Indonesian romantic comedy, coming of age tale, gentle melodrama...this is what Merantau is not.
What it is is about one hundred minutes of punches, kicks, slaps, smacks, crashes, bangs and wallops as Yuda negotiates his way around the mean streets of Jakarta attempting to protect a young woman from the evil clutches of international sex worker smugglers.
Like most of you I have seen my share of martial arts movies and fight scenes but I can honestly say I have never sat through an action film and wanted to whoop, cheer and punch the air like I did during this. Things happened during the fight scenes that I haven't ever seen before and that, in itself, is no mean feat for a film in this genre.
Leading man Iko Uwais is a Silat expert...an Indonesian martial art that, if you're anything like me, you will never have heard of or seen before. He is also a decent young actor proving that it is possible to give a convincing performance and kick ass without being a dumb-ass on screen.
This was the only UK cinema screening of "Merantau" but I would wager you will hear more from its star in the next few years and don't be surprised to see Silat academies opening in a town near you soon.