Friday, April 6, 2012


Well, that was violent. Really, really violent. And Indonesia has officially made it's mark in the action genre. An elite team of police officers storm a high-rise apartment complex that's the home of a vicious crime lord. The goal is to secure it floor by floor, don't let anyone trigger an alarm, until the 15th floor where the crime lord lives. Of course, everything goes horribly wrong. Most cops die, lots of residents die (don't worry, we're set to believe the entire complex is a safe house for vicious criminals) and ass-kicking cop Rama (Iko Uwais, who's now primed for stardom) has to kill nearly everyone himself.

If you stop and think about it for too long (about three seconds) you'll realize there's a lot that doesn't make sense. Like why not have backup ready? Why waste all your ammo instead of aiming and taking a kill shot? Were these 'elite' cops really trained this poorly? And what of the melodramatic twists (no spoilers, but I will say the twists are too outrageous to be believed)? But none of that really matters, it's an excuse to throw non-stop violence and action at the screen. And on that level, it succeeds better than any movie I can think of off the top of my head.

And one final note: I saw this in digital projection on screen 4 of the Kabuki theater, San Francisco. For the most part it was fine--good resolution, brightness seemed right. But their projector has a dead pixel--a blue dot in the middle and slightly left of center. I know people who don't notice it once the action has started, but to me it was distracting almost the whole time. Perhaps I see it better sitting in the front row like I do, but I could see it probably over half the movie. It's less noticeable when the action is fast (as it often is in this movie) or when it's brightly lit (which it often isn't) but I could still see it enough to be annoyed by it. So anyway, just be forewarned that screen 4 of the Kabuki has a dead pixel in its digital projector.

Running Time: 101 minutes
My Total Minutes: 276,229

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