Local Malaysian films has lately been criticized for recycling story ideas. This is true. However, when these stories are retold in a different fashion, the execution seems to garner disinterest in the movie-going audience. The movie I am about to review is a common genre but its execution impressed me.
The title of the film is Kisah Paling Gengster. The title is loosely translated into English translation as, The Greatest Gangster Story Ever. The movie poster has the subtitled Gangster Wars and shouldn't be confused with the translation of the movie title. The film is directed by Brando Lee. The film stars award-winning actor Shaheizy Sam in the lead role. Rounding up the supporting cast are Zul Suphian, Wan Hanafi Su, Mikail Andre, Wawa Zainal, Rock Chai, Khatijah Tan, Epy Raja Lawak, Fyza Kadir and many more. The film is released by B&L Kreatif and Lightbulb Pictures. Here is the trailer.
How good of a Malaysian gangster movie is this? Do read on...
|Shaheizy Sam in the lead role as Remy|
A down and out loser name Remy is going about his usual job as an ambulance driver when he stumbles upon a gun battle between two rival mafia gangs. After surviving this and successfully treating a godfather from injuries, Remy reluctantly joins the mafia gang and is absorbed into its illegal activities.
|L-R: Fyza Kadir as Sofea, Wan Hanafi Su as Ayah Megat, and Shaheizy Sam as Remy|
Solid and simple. Good story structure from start to finish. The storyline is not too complicated and it does showcase some positive values despite its violent themes. I liked the fact that there were two plot twists in the film. Reasonably well-written script. Love the intro. The reasonable amount of balance between action and comedy is what I liked.
|Don't mess with Remy|
Kudos to Shaheizy Sam for his performance as the lead. Great supporting performances all around too especially from Zul Suphian, Wan Hanafi Su, and Wawa Zainal.
|Shaheizy Sam and Wawa Zainal sharing a scene|
I think the direction was tight, meaning just concise and nice. Though I felt the film could be better with more stunts, I can't blame the filmmakers for it feels like it was under-budget. Editing could be tighter but this opinion is subjective. Nice choice of camera angles.
|Behind the scenes photo during filming|
A good start. I was intrigued and interested from the start. Got a little slow in the middle but not to a point that I lost interest. The ending is a bit cliché but it is common for movies with this sort of story genre.
TONE (MOOD):Action, redemption, revenge, and violence all in one with some elements of self-discovery thrown in the mix.
|Gangster initiation process. Zul Suphian on the right as Ringo and Huang Qi Ming as Chin on the left.|
Not for kids. A little violent for local cinema standards. I felt the movie should be more longer and too short. Many avenues of storytelling not explored.
Good moral values despite its many violent sequences. It is a tale of loyalty, respect, family, honour, and whatever else associated in a mafia gangster type of movie.
|Mikael Andre as Romeo, the chief villain pointing the gun at Zul Suphian as Ringo|
This is a good movie. Good for adults. A sleeper hit, which is a movie not successful at the box-office but might just make it from word-of-mouth and reviews.
7 out of 10.