The Night Comes For Us: Review

The Night Comes For Us
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Many of you likely remember The Raid, and some might recall Headshot, another Indonesian production featuring Iko Uwais but without Gareth Evans at the helm. If you read my review from a year and a half ago, you’d find it largely holds true today: a film from the same director, featuring much of the same cast, struggles to step out from its predecessor’s shadow. Timo Tjahjanto, the director, offers a somewhat different plot, laden with mafias, “cleaners,” and gratuitous violence. Although the lead character, Ito (played by Joe Taslim), is somewhat more likable here, he’s far from redeemable.

The plot revolves around Ito, one of the six cleaners working for the Asian mafia. In a shocking turn, Ito goes rogue after encountering a blood-soaked little girl, killing his team and disappearing with the child. While the film could delve into complicated backstories or elaborate rivalries, it doesn’t bother. Instead, it sets the stage for a relentless cycle of bloodshed, as mafia bosses aim to eliminate Ito and the little girl.

Tjahjanto seems aware that he needs both Raid stars, Uwais and Taslim, for a compelling narrative, yet he persists in overcomplicating the storyline between action sequences. Unlike his previous work, The Intervention, this film lacks intricate relationships and flashbacks. Tensions between Ito and Arian (played by Iko Uwais) feel superficial, almost as if borrowed from other films.

The Night Comes for Us surpasses even The Intervention in brutality but lacks the narrative finesse found in works like Block 99. Instead of crafting a compelling story, Tjahjanto hurls disjointed plotlines at the audience, hoping some will stick while volleying them from one action sequence to another. The viewer ends up indifferent to the characters’ fates, especially when the fights feel mechanistic.

Despite its shortcomings, the film has its moments. A highlight is a mass battle where Ito’s group faces off against dozens of weapon-wielding thugs. The choreography is frenetic but stops short of inducing Hollywood-style visual chaos. Tjahjanto’s horror roots are evident, as he unflinchingly depicts gore and brutality in these fights. But this excess numbs the viewer, reducing the impact of each successive bloody skirmish.

The film’s quality diminishes in battles featuring female fighters, moving at a slower pace and resembling Hollywood B-movies. This is a step back for Indonesian action cinema, which has previously impressed audiences with its fast-paced, intricate fight sequences.

Ultimately, the film finds its footing only in the final confrontation between Ito and Arian, which serves as a hard-hitting crescendo. Whereas Gareth Evans succeeded in blending choreography with dramaturgy, Tjahjanto fumbles. His characters are weakly presented, buried under a labyrinthine plot and excessive violence.

Despite its flaws, The Night Comes for Us still merits a watch, especially given Netflix’s tendency to under-promote such B-movies. Timo Tjahjanto’s willingness to push the boundaries of violence may attract a niche audience, but it also marks a creative stagnation. As for Iko Uwais, his talent remains undeniable. But unless he finds more adept directors, he risks becoming the next Tony Jaa rather than ascending to the heights reached by Jet Li or Jackie Chan.

Watch The Night Comes For Us For Free On Gomovies.

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