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Jakarta Post

'€˜Comic 8: Casino Kings Part II'€™ needs a punchline

  • Hans David Tampubolon

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, March 6, 2016   /  08:18 am
'€˜Comic 8: Casino Kings Part II'€™  needs a punchline

Cat fight: Prisia Nasution (right) battles Hannah Al Rashid in a female fight scene.

Anggy Umbara'€™s latest comedy flick, Comic 8: Casino Kings Part II, fails to impress.

The sequel is basically a movie in which a bunch of comedians deliver a lot of punches '€“ but not a single punchline.

This is a huge failure considering that the main cast members are eight well-known stand-up comedians '€” Arie Kriting, Babe Cabita, Bintang Bete, Ernest Prakasa, Fico Fachriza, Ge Pamungkas, Kemal Palevi and Mongol Stress '€” who play super secret agents using their real life names and personas.

The movie is a sequel to Comic 8: Casino Kings Part I, which was already a poor showing with its huge collection of shallow jokes and abysmal storytelling.

The story revolves around illegal gambling magnate King (Sophia Latjuba) and sinister psychologist Pandji (Pandji Pragiwaksono) who brainwash and trap the agents in a remote forest with a group of assassins '€“ Barry Prima, George Rudy, Lidya Kandou, Willy Dozan, Soleh Solihun and Sacha Stevenson. All of the agents are affected by the brainwashing except Ge.

The sequel then tells the story of how the agents try to survive against the assassins, who hunt them relentlessly. At the same time, King also kidnaps their boss, Indro Warkop, Interpol agent Chintya (Prissia Nasution) and a security guard (Ence Bagus), so that they can be put in a deadly cage fight, which is also used as a betting game for online gamblers all over the world.

King'€™s henchmen also include The Ghost (Yayan Ruhian from The Raidfranchise), Isa (Donny Alamsyah, who also made his name as an action movie star in The Raid) and Bella (Hannah Al Rasyid).

Like in the prequel, the superstar cast and big names do nothing to improve the quality of Comic 8: Casino Kings Part II. There is no time allocated for the comedians to deliver anything funny. The entire movie only offers one fight scene after another. The continuous sounds of electric guitar in the background also make the movie like a collection of fight clips mashed together without any clear idea of what it really wants to say.

If people want to see jokes, then watching the trailer, which shows pretty much all of the movie'€™s jokes, will be enough.

Take aim: Babe Cabiita plays a secret agent.Take aim: Babe Cabiita plays a secret agent.

While most parts of the movie displays fight scenes, nearly all of them are either poorly executed or boring. Anggy tries to reanimate the fight choreography from The Raid movies but the camera techniques are not what one might expect from a big budget feature film.

Some of the movie'€™s scenes just do not make any sense. For example, at the beginning, a helicopter destroys Indro'€™s house with machine guns blazing. It seems as if the pilots, who are sent by King, are trying to kill him, but instead they only sedate and kidnap him. There is no sense at all in using a helicopter in the scene except to show off another big yet meaningless action sequence.

Then there is the worsening trend of using multiple subplots that Anggy has displayed since the first Comic 8 movie last year. In Part II, he introduces endless subplots and twists, which lack solid structure.

However, no matter how bad it is, Comic 8: Casino Kings Part II will still make money because of the large fanbase for its big-name ensemble cast. The ending of the movie also hints at the dreadful message that another sequel might be on the way.

'€” Photos courtesy of Falcon Pictures.

Comic 8: Casino Kings Part II

Director: Anggy Umbara
Production company: Falcon Pictures
Scriptwriter: Fajar Umbara
Cast: Arie Kriting, Babe Cabita, Bintang Bete, Ernest Prakasa, Fico Fachriza, Ge Pamungkas, Kemal Palevi, Mongol Stress, Sophia Latjuba, Barry Prima
Duration: 95 minutes