becomes more and more generic, as the film’s thrills peak well before the halfway point. But it is a minor gripe as I already can’t wait to see it again.
Welsh director Gareth Evans is a star in the making. Hollywood will be beating down his door with the ferocity of his characters. Part of me hopes he turns them down, and stays in Indonesia, if this is what he continues to produce.