With its relatively simple premise and mesmerizing fight choreography, Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans produced a modern-day cult classic in The Raid: Redemption five years ago, a low-budget thriller that crammed in more stomach-churning deaths and dizzying Silat stunts that you can shake a machete at. It also fostered a kick-ass working relationship between Evans and Indonesian action star Iko Uwais, who went on to reunite for The Raid 2 in 2014.
Headlining two critically-acclaimed action movies in the space of three years undoubtedly put Uwais on the international map, and with TIFF 2016 looming large, the actor is returning to the fray for amnesiac thriller, Headshot.
Directed by Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto – the latter of whom penned the screenplay – what has us cautiously optimistic for this latest Uwais-fronted actioner is how Headshot looks to balance its visceral, bone-crunching action with a story that, at least based on today’s brief trailer, is worth getting invested in, as Uwais’ Ismail pieces together clues to help tackle his fractured memory.
Nursed back to health by a young nurse, it’s only when it is revealed that Ismail is actually a trained killer that the shit hits the fan – and fast. Indeed, if The Raid tossed up a range of inventive ways to dispatch goons, Headshot channels that legacy and, in many ways, ups the ante.
Also starring Chelsea Islan, Julie Estelle, Zack Lee, Sunny Pang, Epy Kusnandar, David Lawrence, Very Tri Yulisman, Headshot will be in attendance at TIFF 2016 later this month, when we expect to learn more about the movie’s release plans.