Netflix's The Night Comes for Us Review
Netflix does The Raid
Netflix tries to get in on some Indonesian gangster action with The Night Comes for Us, starring the leads of The Raid.Netflix have upped their game. Even if they still have a long way to go, films like Jeremy 'Green Room' Saulnier's Hold the Dark, Paul 'Bourne' Greengrass' 22nd July, and Gareth 'The Raid' Evans' The Apostle certainly show a marked increase in quality.
Now they get in on the Indonesian gangster-flavoured martial arts mayhem with the fiercely brutal The Night Comes for Us, a frequently unrelenting piece of quintessential comic book action come to life, which doesn't have the intense efficiency of The Raid, nor the expansive structure of its epic sequel, but still delivers two hours of stunning martial arts action defined by sometimes quite shocking violence, the headshots alone of which could even give John Wick a run for his money.
The headshots alone could give John Wick a run for his money.
The story, first conceived as a screenplay, but then adapted into a graphic novel, before making it to the screen, is relatively simple in spite of its initial attempt at veiled complexity. Joe Taslim's Triad enforcer, Ito, is one of the few, elite, highly trained special operatives tasked with maintaining the peace - the so-called 'Six Seas'. When he is called upon to kill a young girl, he refuses, setting off a chain of events that see him, his loyal friends and his very family, all under attack from a seemingly endless swarm of assassins who are out to kill the child and make an example of Ito, at all costs.
After a brief introduction, The Night Comes for Us soon kicks into high gear for a violent onslaught of increasingly grand setpieces. The action simply doesn't let up for the first hour, pitting our hero and his tough friends against a seemingly endless horde of blade-and-gun-wielding killers.
Knowing that there's another whole hour to go, the story quickly back-peddles to fill in some gaps - although it's nothing you really need to know which you couldn't already fill in yourself. Whilst this has the unsurprising effect of slowing down the pace briefly, it's a welcome decision, giving you a pause before the extended grand finale, which sees the fights - rather impossibly - get upgraded, courtesy of a series of super-assassins much like the hero.
Some of the best action Netflix has ever seen.
With elaborately staged and expertly choreographed sequences taking us in and out of apartments and warehouses, cars and police vans, nightclubs and meat lockers, with no weapons out of bounds - pistols, assault rifles, machetes and axes, knives and baseball bats, grenades and plastic explosives. Improvised weapons are also fun, and the heroes turn to anything they can get their hands on to fight off the, almost zombie-like, hordes.
The Night Comes for Us is, for the most part, unpretentious, only occasionally thinking itself a classy gangster drama which includes spectacular martial arts (rather than the other way around), when really it isn't anything like The Raid 2. It's actually closer in style to Iko Uwais' Headshot, which arguably tried even less with a story and similarly goes for borderline action overkill to get the job done.
Of course, Taslim may be the lead, but it's actually his Raid co-star Uwais who many will come here for, a tremendous martial artist who seems thoroughly unbeatable. The Night Comes for Us is at its best when getting its hero(es) against a barrage of bad guys, and having them get slowly picked apart like the legendary Wild Bunch, and when its villainous female assassins (which include The Raid 2's 'Hammer Girl', the gorgeous and kick-ass Julie Estelle) close in for a showdown, afford a staggering amount of brutality but also some thoroughly satisfying violence, and some of the best action Netflix has ever seen.
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