You can pretty much look up any review online as of late and so I don’t really think my opinion about this film is necessary at this point. However, if there some who still care for it, I’ll say this much: The Night Comes For Us is as hyperviolent, fight-heavy and gruesome and as you would expect – maybe even to the point of overkill what with the abrupt stop/start pivot the film took amid the long seven-year wait in its languishing evolution.
The film kind of feels like it’s always been with us in a way, and similarly with the style of action it takes on that has grown on its target fanbase in such a way now with the likes of co-star Iko Uwais becoming an emerging international household name following the release of Mile 22. Smartly though, we have a director whose modulus understanding of genre filmmaking welcomes an almost meta-like charm at times toward character development and set pieces, and a touch that enriches one’s filmic vision, scope and depth when needed.
Indeed, it certainly feels like you might have seen this film before (think The Man From Nowhere with a touch of Leon: The Professional), only now you get Joe Taslim front and center of it all seven years after a thrilling entry into genre fandom with The Raid. And with him, you get the story of Ito, a man suddenly bound by a need for change and redemption after a long chapter of killing and leaving a trail of bodies as the member of an elite squad of gangland enforcers with a license to kill.
Of course, the killing isn’t gonna end just yet now that there’s young actress Asha Kenyeri Bermudez; She stars as Reina, the young, anodyne survivor of a massacre that our killer-turned-dark hero has cornered himself into protecting. Enter a seethingly villainous incarnation of our gangland leader, Chien Wu, played by the awesome Sunny Pang who rejoins Uwais following their tete-a-tete in the Mo’ Bros 2017 hit, Headshot.
Uwais’ portrayal of Arian is that of a close friend and confidant of Ito, and that friendship gets tainted over time by a number of factors – Arian’s own personal ambition being one of them. To name a few, enter director Timo Tjahjanto’s colorful cadre of killer co-stars like of Abimanya Arya as the affable Faith, and Zack Lee’s menacingly eccentric supporting role of “White Boy” Bob oppisite a bleach-blonde Hannah Al-Rashid and her lesbian killer lover in Dian Sastro Wardoyo, and the elusive Julie Estelle, stalking our hero as he tenaciously clenches on to every last ounce of hope and sheer will.
Indeed, the action almost exahusting at times as it seemed at times that was all there was to the narrative, and I wonder if it was the result of overexposure to such an amazing style of fight choreography since Merantau and The Raid reshaped many of our screenfighting expectation. On a seperate note, I couldn’t help but wonder there was room to bring in someone as talented as Johnny Tri Nguyen into the fray following the respite success he had in Vietnam with The Rebel and Clash before censors put the kibosh on Cho Lon.
At any rate, what with some fans still in mourning over The Raid 3 not happening, The Night Comes For Us guarantees another fun two hours of action movie glory for niche – one that should also serve as a signal that there are always new stories to be told as the Indonesian film industry continues to nourish its action film-going demohraphic. Tjahjanto definitely throws caution to the wind on the action at times, but he succeeds amply in telling a story that grips the empathy enough to warrant a ‘pass’ on the pass/fail scale.
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THE NIGHT COMES FOR US (2018)
If you're not yet feeling saturated by the perpetual excesses of Indonesian action cinema, know that the THE NIGHT COMES FOR US is definitely a film that delivers its desired effect more than handily.
- Joe Taslim is a provenly terrific lead, carried by fervent direction and strong, thrilling action and violence.
- Unless you're new to Indonesian action, the often hyperviolent sequences might begin to feel numbing.
- My Verdict