The Jakarta Post
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past six months, you probably already know that Wiro Sableng: Pendekar Kapak Maut Naga Geni 212 is set to hit cinemas on Aug. 30.
Based on Bastian Tito’s novel, the film is a collaboration between Lifelike Pictures and Fox International Productions, a division of 20th Century Fox, which made me have high expectations for the movie. The intense promotional campaigns also piqued people’s curiosity. Fortunately, film producer Sheila “Lala” Timothy and her team delivered on those expectations.
Director Angga Dwimas Sasongko kicks off the movie with a dramatic opening. The film's villain Mahesa Birawa, played amazingly by Yayan Ruhian, arrives in Jatiwalu village. He leads his group to rob the village and encounters Wiro Sableng’s parents, Ranaweleng (Marcel Siahaan) and Suci (Happy Salman). The young Wiro, previously called Wira, has to witness a gruesome act before being saved by Sinto Gendeng (Ruth Marini).
Seventeen years later, Wiro Sableng (Vino G Bastian) finishes his warrior training. Sinto asks him to find Mahesa Birawa. Along the way, Wiro meets Anggini (Sherina Munaf) and Bujang Gila Tapak Sakti (Fariz Alfarazi). The trio needs to help Rara Murni (Aghiny Haque) save the Pangeran (Yusuf Mahardika) from Mahesa’s evil plans.
The plot is well developed, keeping the audiences glued to the screen for around two hours. Kudos goes to production designer Adrianto Sinaga for inserting traditional elements, such as batik, an ancient throne and more, which makes local audience members feel closer to the film.
The film's strength is the well-choreographed and entertaining action scenes. Pencak silat moves can be complicated, but the choreography makes it easy to follow.
The two actors, Vino G Bastian and Yayan Ruhian, are among the highlights of the film. Vino is a real chameleon and Wiro Sableng proves that Vino can totally immerse himself in every role.
Meanwhile, Yayan shows that he’s both a talented martial artist and actor. After the movie finished, I still could not forget Yayan’s evil smirks.
Newcomer Aghniny Haque also presents a good performance. The taekwondo athlete is a natural when it comes to acting.
One of the most talked-about topics with Wiro Sableng: Pendekar Kapak Maut Naga Geni 212 is the computer-generated imagery (CGI). Although it still needs to be improved, some parts of the movie delivered good visual effects, such as the fight scenes between Wiro and Kala Hijau (Gita Arifin).
Some characters, such as Bidadari Angin Timur (Marsha Timothy), Dewa Tuak (Andy/rif) and even Anggini, have yet to be fully explored, making me excited for the sequel.
All in all, Wiro Sableng: Pendekar Kapak Maut Naga Geni 212 is by far the best Indonesian action-fantasy film. (kes)