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. After a series of setbacks leave Yuda homeless and uncertain about his new future, a chance encounter results in him defending the orphaned Astri from becoming the latest victim of a European human trafficking ring led by the wildly psychotic, Ratger and his right-hand man Lars. With Ratger injured in the mêlée and seeking both his “merchandise” and bloody retribution, Yuda’s introduction to this bustling city is a baptism of fire as he is forced to go on the run with Astri and her younger brother Adit as all the pimps and gangsters that inhabit the night hound the streets chasing their every step. With escape seemingly beyond their grasp, Yuda has no choice but to face his attackers in an adrenaline charged, jaw-dropping finale —imdb
Gareth Evans is a Welsh film director based in Indonesia. He is most well known for introducing Indonesian traditional martial art, Silat, into world cinema. Pairing up with Indonesian martial artist Iko Uwais whom he discovered during the making of a documentary, Gareth has directed two action movies based on Silat. Gareth graduated from University of Glamorgan in film making. —Wikipedia
not as insane or as expertly staged as "the raid: redemption," and bogged down with a sentimental storyline, "merantau" still eventually delivers the goods. like most martial arts movies, the final 20-odd minutes (in which our hero battles two white dudes resembling vampire bill and edward snowden) are worth the price of admission.
i liked this, though i wish i would have watched it before i saw The Raid, if only because The Raid refined his style and gave it a much more brutal and slightly more realistic touch. The Raid worked more because i was constantly on edge, and though while still a good film, Merantau reminded me a little too much of Ong-Bak.