While Mortal Kombat‘s Robin Shou gets top billing for this Indonesian action film, the real star is local talent Verdy Bhawanta, who impresses with his amazing martial arts skills in this action thriller.
As a child, Sunny saw his older brother murdered at the hands of a mysterious gang leader. Brought to an orphanage, he helps and befriends a young child named Verdy. However, when Verdy is adopted by a rich couple, he and Sunny and forced to split. For years, Verdy, who has taken over his father’s company after his death, has been trying to track Sunny down. Little did he realize where he would find his “big brother”.
When Verdy takes a vacation with his girlfriend Melanie, their boat is hijacked by a band of pirates. The pirates want to hold Verdy and Melanie for ransom as well as get their hands on a shipment of new microchips from Verdy’s company. When Verdy makes his escape, he learns that Sunny is one of the pirates involved and it starts a conflict between them. However, when Sunny reveals his true intentions, Verdy may still have doubt but decides to team up with his “brother” to rescue Melanie and stop the pirates once and for all.
Indonesian action is starting to make its name known past the classic cult films of Barry Prima and George Rudy. With films such as Merentau and The Raid films, their brand of action is beginning to showcase some top local talent that have the potential to burst out into international fame. Just look at Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian, who recently appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While the film’s selling point seems to be Robin Shou, best known for his role of Liu Kang in the 1995 live action Mortal Kombat film, it is clear that this film clearly belongs to a new action star on the rise.
The name in question? Verdy Bhawanta. As lead character Verdy, he may come off as crass and arrogant at times. However, when it comes to action, Verdy is the real deal like his counterparts Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian. While Uwais and Ruhian are experts in the national martial art of Silat, Bhawanta is actually trained in Capoeira and one can only guess, Taekwondo, because this guy has some nice acrobatics and kicking skills. Shou gets in one some action as well and it is nicely done. However, this is truly a showcase for Bhawanta.
Brazilian fighter Marcio Fernando da Silva is vicious and brutal as the pirate leader while Andrew Suleiman plays it off quite well as the pirate lieutenant, who is constantly getting into conflict with Shou’s character in terms of questioning his judgment. Karina Nadila plays the typical damsel in distress in Melanie, Verdy’s girlfriend whose kidnapping is just one of the triggers that result in the action. Another highlight of the film is Ryan Adrian T, who also served as one of the film’s action directors, as a pirate henchman who not only looks brutal but has a little secret up his sleeve that has to be seen to be believed.
Mortal Enemies is definitely an action thrill ride with Robin Shou playing co-pilot to the impressive Verdy Bhawanta. The supporting action cast members are great and the film is filled with some intricate twists that make this a definitely watch for action film fans.
WFG RATING: B+
A Creative Motion Pictures Ltd. production. Director: Asun Mawardi. Producers: Asun Mawardi, Jimmy Djulianto, Gina Maria, and Keith Brinksman. Writers: Matthew Ryan Fischer, Douglas Galt, and Asun Mawardi. Cinematography: Ardy Lam. Editing: Junee Lim.
Cast: Robin Shou, Verdy Bhawanta, Yayu AW Unru, Marcio Fernando da Silva, Andrew Suleiman, Karina Nadila.