The Indonesian superhero film Gundala is out to launch a vast cinematic universe

Gundala poster

Welcome to the Cheat Sheet for review style review for festival movies, VR previews, and other special event releases. This review comes from the Toronto International Film Festival 2019.

Everyone working in genre movies these days wants a long-lasting franchise. The financial success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brought to billions of Disney and Marvel studios around the world has generally become a kind of holy grail for other film studios who want to continue designing their own series of interconnected films with limited success.

Opened by studio Bumilangit to create the “Bumilangit Cinematic Universe”, Indonesia drew a library of over a thousand cartoon characters to create an interconnected superhero world.

The upcoming series reveals the company’s intention as the first piece to be different. It’s an action movie that delights a crowd full of martial arts battles and special effects, and it’s full of bizarre stories running to the end of the comedy. It is an effort to win by the beginning.

Watch Gundala Official Trailer

Gundala Official Trailer

What is a genre?
Superhero history. Almost every movie is needed before the title character, light martial arts hero Gundala, actually names it. But that name is linked to a bigger story and a bigger story. Even at the end of the story, he does not fully know. In the end, he revealed himself in a world that seemed to have no superhero until he arrived.

What happens?
Sancaka, a young Indonesian slum, finds it best to limit the urge to help people killed and helpless if he tries heroism early in life. His father, a union organizer, was killed as part of a brutal crackdown on factory workers demanding fair wages. His mother has disappeared.

He became homeless on the streets of Jakata and was almost beaten to defend those weaker than himself. He teaches martial arts and self-defense by another young guest reader but also teaches unforgettable moral lessons. His idealistic father said, “We are no longer human unless we see injustice and do nothing.” But as Sancaka grows, he accepts the new mantra, “Buy your own heart.”

At the same time, it is difficult to avoid the violence in Jakarta, where corruption is at its peak, and the population appears to be composed mostly of stray bands armed with sugar cane.

As a teenage boy, Sancaka struggles with a gang of kids armed with sticks. As adults, the sticks get bigger, the antagonists get bigger, and the fight gets more sophisticated.) Most local politicians shake. The reckless mob has been brutally killed by Peng Khor who openly ignored him

But in the end, Sancaka forces him to join community struggles involving his neighbor Wulan and his younger brother. It’s going to be a bigger fight involving more and more creative martial arts skills and a bunch of thugs to send with Sancaka’s newly found power. There, Sancaka confronts Pengkor’s plan and the two go to the last face.

What is it really about?
It’s about putting pieces on the board like many franchise starters. In the Q&A shown at TIFF, writer-director Joko Anwar said Gundala will continue until 2025, the first film of the first scheduled eight-cycle.

Cross over, collect heroes. He says Bumilangit Studios has the rights to more than 1,100 Indonesian cartoon characters who will be used to create a large, cohesive universe.

Gundala expresses this intention in a general franchise manner. Fill your story with settings that may not pay you for years. In a subplane that has little to do with the main story, one of Pengkor’s allies knows Gundala and tries to revive the old evils that mention the coming “great war”.

Like Wonder Woman of Batman vs. Superman reveals Shri Assira the secret Super Heroin in the crucial moment. Numerous endings towards the end of the film appear to have been designed to potentially offer more heroes or villains.

As Anwar explained in questions and answers, Gundala’s heroic strength lies in his ability to unite charisma and people. His origin story is compelling, but it is also used as a gathering place to gather future heroes.

Is it good?
It is definitely stylish. In Q&A, Anwar discussed how the film was filmed in 5 cities and 70 regions over 50 days. The shooting schedule was so tight that I sometimes had to use a motorcycle to attach the zipper from one set to the other.

Monitor multiple sets at the same time. As a result, many martial arts matches are practiced once, then with a shot, usually approx. two hours per Fight Scene. However, quick scenes do not appear on the screen.

Fight scenes are sharp, intense, dangerous and varied. Anwar’s camera gives the warrior enough distance to lead the battle. There are many minimal camera tricks and surprisingly good and solid physical behavior.

The cast list is personal and relevant. The young boy Muzakki Ramdhan, who plays Sancaka in childhood, is especially effective as an actor and budding martial arts. Abimana Aryasatya, who plays him in adulthood, is pretty much proven as soulful, solid, with a handful of angles for martial arts comedy in physical action and Stephen Chow style. Whether he pulls loose, his head reads quickly or heals quickly.

The film was able to use a little more of the humorous style. With a clear message about the desperate situation of struggling with honest workers in Jakarta, it is very bleak. It keeps the steak high, but it’s still amazing and reassuring every time the movie bursts out for a moment.

For US audiences learning Marvel movies, this would be Gundala’s biggest stumbling block. There is a lot of focus on side characters that are not important in themselves, and there are various groups that think carefully about authority, morality, corruption, and responsibility.

There is an astonishing number of subplans, from a secret society of assassin parents to serum, which selectively destroys fetal brain tissue, ensuring that the affected infant is born without a moral center. There are murderous violinists, Javanese wizards, heads cut in glass blocks and challenging hotshot lawmakers who want to fight Pangkor.

All this work may sound funny and bizarre, but it magically draws you away from the history of San Kaka. Sometimes it seems to be secondary to political chicory and secondary franchise intentions.

What should you evaluate?
The movie has a lot of violence and a little death for children, but it is not very boring or intense. Primarily a martial arts adventure. PG-13 is doing well.

How can I actually see it?
Gundala had its first premiere in Indonesia in August. Manufacturers are currently looking for international launch contracts.

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