Film #322: MERANTAU
3 stars of 5 stars
First the good news… MERANTAU is one the first films to adequately show Indonesian Silat. Some of the fight scenes in this are pretty fuckin’ breathtaking. I mean, thesee guys went on to do THE RAID films. In two instances I particular, there are stunts that will blow you away. Ok, now the bad news… MERANTAU’s story is incredibly by-the-book. It’s acting, while better than most of its ilk, is still not exactly great. While comparisons to people like Tony Jaa are IMO unfounded, again… the action is pretty swell. The ending was a bit of a surprise, but that kind of bravery comes far too late to make much of a difference. Martial Arts film fans will eat this up. Non-fans… may want to navigate toward some of the “art house” wuxia (like HERO, IP MAN, and the like. Bottom line… some inspired action / derivative storyline.