ReviewWriter: Dzamira DzafriWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
This might come as a surprise, because the film did not really have as much hype as other local films like "KIL" but "Lari" is a force to be reckoned with, which is why it has received a 4 out of 5 overall.
If you like a movie where the plot is honest and simple with nothing else but bloody and brutal fight scenes, you are going to have a lot of fun with this one.
"Lari" could be dubbed as the Malaysian "Die Hard" and you can see where director Ahmad Idham gets his inspiration. Fusing Western-style heroism with a South East Asian background is not only enjoyable to watch but it is somewhat inspiring.
Aaron Aziz's character Khaliff is the embodiment of John McClane, and if it makes any sense, Khaliff is perhaps just a tiny bit more violent, and it does give you a satisfaction when you watch his scenes where he's pummelling bad guys to a pulp.
The story is plain and simple. His sister was taken by Thai human traffickers and he would stop at no length to get his sister back. The story is refreshing to watch and talk about because this film does not concentrate at all on the romance of it all and how his actions are fuelled by romance. His actions are fuelled by love, but of another sort.
Of course there are some elements of romance with Khaliff and his ex-girlfriend Maya who ended up marrying one of the bad guys, but the movie did not really concentrate on that, which will most likely attract many men to watch this.
Aaron Aziz fit his role really well. Khaliff is a super-being (though mortal) who resigned from the army after working for them for seven years, and Aaron looked the part. He is tall and buff and it definitely makes sense when he pummels his enemies single-handedly. The bad guys look short and skinny and even though there are so much more of them Aaron manages to make his scenes look easy to do.
Though the challenge was the Thai Head-Gangster and these characters that are apparently hard to defeat will probably amuse you because of how ridiculous it can be.
Hazama Azmi's character is basically the comedic relief, and he did a pretty good job of it too. Of course, like Hazama himself admits, he does play the same kinds of character in his work. However his part of the film was definitely needed to cut out some of the intensity and give us time to breathe.
The only big bone to pick with the film is the female characters. Again, like what Ahmad Idham had done with "Gangster Celop", is fail to create a completely strong female character that kicks serious butt.
It is understandable that the main hero was Khaliff and it is all about him, but having his ex-girlfriend Maya go along with him on the trip to save his sister was absolutely pointless if she was just going to sit there and look vulnerable. There was noticeably no big stunts by both of the main female characters and it would have been great if there was at least one who seems like she could take care of herself.
With that being said, both of the actresses should be commended for holding their own with what they are given. Dira Abu Zahar had her snarky moments and she did show that her character could be independent from her horrible husband. Erin Malek could have played her teen character Ina a little less irritatingly but after her traumatic kidnapping and being brought into a brothel, her scenes and dialogue captures your attention.
With the new digital format, the cinematography looks crisper and cleaner, and it did not stand in the way of us watching the film. All the scenes are shot beautifully, especially during the scenes when it was just people talking. The view of the village, nature and the buildings were exceptional, and when it came to the fighting scenes, those were definitely the best parts of the movie.
Expect a lot of punching, throwing, kicking, and blood. Loads of blood. There is not be as much blood as a certified gore film or a Quentin Tarantino masterpiece, so don't worry about you or your partner fainting while watching it.Cinema Online, 17 May 2013