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Merantau [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

Dispatched from and sold by RAREWAVES USA.
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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004326EV0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 277,535 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Excellent Bluray Region Free works in U.K excellent martial arts movie, iko uwais starred in this before Raid & Raid 2 martial arts on the same level as those movies.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Having seen The Raid 1 & 2 I was curious to see Gareth Evans' first martial arts film. It is just as good as the raid films, solid plot, awesome fight scenes and an unexpected ending which I will not give away here.
If you liked the raid films you'll like this.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
First martial arts movie from Gareth Evans. Slow development but nice fighting scenes in the end as always.
If you liked 'The Raid' and sequel you won't be dissapointed!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars 83 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good! 7 Oct. 2016
By Rafael - Published on
Verified Purchase
Iko Uwais in his first major role, which is a very good start to his movie career. Also making an appearance is another martial arts great, Yayan Ruhian. A good, but re-hashed plot of good vs evil, but the hero doesn't use guns, grenades or knives as his weapon of choice, but his martial arts of Silat. I recommend this movie for martial arts fans.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 17 Aug. 2016
By quster - Published on
Verified Purchase
Good action
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, very good martial-arts movie. 9 April 2011
By Valen's Shadow - Published on
Format: DVD
First off I would like to say that although there are comparisons to Tony Jaa in Merantau to its star Iko Uwais, that is all it is similarities. OK Iko Uwais doesn't have the same bone breaking intensity and crazy agility of Tony Jaa. However he is a superb martial-arts star in the making. While there are slight similarities to what Tony Jaa has done. Iko Uwais performs using the Indonesian martial-arts style Silat which I found very refreshing from the usual Chinese styles used in Hong Kong martial-arts Cinema and Tony Jaa's Muay Thai based performances.

The action takes a little while before it starts coming through giving the story and the characters the chance to develop. I think this pays off for the film and contrary to other reviewer's comments doesn't suffer as its director oversaw the editing of this international cut. This wasn't hacked up by a studio interference by people who had nothing to do with making the movie. Director Gareth Evans painstakingly edited the movie to lose all the extraneous material making this a leaner, meaner movie that is really very, very good.

The action sequences themselves improve with every fight getting better and better as Iko Uwais's character reluctantly unleashes more and more of his skills as he is forced to do so in his pursuit to help the young woman and her younger brother.

This is definitely one of the best martial-arts films of the last few years and is fully deserving to be in any martial-arts fans collection. If the other reviewer's 1 star rating comments about being cut are leaving you in two minds, I can tell you they are unfounded. Merantau is a very, very good movie. Still don't take my word for it rent it first and discover how good this film really is.

As for the other reviewer who thinks he could do better. Yeah right! Until this guy stops talking the talk and walks the walk, you can take that with a massive pinch of salt. Erin "Sky Blue Boy" I look forward to watching your martial-arts debut in a leading role. As you said you could do better even when you were out of shape.

By the way keep your eyes peeled for Iko Uwais in his next movie "the raid" which is now in production with Merantau director Gareth Evans behind the helm again.

Note - I think this is a four-star movie and think extremely highly of this film but I have given it a five star rating because of the ridiculous ratings by a couple of reviewer's, which I believe is highly undeserving. I've seen some downright terrible movies with poor martial-arts, poor acting and little to no story. This has none of those negative qualities and I can only speak about this film with the highest of regard.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indonesia, Sumatra, Silat and their hidden truths 5 Dec. 2011
By Hui Shen ben Israel - Published on
Format: DVD
MERANTAU (writ./dir. Gareth Evans, 2009, 134 minutes) is an awesome Indonesian film that portrays the use of the Indonesian martial art, Pentjak Silat much like Steven Seagal originally exposed the good uses of AiKiDo (Pentjak Silat is pronounced pen-CHAH sih-LEH and in the event of any doubts, this is not only the correct pronunciation as spoken in the film, which I transcribed while watching it, but also the pronunciation I always heard from my time studying it).

Our hero Yuda (a handsome young Iko Uwais), a Minangkabau tribesman from Sumatra, goes on his traditional merantau to Jakarta, Indonesia from his tiny village. While it isn't really evident to outsiders, and not clarified in the film, the art used is a form of Silat known as "Silat Harimau" (Tiger Silat, which includes the use of the karambit "tiger claw" blade) and the Minangkabau are from Sumatra. The merantau (pronounced "mar-ahn-TAU") is a bit like the Aboriginal "walkabout", in which the person leaves the mother country alone and learns of the world outside.

Yuda immediately becomes involved with a stripper named Astri (the beautiful Sisca Jessica) and her little brother Adit (cute little Yusuf Aulia). He becomes determined to save her and her brother - become a father to them in a way. Just the thing for the perfect merantau. Naturally the Muslim Yuda will tangle with evil white infidel slave-traffickers and the explosive ending will leave you weeping, as it did me.

NOTE TO COMMENTER: May one inquire exactly what Ip Man Sifu has to do with this at all, except that he was a martial arts master? For anyone reading this review who remotely cares, Master Ip's full name is supposed to be pronounced "Yeep Mahn" and be sure you sort of say "EEP" instead of "YEEP", in a rapid sort of way.

No more dumb questions/comments? Good! Class dismissed.

The cinematography is quite innovative and even stunning: there's a trick I have never seen used before, yet it is so simple it will leave you gasping with wonder. The choreography is near-perfect (a few pulled punches right on camera spoil some of it). Those stunt men are the cat's meow! I have never seen stunt work like it. Also, Iko Uwais is a skilled master. The soundtrack is quite good and modern; no silly eye-rolling feeling one gets from so many Asian film soundtracks.

This film is so very important, though it is formulaic. It is awesome to finally see an Indonesian film, to see the kinds of problems they have, and to see a martial arts film centered around silat. For a short while I studied silat, and never quit loving it. Now at least there's a baseline film showing it besides the weird Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior series. It is also a hopeful reminder for today's world that Indonesia is a Muslim country.

If I haven't convinced you yet, let me just add that you should get this for its historicity alone. It's a fine film, not really for family viewing but I think teens can handle this in their stride. Just get it!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Rite of Passage of Iko Uwais 5 Jan. 2011
By Michael - Published on
Format: DVD
With Tony Jaa having deserted moviemaking for the monastery, the title of top international action star is left vacant and up for grabs. Would-be successors have applied en masse, from English acroartist Scott Adkins to fellow Thai national Jeeja Yanin, and with the advent of the New Year, Indonesian martial artist/soccer player Iko Uwais throws his name into the hat with a most promising entry in "Merantau". Capable of doing for the Indonesian film industry what Ong-Bak did for Thailand, it's an extremely impressive audition tape with a vaguely stripped-down feel and occasionally light on the plot - definitely not the best all-around martial arts film of the last few years but more than serviceable in supplying the thrills. If nothing else, it promises a lot for both the star and director (Gareth Evans, Footsteps) should they be presented with a bigger budget. Those wary of taking a step down from the production power of Jaa's work might be leery, but action aficionados in general should be quick to help make this one into a cult classic.

The story: departing his peaceful village for his rite of passage, young silat practitioner Yuda (Uwais) travels to Jakarta, where he finds no work but a sister & brother pair of abandoned street children in need of his help (Sisca Jessica and Yusuf Aulia). Protecting them from the control of a sadistic French businessman (Mads Koudal, Six Reasons Why), Yuda needs to become the hero he never knew he was to take on an entire underground organization upholding a sex slavery circuit.

The plot is definitely modeled after "Ong Bak" and sadly serves as the major drawback of the movie. There's a good sense of righteous indignation with which Yuda beats down the sex traffickers, but the story itself is low on twists; there are a few inspired aspects concerning the relationships between the villains, but by large, there's nothing beyond the mandatory. The film's finale is built up throughout the last 40 minutes, and even though it supplies the same stellar action as the rest of the movie, the thread is worn thin even before the final battle takes place because the three before it felt like they could've been the last, as well. Considering that much of the cast is mostly composed of performers with little to no film experience (with the exception of Mads Koudal and Christine Hakim - bit player in Eat Pray Love - as Yuda's mother), acting is pretty decent and most slip-ups are due to the weakness of the script.

Of course, it's the action you're going to be watching this for, and I'm happy to say that it is both good and abundant. Though he'll occasionally borrow a kick or elbow strike from Jaa, Iko Uwais represents his home-learned style of pentjak silat with pride and authenticity. Throughout the course of the movie, he runs through an encyclopedia of strikes, holds and takedowns, counters and reversals, and weapons-handling that effectively defines the style as something rarely seen in movies (see Bounty Tracker for a notable exception). Despite never having made a martial arts feature before, director Evans is more than competent in shooting the fight scenes - utilizing long, uninterrupted shots with unfixed cameras and just letting Iko go nuts with his abilities in general. Some stuntwork is present - including an instance of a villain being struck in midair and falling over ten feet straight onto his back - but unlike in most fighting movies nowadays, it doesn't take precedence: it's all about the martial arts and dangit if they're not worth the emphasis.

The production is good (the fight scenes seem a bit stripped but nevertheless clean) with a decent scope, but the world seems oddly underinhabited, especially when it comes to the big trafficking operation. "Merantau" seems to take place in a world of its own, but luckily it's a world worth revisiting - one that introduces us to a very promising new star who deserves a bright future. Buy it if you appreciate solid physical action and it might just become a favorite.
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