Film Review

The Big 4

todayJanuary 12, 2023 108

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By Gareth Jones

For fans of violent slapstick humor, Indonesian martial arts with lots of gore, Timo Tjahjanto, and…did I mention gore?

Timo Tjahjanto has amassed an impressive resume in ten years of directing on his own.  He burst (literally) onto the scene with Safe Haven, his contribution to V/H/S/2. He continued in the horror genre with two May the Devil Take You films, while also making two extraordinary martial arts films, Headshot and The Night Comes for Us.  The martial arts of star Iko Ewais took these films to a higher level, employing extreme violence with precise choreography.  All of this is evident in Tjahjanto’s latest film where he combines the violence of the horror/martial arts with the humor of slapstick comedy.  It tells the story of four retired assassins who come out of retirement to help the daughter of their mentor investigate a murder and to protect her along the way. Although it does not reach the heights of a Jackie Chan film (an obvious influence), he does create an enjoyable film that allows the actors to move beyond the violence.  The film does have some sharp tonal changes and the plot is far from original, but the exuberance of the acting and Tjahjanto’s directing style overshadow these elements.  Be warned, the violence is over the top with both practical effects and CGI exploding heads.

Available now on Netflix.


Written by: Gareth Jones

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