Bullet Points: Headshot
The Indonesians might have the market cornered on brutal fighting movies. Headshot doesn’t seem to care whether you, the viewer, have the stomach or desire to see a whole bunch of guys in needlessly, over the top, kill or be killed situations. It presents them early and often, and if you find yourself watching Headshot then you are either a fan of that type of film or you’re not. If you loved The Raid: Redemption and The Raid 2 then you’ll most certainly find yourself enjoying the hell out of Iko Uwais as a much more badass Jason Bourne. Like Matt Damon could really be an action star? Give me a break….
- Indonesian Standoff: Early in the film, an attempted prison break causes a bit of a traffic jam in a hallway as about a dozen armed prisoners square off with at least the same number of guards. In a scene that can only be described as a “Tarantino wet dream”, the men unload their assault rifles into each causing the hallway to become the bloodiest one I’ve seen since THAT scene in The Shining.
- Call Me Ishmael: Iko washes up on a shore with a nasty wound on his head and then wakes up in a hospital with a wicked scar and the kind of headache you get from sandwiching 6 shots of Jägermeister in with about 16 Miller Lites. The pain of his amnesia is definitely softened by waking up with the beautiful Chelsea Islan as his doctor and likely love interest.
- Action Intensity: The fighting and the killing gets so obscene just 20 minutes into the movie that I was really starting to worry about the possibility of Iko’s character getting killed within minutes of turning into the hero that he was destined to be. He’s gonna need some damn good montages if he wants to survive!
- F*ck Public Transportation: Remind me to never take the bus in Indonesia. The local bad guys let loose on a bus full of people and the end result is a pretty grotesque scene with enough dead bodies to field a lacrosse team.
- Mr. Lee’s Army: Our resident, mysterious bad guy in Headshot is a man simply known as “Lee”. He’s the dude who escaped from prison, shot up a bus full of people, and then spent the entirety of the film terrorizing Chelsea Islan and Iko Uwais. What a dick! I don’t want to give away too much about his crew of evil doers but they are a serious bunch of guys and gals and only a man with 25 years of martial arts training or a decent sidearm would have a chance against them.
- A Game of Death: I don’t know if anyone has talked to the writers or directors about the influence or lack thereof of Bruce Lee’s Game of Death on the film but I’m going to claim that Iko’s Mortal Kombat-style climb up the henchman ladder before finally reaching Lee stems from the influence of the final act of the Bruce Lee classic.
- Finish Him: Headshot is a very simple action movie. A guy doesn’t know who he is but a bunch of people are trying to kill him so he is forced to survive. There are a few more details in there that I left out but much of the storytelling is done through the ole’ punch/kick/bang-bang format. It’s a story that is totally driven by the action and that is a good thing. Iko Uwais has shown some real progress in the acting department and when he’s given a little more meat on the bones he usually connects. By the end of the film, Iko’s character looks like he has spent the entire movie getting the shit kicked out of him and that is because it’s true. Heroes always bleed the most.
I don’t have a scar like Iko’s but my head is hurting from the two hours of straight action that I just witnessed. Why not rest for a bit with these bonus Bullet Points:
- That’s not how grenades work! I’m 100% certain that a cheap wooden table wouldn’t protect a person from shrapnel. Add it to my list of pet peeves.
- One of my favorite scenes is when Iko uses a typewriter as a weapon. Cause, you know, I’m a writer and stuff.
- The combination of Julie Estelle and Chelsea Islan is one of my favorite lady duo’s to come to the screen in a while. Yeah, they’re not exactly fighting for the same thing in the movie but they’re both fighting for the same thing in life; my affection…
- I had to do a double take but discovered that it was in fact one of my favorite NJPW wrestlers Hirooki Goto as the random Japanese Gangster who Iko kills.
The Verdict: I really liked Headshot. It had an insane amount of action and had more than enough Iko fight scenes to quench any thirst you’ve had while waiting for that third Raid movie that may never happen. The music was very good and the acting by all involved was better than I expected. The more I think about it, it really was an awesome action film. Check it out.