Netflix brings cinema to streaming with dark, blood-soaked ‘The Night Comes for Us’

It’s true that there are a slew of movies new in theaters that are probably worth watching, but I am in that rare occasion of being nowhere near a theater at the moment.

I am both writing this to you from the past (it’s currently Dec. 31, 2018 and the ball has yet to drop) and from the jungle (well, that’s perhaps overstating it — I’m in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, for Christmas break).

I’m sure I will see “Mary Poppins” and “Bumblebee” and “Vice” eventually, but for now let me tell you about one of the most grisly, yet compelling action movies I’ve seen in a long time.

“The Night Comes for Us” is the latest in an amazing string of action films out of Indonesia that includes “The Raid,” “The Raid 2” and “Headshot” among others. These movies don’t pull any punches, but manage to pack a lot of plot and character in among the blood.

The film brings back stars Joe Taslim and Iko Uwais, the amazing martial artists who anchored “The Raid” so well. Taslim plays Ito, an enforcer for a large mafia organization who makes the mistake of letting his conscience get in the way at a crucial moment. The bosses had ordered the massacre of a village and for the one little girl left alive, Ito finds he can’t pull the trigger. Now he is the target, and finds himself on a desperate quest to survive — and, short of that, to maybe redeem himself for the wrong he’s done.

Along the way he’ll reunite with old friends, some of whom will do anything to protect him. His friend Arian (Uwais), however, is climbing the mafia ladder and finds himself in a tough spot where Ito is concerned.

Much of the film is made up of long, bloody, and incredibly choreographed fight scenes involving a dozen or more people. These are a spectacle to behold, even as they are difficult to watch at times.

I know the subtitles may keep some people away, but truly, if you’re a fan of action movies, you should give this film a chance.

“The Night Comes for Us” is a movie that would be well-served by viewing on the big screen, but, unfortunately, is only available on Netflix. I say unfortunately, but maybe not — because without the option to watch this movie at home, I doubt I’d have seen it at all.

It’s not like they’re playing a lot of Indonesian cinema around here.

Netflix has scored quite a few big profile movies this year, from the Coen’s “Ballad of Buster Scruggs” to Alphonso Cuaron’s “Roma” to the hit thriller “Bird Box” starring Sandra Bullock. Considering the company’s output it’s not surprising that “Night” is of such high quality despite being “straight to video.”

While I should caution that this movie is not for everyone, I would say that if you’re a fan of compelling drama and incredible action you could do much worse than to give this movie a chance.

Next week I’ll be back on track with my regularly scheduled review, but for now… Grade: B+

“The Night Comes For Us” is rated R for gruesome violence, and language.


• By CHRIS JENNESS


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