Film Review – Headshot (2016)

Title – Headshot (2016)

Directors – Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto (Killers)

Cast – Iko Uwais, Chelsea Islan, Sunny Pang, Julie Estelle, Very Tri Yulisman

Plot – Awoken from a bullet induced coma, the newly minted Ishmael (Uwais) finds himself in a new friendship with nurse Ailin (Islan) that is threatened by the interference of criminal mastermind Lee (Pang), who may have more to do with Ishmael’s past life than he would care to remember.

“Do you know who I am?….. Because I don’t”

Review by Eddie on 12/10/2017

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, so on that note Welsh director Gareth Evans should be highly chuffed with Indonesian film Headshot.

An Indonesian action/thriller that not only feels like a first cousin/half-brother to Evan’s first two Raid films, but stars its breakout performer Iko Uwais, Headshot aims for the frenetic nature The Raid seemingly invented as we were introduced to the apartment complex from hell in 2011 and while Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto’s film never reaches The Raid’s or its standout sequel’s heights, this valiant effort is a sight bit better than your average standard action event.

Not holding back in its depiction of brutal violence and feats that should’ve ended in instant death, Headshot sees Uwais’s Ishmael awaking with a particularly nasty headache and a potential new love interest in the form of Chelsea Islan’s kindly nurse Ailin, only to find out his the target of a group of hard-core baddies and with the simple and over the top set-up (much like once again, Evan’s films), Headshot acts as an excuse to deliver some far-out set pieces that showcase Uwais’s skills as a beat-down master.

Capturing the video game vibe and essence that came across in The Raid films, Ishmael’s journey to rescue Ailin and kill all the big bad’s including Sunny Pang’s ruthless leader Lee feels as though his going from boss fight to boss fight within interesting locations from a bus, a curiously badly secured police station and exotic looking beaches as Ishmael kills off goons one by one in inventive fashion, only to ruin his good work whenever the film stops to try and become emotional and actually tell a story.

Something The Raid film’s managed to overcome with pure unrelenting energy and story twists and turns, Headshot’s weak dialogue, so-so to bad performances and cheesily constructed narrative often undoes the films action wins and no amount of white knuckle showdowns and shootouts can save Headshot from its amateurish execution in these areas, even if you won’t care to much when the hits start being landed.

Final Say –

Not quite a poor man’s Raid but not worthy of being talked about alongside Evan’s classic action epics, Headshot is an often brutal and fun actioner that feels like an easy to digest entrée too what is Evan’s Raid swansong in the years coming, which is hopefully sooner, rather than later.

3 chopsticks out of 5        

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6 responses to “Film Review – Headshot (2016)

  1. Great review! Headshot is such an excellent throwback to 80s/90s action – a by-the-numbers plot, awful dialogue, and an unkillable hero. Which is all fine by me, so long as it’s entertaining. 😉

    While it isn’t near the best genre film I’ve seen (and The Raid is superior), Iko Uwais in action is just so much fun to watch. Can’t wait to see him in Triple Threat, with Tony Jaa and Tiger Chen!

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