Friday, June 16, 2017

Film Review: Headshot (2016)

Headshot (Review)
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...packed with exciting martial arts and bloody gun battles."

After he washes ashore, an amnesiac is nursed back to health by a young doctor, but his past ferociously comes back to haunt him...

Headshot shares a few similarities to the great Thailand action film Headshot (2011), but it's not a remake. This plot follows a young man (Iko Uwais) who washes ashore with a gunshot wound on his head. He awakens months later unable to remember his past. Ailin (Chelsea Islan), his doctor, gives him the name Ishmael and begins to nurse him back to health, and so the pair develop a friendly relationship. All is well until a group of highly-trained assassins set their sights on Ishmael and Ishmael's past begins to unravel. Ailin is kidnapped and Ishmael sets out to rescue her. The second half of the film is action-packed, adding only tidbits of details to the plot. It leads to a thrilling climax and a good ending.
Headshot is an excellent action film. From beginning to end, it's packed with exciting martial arts and bloody gun battles. This is the type of film to get your adrenaline pumping. If you're a fan of The Raid's action sequences, you're going to love this film's action. The plot is fairly simple, but it is effective. The characters may not be the deepest, but their relationships create some effective drama. The background for some of the characters was also interesting. I suppose my only complaint really isn't a bad one: there's too much action. I say this because the second half of the film feels like boss battle after boss battle. Essentially Ishmael confronts his old peers, each with their own special abilities, and fights to the death. They'll talk about the past a bit, but that's all it is—boss battles. Of course, if you're an action fan, like myself, this isn't the worst thing in the world.

The acting was great, too. Iko Uwais has always felt human to me. Yes, he's an extraordinarily talented martial artist, but his performances are also grounded in reality. I like that about him. Chelsea Islan and Sunny Pang also offer great supporting performances. The film was shot well, I really liked the camerawork. The music was also great. The action direction was superb, as usual. The film was written by Tim Tjahjanto and directed by Kimo Stambel and Tjahjanto. Aside from some repetitive scenes towards the second half, the writing was good. It works very well for an action film. The direction excels in creating a dark, gritty crime thriller with superb action sequences.

Overall, Headshotis a great film. It has a few issues in terms of story, it doesn't quite match the excellence of The Raid 2, but it is an excellent time-killer. For action/martial arts film fans, this is a fantastic experience. Don't miss it.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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