Worth seeing just to see the Indonesian marshal art of Sulant at it’s rawness as Iko Uwais starts his road own marshal arts super stardom internationally. Technically, his Marshal arts cerography gets more generic as his raise to the mainstream becomes more apparent, but with Merantau, we get to see the whole package at full throttle. For the most part this movie, and the Raid, were designed perfectly to showcase what Indonesia has to offer.
It’s a classic Marshal arts movie with a story so cliché it’s like they did not even need a script. Uwais plays boy trained in the art of Sulant, so good he should become a master, so he gives up the country life to head to the city to teach others a little known tradition of the Indonesian culture, but ofcoure the good old country boy sees evil in the big city and can’t help but to intervein when that evil has its sights on a young girl, but of course evil is even more complex that the set of kicks and punches he has mastered
Thinking about it, I feel like it’s almost a darker version of Rumble in the Bronx, but that’s only really because of the sense that just like with Jackie Chan’s character, Uwais had all the good intensions in the world but his actions made thing a lot worse before they got better.
Merantau paints a picture of a rough and tumble Jakarta filled with con man, crime lords and sex traffickers, but this only serves to show how tough sulant is as a marshal art. That’s what we come to see and it’s worth watching.