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4.1 out of 5 stars48
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 15 June 2010
I've been looking forward to this DVD for quite a while having seen the trailer back in 2009. I have to say this film doesn't disappoint delivering some very good action sequences plus a little more heart than the usual martial-arts film.

The beginning is slow as the characters are introduced as they prepare for the rites of passage journy called Merantau, the real name of the film by the way. It is something that when a young man of a certain age leaves home to make his own way in life. The lead character, Yudo, then heads for Jakarta to become a teacher of the Indonesian martial-arts form Silat.

Yudo, through means I shall not spoil, ends up helping a girl in distress (a young stripper named Astri -Sisca Jessica ) and tries to help her. At this point the martial-arts action begins featuring some very different and exciting skills from that talented lead Iko Uwais. I personally felt to begin with the martial-arts lacked power but it's as if as the movie progressed and Yudo, who didn't seem to want to hurt any one, gradually unleashes his talents. Leading to ever more increasingly thrilling displays of martial-arts, with ever more power. it is all Very exciting with a hightlight fight set in a lift!

Fortunately this film features a more grounded martial-arts display and seemingly different from the usual Chinese, Japanese and more recent Thai techniques, that works very well on screen.

While I would say the action is plentiful I would not call it completely action-packed. However I do feel the drama aspect which while not hugely time-consuming makes you care for the characters more. I found the film very satisfying from that point of view and as someone who highly enjoys his martial-arts action, it's a winning combination even if the story is not hugely original.

I'd definitely recommend this movie, without a single doubt, but if you're looking for something that little bit more hardcore try Broken Path starring Johnny Yong Bosch. Excellent. BUT don't pass this movie by.

I would also keep an eye out for the director and star of this film's new effort, probably not due until 2011, entitled Berandal. Any new film starring Iko Uwais is definitely worth keeping tabs on! He's a future star of the genre.
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on 19 March 2013
I chose this film as I liked The Raid and searched for the lead actor (Iko Uwais) and found this film, which I believe was his first film. It is well writen, acted and produced and I would recommend it to any martial art / action fans. It is a surprisingly good film that is due as much recommendation as The Raid. The action sequences are amazing and well shot. The extras on the DVD are also pretty good too.
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on 13 December 2011
For the price (£1.99)and to watch a film showcase Pencak Silat martial art, you can't go wrong. I thought the action scenes were excellant, powerful techniques with original moves well displayed by the lead actor (Iko Uwais), who will become the next major action star if he can keep going-spinning leaps straight to the knees must pay a price. Forget Jaa watch out Jackie, this kids good.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 October 2012
If, like me, you are coming to Merantau after the relentless brutal action of The Raid, you may be surprised by its comparative restraint. Don't get me wrong: this is still a very violent film (and I'd like to know what the BBFC were smoking the day that they passed this as a 15 certificated film!) but it also a far more humane film that will appeal more to a more traditional martial arts audience.

Director Gareth Evans does a great job here, showing considerable sensitivity to the Indonesian setting but at the same time exhibiting a wonderful grasp of Western film conventions. Pacing is leisurely at first, but gradually cranks up, with every fight exploiting its environment to the best effect. The stunt-work and fighting is first-rate. Moreover, the acting from the Indonesian cast is very good (and of course Iko Uwais gives a charismatic performance as the lead) though the Western villains felt to me slightly too cartoonish for the film.

Like several other reviewers here, I have held back a star: not because this isn't a very good film (it is!) but because its very simple (and occasionally sentimental) plot doesn't advance much on what Way of the Dragon achieved forty years ago. Nevertheless, this is a very straightforward piece of chopsocky done very well, and should be a must-see for followers of the genre.
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on 23 April 2014
Merantau Warrior: a young rural martial artist must head to Jakarta as part of his coming-of-age ritual, but when his plans fall through he soon gets caught up in some grotty business. The story takes its time to warm up, but from the first frame the it looks great, with guerrilla location use of the vivid & vibrant countryside, and the city's graffiti, buildings, clothes etc. The film really comes to life when the fighting starts - it remains intricate, innovative and entertaining through all of the set-pieces; and nothing beats a good-old showdown in an industrial shipping container yard!

Iko Uwais shines brightest when kicking and punching his way through every extra in the country, but he can also hold a scene; If there's any justice he will be the next action mega-star in the vein of Tony Jaa / Donnie Yen. An added benefit is that Silat is such a visual fighting style, and with no-nonsense, non-shaky camerawork it's a treat to watch. Other than the slow-start, gratuitous cheesy love angle and a sloppy undercurrent of Western people taking liberties, Merantau Warrior lands every punch.

Between this and The Raid - that Gareth Evans is now 2 for 2 in my book, and with the obvious improvement between the movies, I'm super-pumped for the final installment of this trilogy.

Score: 7.5/10 - from ParagraphFilmReviews dot com
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on 10 August 2014
the first collaboration between iko uwais and director Gareth evans some great action scenes with a simple story .if you have watched their other 2 films THE RAID 1 & 2 you know what to expect from this.
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on 8 November 2012
Bursting onto the Martial arts scene with the Raid, Uwais' star is shining bright even in this flawed but promising action flick. His trade of Pencak Silat is beautifully fluid and captured by the director. Gareth Evans really knows his way around a fight scene, by making Uwais touchable; these scenes are given room to breathe. Which gives it more value than merely watching a superhero dispose of countless anonymous baddies, by making him mortal is much more interesting.
The scuffle in the elevator was phenomenal and the final show down at the docks, even better. At the same time Evans direction did draw certain scenes out and the was one occasion which displayed a lack of basic knowledge into how to construct an image. Likewise, the whole thing has no distinction in a crammed genre, with all the same archetypes and the same story. Yet, its entertaining, really entertaining, and at the end of the day that's all that really matters in martial arts genre.
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on 30 September 2011
Well, it was really a very nice surprise. I have bought this DVD just "to have a look" but in reality I have simply enjoyed watching it. It is often compared with Ong-Bak but I personally think it is actually better - the story is better, the actors' performance is better, there is much less acrobatics in fighting scenes and much more realism.
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on 15 October 2013
Had to buy this as i had seen The Raid and loved it. Good film quality, prompt delivery, and great choreography throughout the film.
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on 13 September 2014
Not a bad attempt and evolved well - the director and the star as seen in Raid 1 & 2. I had to watch this movie, even though I had already seen it on another site! A rush job. I wouldn't keep this flick in my collection but the fight in the elevator and the end were good, for the time.
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