February 15, 2023 (NYC)–LEGEND OF GATOTAKACA (2023)-Movie Review. Legend of Gatotakaca is a fun 2023 action film that blends martial arts, cultural mythology, and the super-hero genre. Here is a synopsis and review of this Well Go USA Entertainment release.
After witnessing the shocking murder of his best friend by a masked assassin with terrifying superpowers, Yuda stumbles upon a secret prophecy long concealed by powerful people. After unlocking dormant abilities of his own, Yuda discovers that he—an ordinary college kid with no belief in the old legends—may very well be the key to winning the upcoming battle against an ancient evil.
Legend of Gatotakaca is an action film that blends martial arts, cultural mythology, and the super-hero genre. In watching the film I had no idea about the relationship of the story and the characters to Indonesian culture and mythology. Once I began watching, it my peaked curiosity so I researched a bit about the subject, and I began to understand that the film is as tied to Indonesian mythology as Marvel’s Thor is to Norse mythology.
I am not sure if familiarity is essential to viewing the film. In fact, intimate knowledge of the history of the general story and characters may make this film better, or worse, to watch depending on your vantage point. For me, I watched it independent of a feeling on how it relates to the source material.
The film is superhero origin story, of sorts, about a chosen, young man whose destiny is to the discover the truth about his legacy. Ricky Nazar, is good in the starring role. He brings an innocence and reluctance to the role that is the heart of the journey towards the fulfillment of his legacy to save the world from evil forces.
As the story develops and Nazar learns more about his family and his calling he meets up with a series of colorful characters, both good on his side, and against him. As for his friends and love interest, they are very enjoyable to watch. There is almost a Saban Power Rangers quality to the kinship.
The cast of villains are colorful and well known, even to American audiences for their roles in International martial arts films such as the John Wick movies. They lend credibility to the martial arts action and fighting sequences, which are interspersed in the movie, and are very effective in the concluding quarter of the film.
The special effects and fight scenes are decent, albeit there is a comic book quality to the execution of it all. The film has some great action sequences, and is more less violent that so many other Indonesian films such as The Raid, Headshot, and The Night Comes For Us.
My one criticism of the film is that it is a little too long, and the editing is not as tight as it could be. The are several superfluous scenes which could have been removed for a sharper, and tighter, finished product. Despite this, Legend of Gatotakaca is still a very enjoyable, and visually pleasing martial arts and action film.
The film contains English subtitles. It is Family oriented.
Rizky Nazar (Mecca I’m Coming, Bittersweet Seventeen),
Yasmin Napper (Imperfect),
Edward Akbar (A Man Called Ahok, Foxtrot Six),
Sigi Wimala (Macabre),
Yayan Ruhian (The Raid 2, The Raid: Redemption,
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum,
Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens),
Cecep Arif Rahman (The Raid 2, John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, Gundala)
DIRECTOR: Hanung Bramantyo
Run Time: 130 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Country of Origin: Indonesia