Notable Cast: Iko Uwais, Danny Pang, Julie Estelle, Very Tri Yulisman, Zack Lee, David Hendrawan, Epy Kusnandar
The Mo Brothers have impressed me since I saw Rumah Dara (the short film) years ago. Onward with the full-length feature, Macabre, I sank myself into the world of Timo Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel's twisted minds. A few years later, they unleashed Killers, and while I don't love it quite as much as I did on initial viewing, it's still quite solid. Needless to say, when their project The Night Comes for Us (with Joe Taslim of The Raid and Fast and Furious fame) went under, I was gutted. Also, like their fellow director and friend, Gareth Evans (The Raid), the Mo Brothers had a plan B for their failed project, and that comes by way of Headshot a.k.a by far the best thing the Mo Brothers have done to date.
The story is quite simple and takes the backseat of their blood-soaked adrenaline fueled action fest... something that they tried a little too hard on with their previous work, but I digress. Washed ashore on a beach, lays a man with a bullet in his head. He recovers from his coma 2 months later, and we realize he has a dark brutal past behind him. Said past leads to an excessive wave of punches, kicks, stabs, and multiple bullets whizzing in every direction possible, and it's glorious!
|Headshot a.k.a How Many Different Types of Object Can
Destroy Peoples' Faces: The Movie
The slasher elements from their previous efforts, most certainly trickle through to this, and more so than the other. There are more classic kills in this than even the likes of Macabre or even Safe (Timo and Gareth Evans' V/H/S/ 2 segment). If this was their backup for The Night Comes for Us falling out, then I am beyond curious as to just what the hell exactly that project will hold for us, which thanks to this movie, is back on track.
|Lee. . . The Father from Hell
In terms of the characters, I think this film does a nice job of mixing humanity with a bit of insanity. Lee, the Chinese villain of the piece (nice touch for his character), is possibly my favorite character, as he is completely bonkers, but he truly believes in what he is doing, and that it is the right thing and is absolutely beneficial for him. I can always admire a bad guy with a purpose and drive, and it is very clear what he is doing, even though there are some things that aren't answered, it sort of elevates his status from "Badass Baddy" to "............ Whoa!".
|When in doubt, pull a baseball b--, erm... a police baton out!
Some have called this film Raid-lite, but I would argue that it belongs right beside those films, but just as that, beside. It doesn't try to be The Raid and doesn't want to be. Sure there are nods, and even some similar face-offs, but it most definitely has an identity of its own and bathes itself in its own world and style. Where The Raid is brutal and go-go-go, Headshot adds in a lot of dark humor and self-awareness in its own bloody absurdity without ever winking into the camera.
|Yes, it's Hammer Girl. She was also the lead in Macabre...
give that a go if you have wanted to see her in a lead role!
Written by Josh Parmer