REVIEW: Headshot (2017) - ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Headshot (2017)

Run Time: 118 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: Skinned knuckles, chipped shins, ultra violence… a bit too long

I was going to look at this movie at the weekend, but decided to check The Assignment first, given that the latter is a Walter Hill movie and the subject of controversy.  That should’ve been a good combination, but it’s one of his worst movies.  I should’ve watched this movie first (and only) because it’s easily a better movie.  Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto’s Headshot is a strong action movie for Q1 ’17, even if it suffers some pacing problems.  It’s also extremely violent, as in borderline NC-17 violent.

The movie stars Iko Uwais as Ishmael, a man who washes up on a (typically beautiful) unspoiled Indonesian shore. He has no memory and is nursed back to physical health by Ailin, played by Chelsea Islan.  However, nefarious elements are after Ishmael, namely the extremely violent gang lord Lee, played by Sunny Pang.  Although Ishmael doesn’t know what their problem is, the man must mete out like for like violence when they come after his new women in an attempt to get to him.

Headshot is everything you’d expect from Stamboel and Tjahjanto — skinned knuckles, smashed skulls and time taken to savor violence and agonizing vengeance.  Centre star Uwais, who is growing by the year as an action man (even appearing in one of the new Star Wars, so I hear, but I haven’t watched), fills out a serviceable job as a man struggling with mental demons, and an unsurprisingly sterling job with the kinetic side of things.  I also really like Sunny Pang as the villain.  Too many actors go overboard trying to sell themselves, but fewer can do the job twice as good by doing half as much.  Sunny Pang is one such actor, a screen-commanding and charismatic presence in the movie, who gets a decent build up as a scummy yet interesting baddie.  And of course, a movie will suffer if it has no counterweight for its hero.

My my problem with this movie is that there are pacing issues.  Two hours pass with relatively little happening with regards to the story, it meanders, and we wait for the next action sequence.  Towards the end some frantic unravelling in the narrative occurs with a twist.  It didn’t overly interest me and I thought 20 minutes could’ve been cut out of this movie.  There is also some camera disturbance (shaking), not ruinous by any means and maybe more importantly, not accompanied by the usual horrible editing with certain movies.  But still… occasionally, a bit jarring.

What keeps the movie fresh though are the fight scenes.  As you’d expect, they’re well choreographed and perfectly executed.  We have fight scenes with Jack Lee and Julie Estelle, with the former in particular being the standout scene of the movie; a battle so violent and savage inside an abandoned police station that even I was kind of surprised.  So really then, fans of Iko Uwais shouldn’t miss this.


  1. crocop97

    March 8, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Check out Mo Brothers’ “Killers” for some more ultra violent fights

    • Saverio

      March 9, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      I heard its disturbing but had no idea it had fights in it.

      • Jacob Phillips

        March 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm

        I don’t think it does, so far as I remember.

    • Jacob Phillips

      March 9, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      I prefer their horror debut, Ruma Dara, aka Macabre, but Killers was good.

  2. AlTeo

    March 8, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Iko and crew are completely wasted in Star Wars EP 7… barely a minute of total screen time… Not worth watching for them alone…

    • crocop97

      March 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Yeah, the new Star Wars suck monkey ass. It’s the same story as in New Hope, only with autistic characters and girl power feminist bullshit

      • AlTeo

        March 8, 2017 at 1:45 pm

        Autistic characters lmao

        Funny thing is, I actually liked Rogue One compared to the Meh Awakens… Main character was indeed a chick but she was never on-the-nose as the EP7 one… Just my two cents

        • Mucho Macho

          March 8, 2017 at 2:04 pm

          “Rogue One” was a better movie than “The Force Awakens”. I loved “Rogue One”
          & Felicity Jones was not as annoying as the Know-it-all from ep. 7.

          I mean seriously, she needed to tell Han Solo how to fly the Millennial Falcon two minutes after seating her ass down?!
          Get the fuck otta here

        • crocop97

          March 8, 2017 at 11:36 pm

          Haven’t seen yet Rogue One, I figured since Force Awakens was a waste of time I’d rather wait for dem Russians to pirate the shit out of it instead of buying the damn ticket

      • ColonelBobi

        March 14, 2017 at 10:54 am

        What’s Mendehlson like as the villain? He was great in Animal Kingdom, Bloodline, Killing Them Softly and that gambling movie with Ryan Reynolds. Maybe too good an actor for a Star Wars movie?

    • Jacob Phillips

      March 10, 2017 at 7:26 pm

      Uwais also appeared in Keanu Reeves’ Man of Tai Chi, which was crap. And he was totally wasted again. Sadly, I think that’s going to be the story of his life from now on.

  3. Mucho Macho

    March 8, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Must watch this

  4. Saverio

    March 8, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    8/10. I’ve watched it twice after buying it on my VUDU account. it’s not as good as The Raid movies but it’s right up there.

    Their next film will be called ‘The Night Comes For Us’ and is currently filming. It was an old project that was scratched & is now resurrected. Check out this tweet from Timo:

    My man 👊🏻

    • Mucho Macho

      March 8, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      These boys are cool👍

    • Jacob Phillips

      March 9, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      The Night Comes For Us is supposed to star Joe Taslim and as such should be fucking great

  5. jim

    March 8, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Looking forward to this…

  6. Jacob Phillips

    March 8, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    I agree with the score. This isn’t as good as The Raid, but is better than Raid 2 in my opinion. I’m sorry to say I firmly believe that neither Iko Uwais, nor G H Evans will ever make another film as good as the original Raid.

  7. Barney Ross

    March 13, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    This is my kind of movie, i’d give it an 8/10, a little boring in some parts but fucking badass R rated action, i just didnt dig the father / son scene at the end