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Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,783
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Movie Info

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

All Critics (1)

  • In dire need of a tighter edit and a few smiles, Merantau is a bizarrely lethargic picture, great with violence, but a complete chore to sit through between the punches.

    Jan 7, 2011 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Merantau

  • Oct 10, 2017
    The film that put Gareth Evans and Iko Uwais on the map even if not many people knew it at the time, The story was ok but it was predictable and it took a backseat to the action that was very good and really the only reason to watch this movie, Not greatly acted and the editing could of been a little better in places but it had some great fight scenes that were well choreographed and brutal too, I'd love to see what Gareth Evans would do with a blockbuster budget if he can make the tiny budget for this film feel much much bigger.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 23, 2013
    In some ways this is a better movie than The Raid, Gareth Evans' next movie. And what I mean by that is that, even though overall The Raid is much better as far as an action film with frenetic and nonstop action, this one has a better story. I think this film is broader than The Raid to the point where if you don't like action films, you'll hate The Raid. This one, even if you hate martial arts, I think you'd still be able to get into the 'story'. Don't get my words twisted though, overall, I enjoyed The Raid more but it had literally no story to speak of and what little there was was a chore to get through. The story here, while really very simple and an excuse to get you to the next fighting scene, is very simple but, surprisingly, solid. Yes, it is predictable and not particularly inventive, but it does a good job at making you at least care a little bit for the characters. The thing about Gareth Evans, and he's known mostly for genre films, but I think that he's a good filmmaker period and I think that's what sets him apart from the pack. Yes, he has an incredible eye for action and how to edit them for maximum impact. Hell, he also has an eye for horror if his short in VHS 2 is any indication. But I think that regardless of that eye for style, I think that if he set out to make a straight-up drama, with no action or horror, he'd do a great job because he knows how to shoot his actors and how to place the create tension even without all the 'smoke and mirrors'. You can notice it in here and you sure as shit can notice it in The Raid. I think the fighting scenes in this film are really good, but, understandably so, they're a little step behind what The Raid eventually accomplished. The fight scenes look a little more choreographed here and I don't wanna say they're poorly edited, but you can certainly notice the jumps and it doesn't feel like one large fight with many twists and turns. That's something that was definitely fixed in The Raid. There's so much going on in that film, you could have guys having a hand-to-hand battle while seventeen other guys were shooting at them with AK-47s and it all looks smooth and fast, and like it's happening all at the same time with very little to no noticeable cuts. That situation is an exaggeration of course, but there's literally so much going on in The Raid that you'd have to watch it a second time to notice all the nooks and crannies. The Raid is an editing masterpiece. I almost hate to compare the two, but I think it's almost inevitable. That's not to say the action scenes in this movie are bad, far from it, they're very good and superbly choreographed. But that's also part of the problem, it looks too rehearsed and it doesn't feel organic or natural at all. Still, with the combination of the action and the solid story, this film is a very good movie. It has its flaws, but it's nice seeing a director's "formative" years, as Gareth did another movie before this one. Regardless, this is a damn good martial arts movie.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Aug 13, 2012
    A little bit slooooow in the beginning of this rather interesting centuries old leaving home adolescent to "proof of manhood" phase that this particular teenager Yuda (Iko Uwais) has went through. What an incredible transformation he has went through in such a short time. His highest point of proof came when he has to go out of his way to prevent a trafficker from permanently turning Astri (Sisca Jessica) into a captive. In order to make that happen he had to rely and apply his intense knowledge of the martial art form of silat. The intensity of what he know when unleashed captivates your imagination as well as your interest as the movie reveals. See this it is surprisingly intense!
    Fascade F Super Reviewer
  • Apr 17, 2012
    In the Spirit of Ong Bak. Welshman Gareth H. Evans has introduced us to the Indonesian Martial Art Silat in this high-octane action film. about a young man on his tradition to leave his country home and persue his Merantau until he is worthy a man to come home. Iko Uwais gives light to the indonesian film industry much like Tony Jaa did for Thailand. Perfomances from the actors are very robust, along with some interesting and engaging drama. Although its the action thats the star and fast pace of the film that make this watchable. On a down side its not as explosive as Ong Bak but its decent and recomended for Martial Arts fans.
    Luke E Super Reviewer

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