Wira Movie Review

Wira

Film Netflix
Watch Now
6.5

Fair

Malaysian martial arts movie Wira follows Hassan, who after leaving the army, returns home only to find his family indebted to a local gang boss. Along the lines of The Raid.

No matter how many films you watch they can endlessly surprise you.

In Wira, a Malaysian martial arts movie featuring rising star Hairul Azreen, the setting of a condom factory is used for the *ahem* climax.

That’s new.


What Is Wira About?

Having left years ago to join the army, an older and wiser Hassan (Azreen) has returned to the slum apartment block that houses his family.

The life he left behind is still limping on. His father and sister are indebted to local businessman Raja (Dain Said), a man who uses the large amount of lowlifes in his pocket to keep any dissenting voices in check.

It will be clear early on that the plot is fairly standard, acting as a framework for the fight scenes.

Hassan wants to settle the debts and free his family, even if they resent him for leaving in the first place.

That Raja happens to also run an underground MMA arena and wants Hassan – his ex-prize fighter – back in the ring is all the set up you really need.

It’s testament to the staying power of the outstanding 2011 movie The Raid: Redemption that if any of its stars pop up elsewhere then interest should rightly be piqued.

Enter a sparingly but effectively used Yayan Ruhian (who The Raid fans will recognise as the lethal Mad Dog), as Raja’s loyal enforcer. Ruhain is saved until the last fight, but also acts as fight choreographer for the whole movie.

Wira Official Trailer

Is Wira Worth Watching?

As a martial arts movie Wira is mixed. To again cite The Raid, the ferocity of the fighting style Silat has rightly taken Hollywood by storm. Hassan though is a Taekwondo fighter and early on director Adrian Teh seems unsure on how best to use him.

The first major fight takes place in a factory where Hassan faces down vast numbers of weapon wielding goons.

Cinematically this sequence is a nice chunky one. The use of one long unbroken shot (clocking in at around 90 seconds) gives the scene plenty of kinetic energy.

Yet Hassan’s method, whilst assured, mostly consists of simply pushing the assailants away. This reserve, combined with a pedestrian plot and Azreen’s struggle to claw out any dramatic impetus in the space left by a drawn out set up, results in a sluggish first half.

The second half, however, is buoyed by some superb sequences. Initially consigned to skulking around and scowling, once Hassan’s sister, Zain (Fify Azml) is unleashed the energy steps up a gear.

One blistering MMA battle is followed by a thrilling bus fight complete with an inspired drone shot that leaves the action only to circle the bus as the fight rages on and then rejoin it.

As the crunchy impact of the fighting finally reaches wince-worthy levels, Wira keeps the foot on the gas, ramping up to an assault on the aforementioned contraceptive construction line (don’t worry, there are drugs as well – the plot doesn’t revolve around prophylactics).

All martial arts movies should keep the best fight until last. Hassan’s elongated frame may tower over Ruhain’s compact build, but once the pair face off the sheer speed and skill on display is outstanding.

Lightning fast blows are landed, deflected, and reversed as the pair dance around each other with deadly precision.

Frankly, the fight is worth the film to get to, even if afterwards you’ll probably skip the movie to watch this scene and a few others.

Words by Mike Record

Good

  • Fify Azmi Is One To Watch
  • High Energy Second Half
  • Amazing Final Fight Scene
  • Good Use Of Drone Shots

Bad

  • Sluggish First Half
  • Azreen Struggles To Lift The Material
  • First Fight Scene Lacks Impact
6.5

Fair

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