Saturday, March 21, 2020

Self-Quarantine Viewing: Foxtrot Six

Angga is a former commando now serving in Congress. He is sort of like an Indonesian Dan Crenshaw, except the Jakartan has made some ethical compromises along the way. Angga has a plan to wipe out a troublesome guerilla outfit, but he changes his mind when he realizes his long-lost love is their leader. He and his old comrades fight hard to undo the machinations he sets in motion in Randy Korompis’s English-language Indonesian action movie, Foxtrot Six, executive-produced by Mario Kassar (T2 & Rambo of fame), which is now available on VOD platforms.

Once a hero, Angga has been co-opted and corrupted by the Piranha Party, the political wing of the powerful “Piranhas Corporation.” They were going to call themselves the Evil Predators Inc., but the public relations department convinced the top execs to tone it down. Angga successfully pitches them a scheme to distract the populace and discredit the rebels known as “The Reform,” (again, so subtle these names), but he has to take on his old nemesis Wisnu as his chief enforcer.

Unbeknownst to Angga, Piranhas and Wisnu have hatched a much bigger and bloodier false flag operation. They intend to “martyr” seven of their own unsuspecting congressmen, including Angga’s closest ally. Of course, the Reform will be scapegoated. It turns out that includes Sari Nirmala, Angga’s great love and the mother of the daughter he never knew he had. Suddenly it is up to Angga, four of his former fellow commandos, and Nirmala’s taciturn lieutenant known as Spec to save the country and vindicate the Reform.

Frankly, none of the conspiracy stuff makes much sense and the Angga-Nirmala subplots are eye-rollingly melodramatic. What is most frustrating is that Julie Estelle, probably still best known as “Hammer Girl” in The Raid 2, really does not have any real action to perform in Foxtrot.

Korompis’s film is also awfully slow to get going. Still, the third act is not bad, incorporating invisibility cloaks and mecha suits. There are some brutal but highly cinematic fights staged and a lot of stuff gets blown to bits. However, it is hard to feel emotionally invested in a questionable character like Angga and most of his mates are rather undeveloped. Chicco Jeirkho makes the strongest impression, by far, as the seriously bad cat, Spec. If there is a sequel, it should definitely focus on him.

There is some nifty action in Foxtrot Six, but it cannot compare to Gareth Huw Evans’ Raid films or the Mo Brothers’ Headshot. Korompis certainly fails to use Estelle’s talents to full effect, which is a shame. Just an okay time-killer rather than a must-see, Foxtrot Six is now available on VOD, but watch the afore-mentioned instead first.