Coming to Britain on the back of the hottest online buzz in years, suffice to say that everything you have read is true - Merantau is without doubt the standout action movie of the year. Merantau's star Iko Uwais is about to popularise the Indonesian martial art of Silat in just the way that Tony Jaa showcased Thailand's Muay Thai style with the cross-over hit Ong Bak.
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Critic Reviews for Merantau
Audience Reviews for Merantau
Well here is a movie where the story took backstage to all the fighting scenes...and there are lots, and lots. Too many where the story actually gets lost. The actual story that it did have was decently done, as was the acting, but unfortunately there just isn't enough of that to make this a really good movie.More
Poorly paced and repetitive fights, weak cast, weak direction. Long boring fights that go nowhere and so on. Don't believe the viral marketing some sites are throwing for this one. Maybe The Raid is actually better, but this one is not.More
Amazing Indonesian martial arts film I ever seen in the first time. The storyline isn't much to behold naturally, though as far as action films go, this one satisfies its own cursory, flimsy tale to hold all the spectacular action sequences together, giving it some reason to have Uwais go on a rampage, showcasing personal prowess, and to add Silat as a martial arts of choice amongst so many that have its fair share of a cinematic outing, from Ip Man's Wing Chun, to Ong Bak's Muay Thai.
Iko Uwais is good fighter and really can act. Well-pace (a bit slow at start), solid action, nice camera work, brave-stunts, and the hero is just a human after all.
"Every journey must begin with one small step."
In Minangkabau, West Sumatera, Yuda a skilled practitioner of Silat Harimau is in the final preparations to begin his "Merantau" a century's old rites-of-passage to be carried out by the community's young men that will see him leave the comforts of his idyllic farming village and make a name for himself in the bustling city of Jakarta.
Our main character, Yuda, decides to leave his family's peaceful tomato farm and try his luck in Jakarta as a silat teacher ? and ended up proving to us once again that 'rural is good, urban is bad, but evil is foreign'. In short, Yuda got himself involved with two psychotic human traffickers, when he tried to help an erotic dancer from a pimp wanting to sell her to the foreigners. Frankly speaking, apart from the interesting view on Minangkabau traditions and landscape and a rather shocking ending, I cannot say much about the plot. (Is the homoeroticism between the two antagonists a subplot, I wonder?) And this film is almost torturingly long: perhaps it's because Evans wrote, directed, and edited the film himself. The duration is a sign left by his ego, when a sane-headed other person could help him editing parts that needn't be there so that the pace could be increased a bit.
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