The Night Comes for Us

An almost prototypically erratic Asian actioner, The Night Comes for Us details the chaos and violence that ensues after a gangland enforcer (Joe Taslim’s Ito) spontaneously decides to leave his crime family. Filmmaker Timo Tjahjanto has infused The Night Comes for Us with an often disastrously deliberate pace and compounds it with a ludicrously overlong running time and a narrative that’s generally far more convoluted than necessary, which paves the way for a midsection rife with uninvolving and hopelessly padded-out sequences that certainly prove an ongoing test to one’s patience. And yet there’s ultimately no denying the impact and effectiveness of the picture’s various fight scenes, as Tjahjanto does an absolutely magnificent job of transforming such moments into kinetic and often shockingly brutal instances of pure cinema. (The brutality of these interludes cannot be understated, ultimately, and it’s difficult to easily recall a non-horror picture with this much blood and gore.) The strength of The Night Comes for Us‘ myriad of action sequences, coupled with a prolonged, almost insanely entertaining climax, ultimately compensates for a storyline that simply isn’t terribly interesting or compelling, and it is, in the end, impossible not to wish that Tjahjanto had pared the film down to its bare essentials (ie this thing has no business running a second longer than 90 minutes).

**1/2 out of ****

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