After kicking everybody’s asses in both The Raid and The Raid 2, Indonesian actor/stuntman/fight choreographer/action god Iko Uwais returns to beat down more — and shatter some skulls, too — in the aptly titled Headshot.
This time, he’s an amnesiac who’s nursed back to health by a cute, caring doctor (Chelsea Islan). Found washed ashore with one nasty head wound, he’s both physically and mentally carrying some painful remnants from his past life, when he was one of many kids trained as a killer by a despotic/psychotic crime lord (Sunny Pang). Of course, our John Doe’s past comes back to haunt him once that lord learns of his whereabouts, forcing the hero back into natural-born-killer mode when goons come after him and the doctor.
But who cares about the plot? This is about action. At a whopping two hours, Headshot doubles up (and down) on the carnage. With Uwais choreographing the insane fights and Indonesian genre vets the Mo Brothers catching every bloody, manic minute, both fists and bullets get dished out with equal, frenetic fury — and the movie offers plenty of “Oh shit!” moments.
Headshot is also a reminder that Hollywood seriously needs to build its own action films around Uwais (who had a supporting role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens). He’s set to co-star with Mark Wahlberg and Ronda Rousey in Peter Berg’s Mile 22, but Uwais has enough charismatic, bone-breaking swagger to headline his own.
Directed by Timo Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel
XYZ Films and Vertical Entertainment
Opens March 3, Cinema Village
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 1, 2017