The indomitable Iko Uwais (The Raid) stars in this fast and furious actioner as an amnesiac whose mysterious past as a killing machine comes to the fore when he takes on the henchmen of a vengeful drug lord.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
A comedown for co-directors Tjahjanto and Stamboel who attempt to deliver some high octane action at the cost of story, coherence and humanity. Some of the fight choreography is well done, especially the forest battle, but it just feels mostly routine as the plot staggers ahead fight to fight. Directors capable of 'Macabre' and 'Safe Haven' should have been able to deliver a lot more than the results here.
Headshot tries to carry the torch of Indonesian action cinema of The Raid, but where the first Raid built up a steady energy and tension, this feels as repetitious as a first-person shooter video game. Even its structure carries the boss-level nature in its progression between the fights, with the ultra-violences somehow feeling desensitized. Iwais, however, is still poised for a global action hero breakout.
The Mo Brothers' 2009 debut "Macabre" was a demented masterpiece, worthy of standing alongside "The Raid" as some of the best Indonesian genre cinema has to offer. Since then, the duo has struggled to release a film that feels as polished and well-produced as that earlier effort: their "Bourne"-esque thriller "Headshot" suffers from a staggered runtime and fight scenes that fail to convey a sense of impact.
Never been fond of the amnesia trope, and the story is a bit thin; but the action is just as savage as it is absolutely entertaining. Iko Uwais, star of "The Raid" films is proving that he's one of the best action heroes in the world today.
Visceral action and visceral romance meet in this head cracking fight movie. Very likely one of the most brutal martial arts films ever made. Sure, it's light on plot, but the fight choreography and action direction are so brutally well done that it sets a consistent bone-breaking, blood-spewing atmosphere to carry the film without leading it into boredom or redundancy. A real viscious film.