Fans of the extreme, high-speed, action-packed The Raid will find themselves in the comfort of The Night Comes For Us, a bloody and virtually non-stop, adrenaline rush that will knock-your-socks-off thanks to the some of the most perfectly choreographed action fight sequences you’re likely to see on screen. Unapologetically brutal, The Night Comes For Us is the year’s best action film, a must-see, turbo-charged martial-arts movie that ups the violence and makes The Expendables look like child’s play. I’ve heard nothing but praise since it premiered at Fantastic Fest and I’m happy to report, The Night Comes for Us lives up to its incredible hype.
No Body Part is Spared
In terms of story, there’s not much to write home about. Like The Raid, The Night Comes for Us is a balls-to-the-wall action film with a simple plot that unfolds over a short 121 minutes of screentime. It follows Ito (Joe Taslim), a former triad enforcer, and his mission to protect a young girl while trying to escape his former gang. Saving her life comes with a heavy price to pay. Ito must now fight his way through the streets of Jakarta in a long, glorious, bloody battle that would make John Wick quiver in fear. Aside from a few dozen assassins, Ito’s longtime friend Arain (The Raid’s Iko Uwais) has been hired to do whatever it takes to stop him. Truth be told, the plot is paper thin and far more convoluted than it needs to be with several flashbacks that do little to nothing besides add padding to the running time. Putting the story aside, however, those looking for an action-packed minute-by-minute thriller will walk away with their jaws wide open and fall in love with this energetic, eye-popping, blood-soaked, ingeniously choreographed thriller.
Oh, the Horror!
The Night Comes for Us may not win any prizes for its screenplay but if there was an award show dedicated to action cinema, it would clean house, starting with winning an award for most creative ways to kill a man. There are no words to express just how bat-shit insane some of these action scenes are. The Night Comes for Us delivers some of the most over-the-top and barbarous ensembles of action set pieces ever witnessed on celluloid while also utilizing just about every single inanimate object found on set as a deadly weapon. There’s no shortage of broken bones, deadly knife fights, bodies beaten, impalings, limb severings, and other cringe-inducing mayhem to get the blood flowing. If all this sounds like a horror film, it kind of is. In fact, The Night Comes for Us can best be described as a splatterfest dressed up as an action film. Wait ‘till you see the three-man brawl over a meat cutting saw. It’s the stuff Tarantino dreams of.
An Action Film for the Ages
It comes as no surprise that the latest effort from writer/director Timo Tjahjanto is yet another unstoppable wrecking ball of action. If you’re not familiar with the man, Tjahhanto co-directed three features (Macabre, Killers, Headshot) as well as the V/H/S/2 segment “Safe Haven” (which he co-directed with The Raid’s Gareth Evans) – not to mention May the Devil Take You, an Evil-Dead-like splatterfest that was also released in 2018 (and a move I also recommend). With every one of Timo Tjahjanto’s films, we see him mature as a filmmaker, and of all his films, The Night Comes for Us is hands down his finest work to date – an action film for the ages that rightfully pegs him as one of the best action directors working today. Timo knows exactly who his audience is and what they want to see and he delivers it in spades. Along with his cinematographer Gunnar Nimpuno, he employs an assortment of camera tricks to heighten every frame while never once relying on shaky cam or cheap cutaways to masquerade the fast-paced action. The camera gets so close at times, you can feel every hit, kick, stab, and bullet wound. Even more impressive is that every special effect is said to have been done live and in-camera and every effect relied on old-school prosthetics. And while I’m pretty sure they used some CGI in post-production, The Night Comes for Us is so relentless, I’m confident the stuntmen needed stuntmen. It’s madness I tell you!
A viscerally Enjoyable experience
Timo Tjahjanto is no doubt a great filmmaker but as good as he is, The Night Comes for Us would be a lesser film if not for the incredible cast. At the center of the film is Joe Taslim and Iko Uwais who do a remarkable job – and not just because of their impressive fighting skills but also because of their charismatic performance and onscreen chemistry. Just when you think you’ve seen the best action sequence, along comes a new scene that will blow your mind. And the last fight scene between Taslim and Uwais is a thing of beauty – a sequence that puts the famous brawl from John Carpenter’s They Live to shame (and reportedly took two full weeks of preparation and planning to do). Finally, if you’re a fan of the lethal ladies from the Kill Bill series, you’re going to love the three leading ladies in The Night Comes for Us. Julie Estelle (The Raid 2) is back to kick ass and this time she’s joined by a pair of female villains who help her light up the screen with a thrilling three-way all-female brawl. Kudos to the entire cast including the extras who really do put their bodies (and maybe their lives) on the line.
If it’s not already obvious, I’m a huge fan of The Night Comes for Us. It’s hands down one of my favourite films of 2018 – and guaranteed to be a word-of-mouth hit. And thanks to Netflix, you don’t have to go looking too far to enjoy the film for yourself.
- Ricky D