Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Preman: Silent Fury

Premen are not exactly triads, because they pretend to be guardians of their neighborhoods. Consider them Indonesian “community organizers.” Of course, when crooked politicians want a block cleared of residents, they are the ones to call. Naturally, they turn on one of their own when his son witnesses one of their murders in Randolph Zaini’s Preman: Silent Fury, which releases today on DVD and BluRay.

For various reasons, some related to his deafness, Sandi has profound self-esteem issues. He really believes he is only fit to be enforcer for Guru’s Preman gang. When he first joined the Preman, they were more like what they present themselves to be, because they were led by the respected Haji. Now, Haji is on the other side, refusing to vacate the neighborhood a mobbed-up politician wants to re-develop.

Unfortunately, Sandi’s son Pandu sees Guru murdering Haji. Sandi hopes to stash Pandu with his estranged mother, but Guru’s assassin is hot on their heels. The flamboyant Ramon is a notoriously messy killer, who enjoys snipping up his targets with his hairdresser’s scissors. Right, you won’t see a villain like Ramon in a Hollywood movie anytime soon.

definitely isn’t Hollywood, but it and other Indonesian martial arts releases make a good substitute for the action films we used to enjoy from Hong Kong. Tragically, the HK film industry has been profoundly compromised by the CCP, to the point where the propaganda outweighs everything else. Preman has plenty of the old school, bone-crunching action we’re missing and it is also weirdly eccentric, which also follows in HK traditions. At one point, Sandi cuts through a small army of Preman thugs, who appear in his mind’s eye as fuzzy cartoon animals.

Zaini plumbs his antihero’s subconscious deeper and further than most martial arts films ever attempt. At times, it is downright neurotically existential. However, Zaini always takes care of the action business.
Preman’s fight scenes are particularly distinctive, because of Sandi’s preferred weapon of choice: the monkey’s fist, a rope on a string that takes on lethal power through centrifugal force.

Khiva Iskak broods hard as Sandi, but also looks credible in the action scenes. Kiki Narendra chews the scenery nicely as the villainous Guru, while the singularly named Revaldo continues to build a reputation as a potential international action star with his high-impact supporting turn as Ramon.

is dark, but it delivers the goods. Recommended for fans of martial arts and Indonesian cinema, it releases today on DVD/BluRay, from Well Go USA.