Silat Warriors: Deed of Death (2019) Well Go USA Blu-ray Review
The movie has a lot of adequately choreographed fights, but no real stunts to speak of, and its hero is indistinguishable. The story is simple (even simpler than Ong Bak, which was as basic as it gets), and so what is there to recommend here? Nice scenery of Indonesia. A long fight climax. But everyone’s style looks exactly the same, and it’s not very dynamic or hard hitting.
A gambler puts his entire family at risk with his mounting debt, and when his debtors come to collect the deed to his family’s land as payment, the gambler’s brother fights back.
A humble family in rural Indonesia gets an unwelcome visit from thugs sent to collect a debt accrued by the family’s youngest son Mat Arip (Fad Anuar), and the thugs have been instructed to not leave the premises until they’ve either collected the debt in full or to leave with the deed to the family’s land. The father and mother aren’t willing to relinquish the only thing their family has of any value, and so it’s a stalemate, but the thugs recalibrate later and when Mat Arip gets in trouble with an even steeper debt, the thugs take him as a hostage, demanding payment … or the deed to his family’s land. Good thing Mat Arip has a badass brother who has done nothing but labor and toil on the family farm, a stalwart hero named Ali (Khoharullah Majid) who is not having this business of extortion. Ali takes his business straight to the thugs and the debtors, and they think that by throwing sheer numbers of thugs at him that they’ll subdue him, but they have another think coming …
I remember seeing the original Ong Bak in the theater when it was playing, and I literally had no idea what I was getting myself into when I paid to see it. I recall being delighted by its action, choreography, and nuts to the wall stunts, and by Tony Jaa, who put across an exuberance as an innocent hero. The movie was entirely refreshing in almost every way, despite being a really low budget piece of work. Now, years later, whenever I see another low budget homegrown martial arts movie, I hold them each to a certain standard, hoping that the movie will delight, surprise, and thrill in the same way. The Raid made me feel that way. Buy Bust had a little of that magic. So did Furie, but to a lesser degree. Silat Warriors has a lot of flash and pizazz with its flip up and around camera work and with its sound effects, but if post-production techniques and camera work have to labor too hard to sell martial arts in a movie, then something is wrong. The movie has a lot of adequately choreographed fights, but no real stunts to speak of, and its hero is indistinguishable. The story is simple (even simpler than Ong Bak, which was as basic as it gets), and so what is there to recommend here? Nice scenery of Indonesia. A long fight climax. But everyone’s style looks exactly the same, and it’s not very dynamic or hard hitting. The camera work, editing, and sound effects do all the work. It’s too bad because I’m always ready to praise a homegrown martial arts film, but Silat Warriors is weak in almost every category. From director Areel Abu Bakar.
Well Go USA recently released a DVD and a Blu-ray of Silat Warriors, and it comes with some trailers.