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Review: Headshot – “A hyper violent and wonderfully excessively bloody Bourne-in-a-blender movie”

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Headshot is an Indonesian action film that stars the breakout star of the ‘The Raid’ movies: Iko Uwais. The film is directed by “The Mo Brothers” (‘The ABCs of Death’), and joining Iko from ‘The Raid 2’ are: Julie Estelle, a.k.a. “Hammer Girl”; and Very Tri Ulisman, a.k.a. “Baseball Bat Man”.

The body of hitman Ishmael (Uwais) washes up on a beach, Bourne style. Comatose, scarred and ripped, he winds up in a hospital and in the heart of his nurse Ailin (Chelsea Aslin) – who takes him home with her when he wakes up two months later. Ishmael is still suffering from amnesia and flashes of painful memories he cannot make sense of, but has just enough time to fall in love and make a friend before it all goes to crap.

The baddies – led by the super scary “The Sea Devil” (Sunny Pang) – come calling, hurt Ailin, and hit Ish in the head with a bottle, and it all comes flooding back. With his girl in danger and his deadly skills and bad memories returned, Ishmael embarks on a mission to save her and start straight up murking some fools.

The fights are kinetic and gruesome with feet, fists, knives and extendable batons smashing, gouging and slicing combatants to mush and pieces. The scrapping scenes are inventive, and a couple of set ups promise some Jackie Chan style action – such as Ish fighting a guy with a lighter while soaked in gasoline – but are instead settled with enjoyably horrific brutality.

“The Mo Brothers” show a sly sense of humour with a cute, false start, machete fight, and almost cartoonish insane amounts of violence and blood. Throughout it seems as though the bro’s grip of human anatomy is that the body is a blood bag full of lollipop stick bones topped with a skull that can be smashed like a Cadbury’s Creme Egg.

They also have a unique visceral style, utilising a camera that feels like an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire that bumps and shakes as if receiving the hails of bullets and blows itself. Shots are filmed fearlessly with acrobatic and potentially lethal moves that go head over heels and out windows.

Exhibiting an early 90s action movie aesthetic ‘Headshot’ is a hyper violent and wonderfully excessively bloody Bourne-in-a-blender movie, that is another showcase for Uwais and his “Silat” fighting style – and also a calling card for “The Mo Brothers”.

Headshot is released in the UK on the 3rd of March.

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