Must Watch: Trailer for Indonesian Martial Arts Film Merantau
by Alex Billington
May 3, 2009
Who doesn't love a good martial arts movie? Over the last few years, it was Thai martial artist Tony Jaa who was the most popular here in the US, then JeeJa made her debut last year in Chocolate. Now it's my pleasure to introduce you to Iko Uwais in a Indonesian martial arts film called Merantau. I don't want to say much more besides that you just need to drop what you're doing and check this out, because it kicks some serious ass. What I love about this more than most other martial arts movies is that it seems incredibly realistic, like I could just be watching this in person, and I love that style. So check this out right now!
Thanks to our friends at SlashFilm for first featuring this trailer. I love discovering great new indie films that could become modern foreign classics, and this looks like it has that kind of awesome potential.
Watch the official trailer for Gareth Evans' Merantau:
A skilled practitioner of Silat Harimau is in the final preparations to begin his "Merantau" a rite-of-passage to be carried out by the community's young men that will see him leave the comforts of his idyllic farming village and make a name for himself in the bustling city of Jakarta. After a series of setbacks leave Yuda Iko Uwais homeless and uncertain about his new future, a chance encounter results in him defending the orphaned Astri from becoming the latest victim of a European human trafficking ring.
Merantau is both written and directed by Welsh born filmmaker Gareth Evans, of only a thriller called Footsteps from 2006 previously. The film is presented by Pt. Merantau Films and opens in theaters in Jakarta, Indonesia in August later this year, but it doesn't have an official US distributor yet, as far as we know. We'll let you know when we hear more about Merantau and when it might be coming to theaters!
Reader Feedback - 68 Comments
looks cool, but it best not be all about saving some slag.
Aaron Holland on May 3, 2009
Wowsers! Looks as good if not better than anything else I've seen in the past few years.
Dark Helmet on May 3, 2009
looks like we have a new oldboy on our hands
PJ H on May 3, 2009
#1 - "the orphaned Astri from becoming the latest victim of a European human trafficking ring." probably kidnapped, so your lovely comnment is probably moot seems to be more of a Taken-like plot where the girl in question is kidnapped
really... on May 3, 2009
i dunno, seems unoriginal, jus ong bak substituted with a girl, but the choreography looks amazing, looks like a new form of fighting!
grham on May 3, 2009
a lil too well choreographed for my taste
ray on May 3, 2009
MARK 2:25 SOLD ME, lol @ #6 ya, very too clean
Matthew on May 3, 2009
Lame. I just watched JCVD and this guy looks like JCVD did in the opening sequence: slow, stagy, weak and totally make believe. At least in JCVD the action was intended to look sub-B movie. These guys can't be serious.
RandyG on May 3, 2009
@ #6 ditto
Tedious Ted on May 3, 2009
I guess it's a sign of the recession: hire just about any skinny Asian kid for pennies and proclaim him the 'next big thing'. A few month's from now we'll read that this guy's parents are trying to sell him for $2000 instead of $200 because he's a 'martial arts star'. Gimme a break.
RandyG on May 3, 2009
1:54 is awesome though!
Mubariz on May 3, 2009
pj h (#3)....its not old boy at all just cause theyre asian and fight...doesnt mean anything i'd like to see u have one good reason for comparing the two except that they have fight scenes
Gary M on May 3, 2009
Tony Jaa would rip him to shreds...
Guest on May 3, 2009
some of the fight scenes really don't look fluid at all
Caleb on May 3, 2009
Dear All, I am Indonesian, and for whatever it might be- I am glad finally there is Indonesian movie ever listed here :-). Thank you for all your comments. From what I knew, there is an acclaimed actress played here. The rest is all new. I hope the story is well-elaborated and we-Indonesian can learn something from our western counterparts.
aswinindra on May 3, 2009
Looks awesome. Haters calm down, this isn't supposed to be a masterpiece, just a cool fight-movie.
scm1000 on May 3, 2009
Holy fucking shit! That was fucking AWESOME!!!
The Awsome Norwegian Dude With Sunglasses on May 3, 2009
This is a fuckin joke. The MA look laughable at best. Go see Jet Lee in one of his early movies or the drunken master (2).
sd on May 3, 2009
Looks like a Z-grade martial arts movie, made exclusively for Al-Qaeda members. Think I'll pass. Thanks anyway.
T900 on May 3, 2009
you tosser how did you figure or feeel it had anything to do with terrorists ! you dont no a great martials film u idoit this movie is awesome !
Suspex on Sep 25, 2011
ROFL!!!! I think they showed the entire movie in the trailer.
Drax on May 3, 2009
meh, this does look too choreographed, but it looks like an ok movie. haters need to calm down tho. if you really want to project your hate go watch a piece of dragon ball and then go nuts on a message board. and as for #19, T900: "...made exclusively for Al-Qaeda members" countless action movies from gangster movies reflect strong christian and/or catholic influences. kung-fu flicks the same with buddhist and eastern philosophies. mostly all action movies have strong religious ties to back their plots. you possibly watching a lot of movies probably already know this. so because indonesia is linked to islam doesn't mean their beliefs ultimately links them to al-qaeda. you are open to your opinion, but being Indonesian-American and Muslim, I find your comment in the wrong, very hurtful, and disappointing in regards to the progress of Muslim understanding.
Yasmin on May 3, 2009
i agree with you 100 % you said it the way it is ! this is a great martial arts movie with a great example of life in indonesia and the amazing art of silat!
Suspex on Sep 25, 2011
1:16 How can those loungers continue to lounge with that in their face??? :O!! (it gets dooown like that) damn #19, really?
Simon on May 3, 2009
Great Movie come From Indonesia... I Love Indonesia Movie!
vicky shine on May 3, 2009
stick of laundry, in yo chest like-BAAAM!
zeb on May 3, 2009
brian on May 4, 2009
All these new asian action movies are like Hong Kong movies from the 80's.
casshern on May 4, 2009
Great! I'm so proud of it! And Iko Uwais is a martial artist in his real life.
furansizuka on May 4, 2009
this peice of crap lost me when he swept that guy with a towel or whatever it iwas. this looks slow, and i hate that they would attempt to cal this a "new breed of action" **** off. i agree with RandyG.
Jimbone on May 4, 2009
#13 i totally agree tony jaa is a beast!!
geneguru on May 4, 2009
dont want to put this guy or his martial art "silat"down,but this looks like a poors man Tony Jaa...movie and dude is sloooowwwww. probably he can kick my ass but for a action star he is slooowwwwww.
TTAKA on May 4, 2009
smacky on May 4, 2009
s o s...
Spike Murdock, Poet-at-Large on May 4, 2009
why do the action sequences spells Jacky Chan?! probably because 90%, if not 100%, of the actions were Jacky Chan-like...
miracle disease on May 4, 2009
Interesting he's Muslim as I've not seen it in an action flick before, usually Buddhists, etc. Think it'll be cool seeing a martial arts-trained Muslim dude get down in the city. That laundry pole bit was raw. He didn't even wait to be like, "Wonder if he'll make the jump?" He was all, "Naw bitch, I've got a laundry pole and it is going to impale you regardless of your long-distance jumping abilities." I bet that orphan girl was even like, "Damn rural-martial-arts-Muslim-dude, that shit was cold."
b on May 4, 2009
This looks aiight. If ya'll looking for a masterpiece then check out Tony Jaa's Ong Bak 2. I think it's the best martial arts film every and that's hard for me to say because I'm a Bruce Lee fan. But I believe it to be true. Ong Bak 2 will have you says oooh & damn the entire movie!
Black Dynomite on May 5, 2009
the choreography looked to obvious
eric on May 5, 2009
WHAT!!!!?!??!?!?!? A movie that uses Harimau Pencak Silat????? HOLY CRAP! Ong Bak was badass, but it also uses a lot of gymnastics and Parlour work which makes it so cool, aside from that, everyones seen Muay Thai, but who the hell outside of training knows about Pencak SIlat?! or even seen it in a movie? I cant wait to check this out!
lando on May 5, 2009
PS one of the things about silat is that it is ultra efficient and not so FLASHY as a lot of bogus martial arts that look great on film but make no sense in terms of combat. Silat was used as a mostly empty handed system used to kick the dutch out of their country (They were colonists), so think about that, empty hands bad assness vs steel, guns and armor...empty hands won.
lando on May 5, 2009
@ 21 Muslim understanding???? How about some Muslim understanding towards Christians and Jews and other religions and races. It's because of radical Islam and Muslim beliefs the world is so fucked up right now and on the brink of extinction. You Muslims expect tolerence, yet you're not interested in showing any towards Western cultures. You'd rather strap a bomb to your waist so you can die with 40 virgins. Open your fucking eyes!!!
Drax on May 5, 2009
Subscribe to those stereotypes, Drax, that's what they're there for after all. How about you shut the fuck up about it. Muslims make up a large portion of the world. Some random movie has a trailer with one scene of muslims at prayer and suddenly the movie is some kind of islamic propaganda? Go fuck yourselves. Seriously. Christians and Jews aren't exactly opening their arms in welcome either, are they? And how the hell did you come to the conclusion that he's muslim anyway? I'm not muslim, yet here I am telling you you're a sack of shit. The world isn't on the brink of extinction because of some religious belief (or at all, really...). It's more about politics than religion. Many countries just happen to mix the two things quite often. Even here in the US, where people who don't live a good, wholesome christian lifestyle are denied their rights quite often. Lord forbid an atheist should ever run for president. And to those saying that this looks too stagey or choreographed... you're all retarded. Shit like Croutching Tiger and Hero get eaten up here and THOSE are fake and stagey. CTHD at least had a decent story to go along with it. This looks much less staged than those. And all of these martial arts films looks staged. You guys should watch some older martial arts films. Jackie Chan's films are all obviously staged, but I enjoy watching some of them as I enjoy a lot of martial arts flicks. I mean... at least this shit is REAL most of the time. Unlike Transformers or X-Men or all the other big-budget Hollywood shit where you have to play pretend in order to even watch the damn things. If you can stomach giant CGI robots destroying CGI buildings while CGI civilians scramble to get out of the way, all the while some of the worst acting and dialogue spews out of the insultingly stupid plot, then surely a martial arts film with a couple of overly-choreographed bits can get a pass while the stuntmen are being ripped off their motorcycles and getting thrown through windows and shit. The story might make up for it anyway.
Squiggly on May 5, 2009
I couldnt care less about this Silat Harimau style of martial arts. I hate these types of movies, they stage the action and put plot in between. Needs some originality apart from the fighting style.
CK on May 6, 2009
"It's because of radical Islam and Muslim beliefs the world is so fucked up right now and on the brink of extinction" ahahahahhaahhahahah!!!! thats utter bullshit!!!!!! Im a catholic (but you can degrade me because we acknowledge the virgin, so in your feeble mentality that would make me an idol worshiper?) and I think what you said is crap!!!! White Westerners are just as responsible if not more for the current state of worldly affairs!! It was the UN that created the shit storm that is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (not religiously but in terms of the 1940's creation and division of Israel) It was white westerners who ran the "Inquisitions" of the 1500's that wiped out countless cultures throughout the world, dont forget the HOLY WARS started by...? WHITE Westerners! anihilation of indigenous cultures? yep..you got it! So the rest of the world has these Christian/Catholics over in the rest of the world killing and raping in the name of christ and the USA. Do you really think they are acting accordingly to Jesus???? NO! yet you think that these "SO CALLED" extreme muslims truly represent Islam??? So think about all the ignorant "extreme" muslim kids and adults thinking in limited uneducated terms like yourself and you will see the real cause of why "the world is on the brink of extinction, its not Islam, its not Christ, its ignorant thinking just like you and so many people in the world are engaged in! so like you said, "Open your fucking eyes"!!!
lando on May 6, 2009
Somehow, I still like "District 13" movie that France's made. Owww...... that movie is very AWESOME!!!!!! I almost try that at home too..... I want to see another great movie like District 13..... Until now, none has already satisfied me.
Sammy on May 10, 2009
Rocky Twitchell on May 12, 2009
I'm gonna impale some random dude, just to celebrate how awesome the trailer was.
Rune on May 12, 2009
#39 -- you don't know me and don't assume ignorance from me either. i'm not a radical, i'm not a fundamentalist, i'm an Indonesian-Filipino American woman from northern california -- i was born and raised here and i've grown up in a melting pot. i've never hated on any other ethnicity or religion in my entire life nor EVER saw the purpose to do so. I am the Western Culture. And by stating this, from me to you, and from the bottom of my heart: Eat a dick. Really. Eat it. Like that laundry pole that got stuck in that dude in the trailer. But instead its a dick. In your mouth. So open your eyes because that dick is comin' to charge.
Yasmin on May 14, 2009
looks like a choppy version of ong-bak.
mkd on May 23, 2009
I just love it!I just love it!
Shaista on May 28, 2009
I think this looks ok...although this guy is no Tony Jaa.....and it looks a bit too much On Bak...but ill still watch it and get a kick out of some of the stunts and fights....while i crack open another beer! lol
vegasdanny on Jun 2, 2009
@47 I agree. This is like what Ong-Bak would be if it was much less bad-ass and obviously choreographed.
Eric on Jun 13, 2009
when i read all of coment on this page yu've posted it ... i knew and i can see... that all you is don't understand what "islam" is an what is "pencak silat harimau"....? so i say yuo,learn more about it and then yu're allowed to give your own comment on that.....
brow on Jul 18, 2009
thousands tony jaa can easily defeated by iko.
wiliam ng on Aug 2, 2009
@39; i'm indonesian.. i'm a moslem and my father also, but my lovely mother is christian and i have two christian brothers too....do you think i'll bomb them....hehehe....this web is about movies so just watch the movies and enjoy it..
indo on Aug 5, 2009
forget all the criticism on the choreography and tony jaa! Anyone interested in REAL martial art, not fancy empty forms or cage/ring fighting should check this movie out! Pencak Silat is one of the most complete and developed martial forms there is! Pencak silat is how the Indonesians kicked out the dutch, think about it..empty hands and machete vs GUNS and Millitary, small groups of 5 foot guys with field working tools kicking out the big Dutch Colonists...that should give you an idea as to the efficiency of this art. Also consider that Silats moves are so deadly that you cant spar the actual system, you have to do a weak hit to chest for points..REAL sparring of this art usually results in death or severe damage as their moves rely more on breaking bones and snapping limbs than merely "punching" or "kicking" or "Submitting" not to mention the fact that each village in indonesia (over 200) has its own style based on its geography, animals and secret techniques...This is not an art to fuck with, and yea, it easily destroys Muay thai (the art of 8 limbs)..Watch this movie, watch these moves, they are not created for the screen, if anything, they would have to dumb it down for westerners to see the moves or even understand the principles behind silat. I cant wait to see this!
lando on Aug 5, 2009
If you MA maniacs you must see this movies , i'm agree with lando, some village with strong silat tradition have more than one style and some of them has chi/"tenaga dalam" applied on their style. Not like Sports MA these day, silat created for street fight not just art, still silat is a part from art.
MMORPG Movies on Aug 8, 2009
star wars rip off! nah jk.. =D
luke S on Aug 8, 2009
This not pure silat harimau. I quess this only 20%. 100% silat harimau is the ugliest dream if you have to fight with. Very dangerous and deadly. i tell u, silat is not for show off. Real practisioner of silat, if they choose have to fight, that mean 2 words; dead or live.
Janggo on Aug 8, 2009
Hi, I'm an Indonesian. I just want to share somethings.. Today's (present: year 2009) Indonesian movie is so horrible. In the theater, our current movie was just about horror movie and comedy film. I mean, ALMOST all of our movie are SUCK!! This movie was expected by many of us as an alternative movie to give another taste to the film industry. After saw "Behind The Scene" of the movie, I realized that most of the crew aren't Indonesian. With different person, different ideas, they didn't "trapped" in the "horror and comedy" style in our country and make something new, like this movie. So, I just want to say that this movie is expected to be the a worth-to-be-waited movie in this year. Please, not to much underestimate our movie... Sorry for the English..
sam on Aug 11, 2009
its better than ong-bak! love this movie, the choreography looked to awesome. silat,its my fav martial art. i saw the silat show about 4 years ago at rusia.
richie krouvaniko on Aug 18, 2009
I've watched this movie. It's freakin awesome...love the fights. I can assure you it's better than ong-bak.
Elfran on Aug 20, 2009
hi all. i'm indonesian and i've watched this movie on its premiere (6 august 09) in indonesia, and im very proud of it. i dont know why some people say its fighting style imitates ong bak's fighting style while tony jaa uses muay thai (siamese fighting arts of six limbs) and iko uwais uses pencak silat (this movie is about silat harimau/sumatran tiger but iko originally was a tiga berantai silat betawi fighter and a national champion). maybe because indonesia and thailand came from the same part of asia, and both inherit much or less the same cultural influences (indonesia was hindu/buddha kingdoms before the advent of islam) i'm not an expert of martial art or pencak silat, but i do know a silat jurus or two. pencak silat (the minangkabau people of west sumatra called it silek) has many aliran/styles, but its common theme is avoidance, quick kill, the uses of many weapons (especially blades), tenaga dalam/inner power, and beautiful kembangan/flowery cultural presentation of forms accompanied by traditional music (each regions had its own set of traditional instruments). silat harimau is quite famous in indonesia, and its main characteristics are low ground fighting (using very low stances); a lot of take downs using hands, forearms, elbows, knees and legs; a lot of joint locks; and its preferences on using open hand/tiger claw like hand forms. in this movie u will see a lot of silek harimau fighting styles. and i assure u, its really awesome.
ulla on Aug 22, 2009
Hey Lando, i'm a muslim and i hate muslim extremist too.., but it doesn't mean you hate all muslims right? there will be an extremist in any religions.., like Cu Clux Clan
US-Indo-CA luvers on Oct 20, 2009
#63, NO! I do not hate Muslims or ANY group! I respect all religions and hate ANYBODY using god as an excuse to be a bad person, there are extremists in Every group that ruin the reputation of that group. Here in the USA there are a lot of EVIL Christians, EVIL Jews, EVIL Catholics, Evil Rastafarians, Evil Atheists, etc.. Just as there are GOOD and POSITIVE Christians, Muslims, Catholics, Jews, Rastafarians, Atheists, etc.. Extremism is bad in ANY group, religious or political included. I prefer to see a person for WHO they are not where they are from or how they worship God. I like the fact that we all come from different cultures and have so much to learn from each other. It also helps that I have had the honor of knowing Dutch teacher for Mustika Kwitang Silat, and Muslim teacher for Mande Muda Silat as well as American teachers for Harimau, Bakti Negara, and Maphilindo silat. What to do in a fight with a Silat fighter: #1. Run Away!! #2. Fly Away!! #3. Run Away! #4. Get on Knees and apologize #5. Run Away! #6. Get a Gun and hope you can be far enough to use it and not have it shoved up your ass #7. Hope your shot hits the person #8. Hope Silat fighter isnt using Jimat or Anting as it will make a gun useless #9. Get out of the country and hope Silat practitioners Ilmu doesnt follow you and take you down
Lando on Oct 20, 2009
Pentjak Silat is a side matter. You folks should think about Indonesian at Nusantara Archipelago. A shadowed people which hide rages and anger on their heart, blow up as 'Amok' and ruin everything your pure ideas about life peacefully on earth. But instead, the People of Nusantara have a inner power from ancient myth to be a obedient followers of any peace religion which is sealed their rages nature. So you can see the warm Indonesian People, the hospitality, the cooling down, and probably the slowest and laziness capitalism, all thanks to Islam Sunni guidance. Well. I am Moslem. To tell the truth, when i hanging around with Caucasians white, or colored People at Bandung Indonesia, I treat them same as I do to myself. Anyway Lando My Grandpa is Pentjak Silat Master, I used to being a living sandbag for him. And he has gave me a Jimat or you said so. The Jimat's are moslem brave path to living life Fisabilillah (in the path of Allah). And i never get hospitalized ever in my life. Merantau is really a good movies about art of fighting. But only 10-20 % Pentjak Silat were show. If you saw the 100 %, then don't.
Ferren on Apr 21, 2010
Great Movie come From Indonesia, I Love Indonesia Movie!
Download Mp3 on Jun 4, 2010
Would love to more about Penjack Silat coming out. Love watching movies of different cultures.All I know is that I'll enjoy watching Silat fighting system in action.
ChuckATL on Dec 8, 2011
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