Friday, March 30, 2012


My recent journey into the cinema of Indonesia come to a close (at least for now) with my cinema screening of “The Raid”, and it is safe to say that I saved the best for last.  Again, the hype surrounding this film was massive with most people claiming “The Raid” to be the best action film of at least the last decade.  Review after review, all I read was how impressed people were of this film, even after the expectations had been set so high, no one seemed to be disappointed rather these expectations were exceeded.  So would “The Raid” meet my own expectations, or would all of the hype turn out to be just hyperbole?

“The Raid” has a very simple, yet brilliant concept.  It is about a group of special force policemen who are sent into a large, fifteen storey apartment block with the aim to extract and arrest the crime lord who resides at the top floor.  However the criminal kingpin doesn’t just live there, he owns the place and rents out the apartments to the worst-of-the-worst criminals at a reduced price.  As soon as the policemen enter the building, they are ambushed and locked in.  The majority of them are assassinated in a shower of bullets, but the few that survive the attack must now try to get out of the building alive.  This obviously is not going to be easy, with Tama (the crime lord) explaining to the residents that whoever kills the police gets to live at the place rent-free for their lifetime.

This is the second pairing between director Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais, their first being “Merantau”, and to say that this film is a step up from that film is an understatement to the fullest, and “Merantau” was a very good action film to begin with.  The biggest improvement is the whole level of intensity within “The Raid”, it is a kill or be killed scenario, and everything reflects that.  This movie moves at a blistering pace, although it is not action from go-to-woe as has been reported.  It is true that when the action kicks in, it does last for a long time, but within the film there are quiet moments where suspense takes the place of action.  Evans does a masterful job here of building and sustaining the suspense, which always ends in brutal violence.  Again, due to the dire situation the policemen are in, the intricately designed and choreographed fight scenes are performed at a pace that has to be seen to be believed.  Any doubt people may have had of the legitimacy of Iko Uwais’s fighting ability will be erased after a viewing of “The Raid”, as he is amazing in this.  His character is often taking on multiple opponents at a time, most of whom are armed, and again the speed and complexity of these fights…………..Wow!  Honestly, I am speechless!  Similar to his work in “Merantau”, Gareth Evans continues to stage and shoot these fight scenes in a way that we always feel the full impact of the move and never have a problem understanding exactly what is going on at all times. 

In my review for “Merantau” I made a comment stating that Uwais’s acting talents needed a lot of improvement and I am happy to say that he has succeeded here in this department.  He makes his character of Rama, a rookie cop, easy to identify with and he seems to fit the role like a glove.  Of all of the characters in the piece, Rama is given the most to do on an emotional level, as he has a wife back home waiting for him who is heavily pregnant, and it turns out there is also a personal connection within the building that drives Rama.  Another thing that Rama must deal with is an injured friend, who gets badly hurt during a gunfight.  These are scenes that I wasn’t sure Iko Uwais would ever be able to successfully tackle but he does a fantastic job here, and because of that, he is able to give his character a charisma that he was unable to do in “Merantau”.  Another thing that Uwais has done is made himself totally believable as a bad-ass.  Ray Sayhetapy, who plays Tama, is also great in his role and very charismatic.  Originally when I saw the trailer for “The Raid”, I was worried about Sayhetapy’s performance because it looked far too broad and over-the-top, more like a caricature of a villain, but the strength of his performance actually gives Tama much more depth than I was expecting and turned out to be a fully rounded character.  In fact for a martial arts film, the majority of the performances are excellent, which is a reason why I feel it is a step up from the Tony Jaa films that “The Raid” and “Merantau” are often compared to.  No matter how good the fights are in Jaa’s films, the acting in the dramatic scenes are always deplorable so the film as a whole can rarely be considered great.

Probably the biggest strength of “The Raid” (besides Iko Uwais himself), is the return of Yayan Ruhian who plays “Mad Dog” and is Tama’s right hand man and his muscle.  This is a much meatier role for Ruhian than his role of Eric in “Merantau” (he is the guy Uwais fights in the elevator), and this time he really gets to showcase his martial arts skills.  Yayan Ruhian is one of the film’s main choreographers as well, so he is largely responsible for the amazing fights in “The Raid”, and his character of “Mad Dog” is the only character in the film that actually enjoys the fight, rather than just going in for the kill via guns and knives.  In one scene, he actually gets the upper hand on a policeman, but instead of killing him right out, he drops his weapon to fight off one-on-one, just to prove how good he is.  He also has an amazing one-on-two fight (where the “heroes” are the ones actually outnumbering the villain) that is just incredible.

The fight scenes (and the film as a whole) are very violent and bloody.  Remember that these are life or death situations, so when characters are using knives and guns (yes, guns are sometimes integrated into the fights), these weapons are being used for the distinct purpose to maim or kill.  Unlike other action films also, if someone is stabbed repeatedly they will not be getting back up.  Due to the way the fights have been shot, it would have been impossible to use practical blood effects , so a lot of the blood is done via CGI which I normally have a problem with, but I was so enthralled by the scenes themselves that it did not affect my enjoyment at all.  The hard-hitting nature of the fights are very brutal, and the speed which they are performed, makes you appreciate just how much pain and sweat and, I’m sure, bruises these fighters have gone through to bring to us these amazing fight scenes.

In this day and age, I am astounded that I was able to see “The Raid” on a cinema screen at a multiplex.  Seriously, what would you have thought the chances would be of seeing an Indonesian martial arts film in any kind of cinema in Australia, let alone a multiplex?  Also to see it in its original language and subtitled rather than dubbed.  Everyone involved in this movie has done such a great job of marketing it and getting it out there (Madman has done a stellar effort here in Australia), but really it is the word of mouth that is working the best and that is due to the film’s quality.  If this film were no good, no one would be talking about it.  I will say that as excited as I was to see this in a multiplex, it may have diminished the effect of some of the film.  I often find that the level of care in regards to projecting a film at these cinemas to be less than satisfying, and unfortunately that was the case here.  When I returned home and re-watched the trailers, it was quite shocking just how badly the film was projected.

A quick note about the title, although the Australian posters all have the title as “The Raid” on them, the actual film prints come with the slightly adjusted American title “The Raid: Redemption”.  The slight change in title has to do with the fact that this film is the first in a trilogy, and the second film which is titled “Berandal” is hard to translate into something meaningful in English, so will be titled “The Raid: ??”.  Gareth Evans explains that the sequel will be something different entirely and be much slower in pace, with characters who are mentioned in “The Raid” suddenly becoming big players.  It will not be a rehash of the original film and will not be set in the apartment block, but rest assured we will be following Rama on his journey, who will now be a new father.

Overall, this was a stunningly good film that lives up to all of the hype.  I honestly cannot think of another action film from the past decade that betters “The Raid”, so I guess it is true that it is the best action film of the decade.  Beware of the fact that it is incredibly bloody, so if you are sensitive to that kind of thing, “The Raid” may not be for you.  It is definitely not for children (I had a bloody irresponsible parent bring a child of no more than seven years of age to my screening).  I am now waiting with baited breath for the sequel to arrive.

4.5 Stars.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


My new review is for the latest installment of that seemingly never-ending horror franchise, “Final Destination 6”.  Obviously, I am joking, but while sitting back and thinking after my viewing of Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey”, it suddenly hit me that the film actually plays out like a “Final Destination” film but done seriously.  I guess it is kind-of like the Christopher Nolan “Batman” films where everything happens in the “real” world.  Here, like the films of the aforementioned horror franchise, a group of characters survive an extreme tragedy that takes the lives of many others.  However, from here fate then picks them off one-by-one.  The difference here is that the deaths are not super creative and imaginative, nor gory, because while the films do share similar stories, they are interested in completely different things.

“The Grey” is about a group of oil workers stationed in Alaska who all board a plane to take them to their next job.  On the plane also is Ottway, a man who is hired to keep the native wolves at bay and stop them from attacking any of the workers.  During the flight, something goes horribly wrong and the plane crashes.  The entire company (along with the flight crew) is killed with the exception of Ottway and six other men.  Stuck in the middle of nowhere, in the freezing cold, the group bands together to find a way out of wherever they are, to get back home to their loved ones.  Ottway becomes the unofficial leader of the group when they suddenly realize that the plane has crash landed near the den of a pack of wolves.  Being so close to their den, the wolves are not happy with the intruder’s presence, and they will do anything to rid the area of them.  After the initial stand-off between the wolves and the humans, Ottway decides the best way to defend themselves from both the elements and the wolves is to head for the trees that they can make out in the distance. 

This is a very dark film, both visually and thematically, as what “The Grey” is really about is death and the characters coming to terms with death, and leaving behind everything they hold dear in their life.  Obviously this makes the film quite an emotionally sad one.  While the marketing for the film suggests that this film is all about Liam Neeson vs. the wolves, it is ultimately misleading.  Do not get me wrong, there is still a lot of wolf action, but it is not about one man becoming a bad-ass and defeating an inexplicable number of wolves, rather the film is more cerebral.  Ultimately it is about men realizing that their time is up and them accepting that, and understanding the legacy they are about to leave behind.  While I joked about “The Grey” being a “Final Destination” film, this is the biggest difference as “The Grey” is about death, while the “Final Destination” films are about the death scenes (which are used for entertainment value).

My expectations of “The Grey” were quite high because by the time the film made it out here to Australia it had an enormous buzz attached to it.  Unfortunately these expectations were not met, and while I did enjoy the film significantly, I didn’t feel it was the masterpiece it was regularly being called.  In fact, I found it a little repetitive when it suddenly hit me that this was a “body count” film.  Once one person died, it was onto the next.  Actually that is a little unfair because at least we got to know these characters a little before they passed which made us care about them.  My favourite character was Dermott Mulroney’s Talget, who has a beautiful scene where he is talking about his young daughter and what she does with her long hair in the morning.  It is during the telling of the story that it suddenly hits him that it is likely he will never see her again, which is so moving.  He doesn’t break down, sobbing his eyes out, he just very quietly states “I’m gonna miss that girl”, and it is a beautiful and heartbreaking moment.  The rest of the characters are not really that redeemable, Ottway included, and they all have their demons, but this didn’t worry me because these were men pushed to the limit and terrified, the fact that most of them were unlikable seemed quite real and natural.

Liam Neeson plays Ottway, who at the beginning of the film is suicidal due to his wife recently leaving him.  He is depressed and no longer wants to live in this world, however, somewhat ironically when he is suddenly not in control of when he may die, Ottway suddenly finds the strength to fight tooth and nail to survive and live again.  When watching the film, I was aware of the parallels to Neeson’s own life and I often wondered how hard this film was to make or whether it was a cathartic experience for him.  Whatever the case, he is very good in the role, but I must say that I found it quite amusing that the majority of his decisions ended up leading the group into more danger.

Back in 2002, director Joe Carnahan made the character driven thriller “Narc” and got quite a lot of positive buzz for it, that he was suddenly seen as the next big thing.  So much so that Tom Cruise hired him to direct “Mission: Impossible III”.  When that film started to go into a direction he was not comfortable with, Carnahan made the bravest (and potentially stupidest) decision to leave the project.  His next two films were the silly (but enjoyable) “Smokin’ Aces” and the even sillier (I assume, as I have yet to see it) “The A-Team”, so “The Grey” is a return to the serious dramatic thriller that he started his career a decade ago with.  He does an excellent job, as he keeps the tension and suspense high throughout the film, which can be hard dealing with such open spaces.  He uses the darkness to his advantage, so we always know that the wolves may be out there but cannot see them.  However that same darkness does make it a little hard to see everything that is going on at times.  I felt that he used sound brilliantly and it especially made it easy to feel the cold that the characters were going through and it made the tension palpable.  The only problems I had with his direction was during the wolf attacks, he framed the shots to close, so all we saw was the wolf’s head, and unfortunately he resorted to shaky-cam for these scenes to.  He also used a couple of jump scares which I would normally frown upon, but they were done so well that I will let them pass here.

 The biggest problem with “The Grey” is the initial decision for the group to leave the wreckage of the plane in the first place.  For a film that is so set in “reality”, the filmmakers have not come up with an adequate enough reason for them to leave the plane.  In my opinion, they would have been much better off staying with the wreckage for a number of reasons, but mainly because it provided shelter from the weather elements and it would be easier to defend themselves from the wolves at this vantage point.  Plus, surely the biggest reason for staying with the plane was if people came looking for survivors, their greater chance of survival would be if they were near the crash site.  While that is the biggest issue I have with the film (and I understand there would be no movie if they didn’t leave the plane, they just needed a better reason as to why they left the plane), the biggest strength to the film is its ending.  I loved the ending of the film, right down to the final shot.  As I was watching, I was thinking that if they finish on this shot, the film would end on a high note, and this is exactly what happened.  It should be noted that a lot of people may be disappointed by the ending, but for me, it was perfect.  Too many films these days have no idea how to end the story being told, but “The Grey” proved to be the exception here, as I believe they have got it just right.

Overall, while “The Grey” did not live up to my high expectations, I must admit that I still did enjoy the film considerably.  Although the film has its faults, this is still a good film, and is a step up from the norm that we regularly receive from Hollywood these days.  Interestingly, this is a film that men seem to respond to more than women, and this was certainly the case with my wife and I.  She thought the film was pointless and that nothing happened while I was entertained by the psychological aspects of it.  At the end of the day, as long as you are not expecting a Liam Neeson vs. the wolves type of thing, I am sure that you will get something out of “The Grey”.

3.5 Stars.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


For just over a week now, I have been sampling the cinema of Indonesia, a country whose cinematic delights I had yet to taste before my viewing of “Merantau”.  Since that film, I have watched three other films which consisted of the bizarre helpings from director Joko Anwar, “The Forbidden Door” and “Kala”, and this film, the bloody and violent horror film “Macabre” (“Darah”).

“Macabre” comes from the combined minds of the self-titled “Mo” Brothers, whose real names are Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto, who are obviously not real brothers at all.  However the two of them seem to work well together and have created quite the entertaining horror tale.  After receiving such a positive response from their short film of the same title, the “brothers” decided to make this film into feature length for their debut and although it is derivative of past horror classics (“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and “Inside” are referenced frequently), there is still enough in “Macabre” for it to stand out on its own.

The set-up to the film is simple and once it is complete, the horror and gore kick in and do not let up until the credits roll.  After accepting a job in Australia, Adjie and his heavily pregnant wife Astrid, meet up with a couple of close friends for one final trip to Jakarta to have a night of fun and adventure, before they board a plane to their new life.  Joining them on the trip is Adjie’s sister Ladya, where it is evident there is some unresolved tension between the siblings.  Soon after setting off on their journey, the group of friends come across a dazed looking young girl, Maya, standing out in the rain claiming she had been mugged.  They decide to drive the young girl home when they find out it is on the way to their destination.  Once they reach Maya’s house, she is insistent that they all come inside and meet her mother, and her mother, likewise, is insistent that they stay for dinner as thanks for bringing her baby girl home safely.  As soon as they enter the house, Adjie and his friends recognize that something is amiss about this place, that something isn’t right, but fear of offending the family, forces them to stay for dinner.  It is a decision that they will regret for the rest of their lives (which may not be long) because there is something very wrong with this family and it appears that they will do anything to get to Astrid’s unborn baby.

As I stated earlier, there is nothing original about “Macabre”, with the initial set-up echoing both “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and “House Of 1000 Corpses”, the quiet mother figure hunting an unborn child is from “Inside”, and even the reason why they want the baby is from another film, Hong Kong’s “Dumplings”.  What the film lacks in originality though, is made up by its style, as well as a number of great performances from most of the cast.  The biggest strength of “Macabre” is its visual style which shows a confidence that is not usually as prevalent in first time directors.  The angles and compositions of their shots always makes the film interesting to look at, as well as building the needed suspense, which keeps the viewer engaged.  Though no doubt due to its limited budget, “Macabre” does feel a little rough around the edges, with some of the editing a little jerky and sloppy, and I also felt that the sound design left a lot to be desired.  There is a scene within the film where characters are outside in the rain, and yet we never actually hear the rain, which robs the film of atmosphere (and a reality).  Also characters appear to disappear for long stretches of the film, only to reappear just as you have forgotten about them and thus no longer care.  While it is not at all terrible, I’m sure the film could have benefitted with a small re-edit, just to tighten it up a bit.

The standout performance of “Macabre” has to be Julie Estelle as Ladya, Adjie’s sister.  She immediately engages with us, the audience, making us instantly care for her and her safety.  Her character has to go through and do some of the most extreme and disturbing things (for instance, biting a man’s tongue off)in the film, but she really pulls it off.  She is believable as the young polite waitress we are introduced to at the beginning of the film and she is equally believable as the animalistic survivor she is portrayed as in the finale.  Ario Bayu also handles himself nicely in the role of Adjie.  His role is more emotional rather than physical as Adjie is sent into turmoil while being helpless, while witnessing attacks on both his wife and sister, as well as the attempts to steal his unborn child.  Quite by coincidence, Ario Bayu has been in the past three Indonesian films I have watched and he is always very good (in fact, I actually thought he was outstanding in “The Forbidden Door”, and really stole the film for me).  Shareefa Daanish plays the “mother of all fear”, Dara, brilliantly.  She initially underplays the role, appearing passive while still giving off a sinister vibe, but when she explodes into violence, Dara is no longer a passive character in the slightest, and Shareefa Daanish’s savage acting supports this.  She is chilling (she also played the same role in the “Mo” Brother’s short that this film is based).  Actually the whole cast is great with one glaring exception.  Arifin Putra who plays Adam, Dara’s son, gives an absolutely terrible performance and walks around as if his character were a robot.  There is a tree later in the film that has more charisma and screen presence, not to mention acting talent, than poor Putra.

As we are talking about a horror film here, surely there has got to be some gore.  Let me say that “Macabre” is an absolute blood bath.  Literally every character is covered in blood and every surface of the house is dripping in the red stuff before the conclusion of the film.  This is truly an incredibly bloody and gory film, but it is all good and entertaining stuff.  Any film that includes scenes with a chainsaw used for evil has got to be worth watching.  An image I am always drawn to is the “final girl” covered head-to-toe in blood, finally deciding enough is enough, and ready to take on the villain(s) at their own game.  I don’t know what that says about me, but it is an incredibly powerful image and has been seen in films like “The Descent”, “Eden Lake” and the grand daddy of them all, Brian De Palma’s “Carrie”.  Now “Macabre” has added its name to that list, and again I found myself drawn to that image.

Overall, “Macabre” is not a perfect film by a long-shot however it is always an enjoyable one.  For horror fans, there is nothing new to be seen here and a strong sense of “déjà-vu” may be felt throughout a viewing of “Macabre”, but the “Mo” Brother’s strong visual style and the performances from the cast, make it a worthwhile film to check out.  Just beware that this is an incredibly bloody film so it is obviously not going to be for everyone.

3 Stars.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


It wasn’t that long ago that the “home invasion” thriller was something that felt fresh and new in the horror genre, with films like “Them”, “Funny Games” and “The Strangers” leading the way.  Recently however, there seems to have been a glut of these types of films, so something that once felt fresh is now becoming the norm or worse, a cliché.  There really isn’t a lot you can do with the “home invasion” thriller to make it different or stand out from the crowd, in regards to story.  They all have a family being held captive in their own home while the criminals perform whatever task they have set themselves out to do, whether it is to just terrorize the family or if it is to rob the house of whatever possessions that may be of some value.  Eventually a family member may try to escape or protect his family, which results in the tension (and violence) to increase.  Like I said, this is beginning to feel like a cliché, so what can a director do when presented with this kind of material to be able to make it feel fresh and exciting again, and importantly, something that is a little different.  The answer is in the way he presents the film, via cinematic technique, which is exactly what director Miguel Angel Vivas has done with “Kidnapped” (“Secuestrados”) that makes it so fantastic and able to stand out from the pack.

“Kidnapped” does not stray from the normal set-up of these kind-of films.  It is about a family consisting of a mother and father, Marta and Jaime, and their eighteen year old daughter, Isa, who have just moved into a brand new home.  During the first night at the house, three hooded assailants force themselves into the place, holding the now terrified family hostage.  They are told to give up all of their cash and valuables, as well as their mobile phones and credit cards (with the pin numbers), and if this is done without incident, no-one would be hurt and the bandits would leave with their loot.  After they are satisfied that they have everything of value, one of the bandits forces Jaime to go with him in their car to an ATM so they can withdraw the maximum amount from each card.  He is told that if he tries to escape or talk to anyone once they are outside, he will call his friends, who are watching over the mother and daughter, and order their assassination.  As is the norm for these films, nothing goes as planned, as unexpected guests show up at the house, there is in-fighting amongst the bandits and eventually you know a family member will make some kind-of stand against these thugs.

This is an outstanding film from Miguel Angel Vivas, it is incredibly realistic and the tension is always kept to its absolute maximum throughout the whole running time.  However what makes “Kidnapped” something really special is the way the film has been shot.  The whole film is shot in incredibly long takes so that each scene is one single shot, which means that for the duration of the film’s 85 minute running time, there are only twelve shots.  This is just unbelievable when you watch the film because of all of the action that takes place, but it is obvious that an incredible amount of rehearsal would have been needed to pull this all off as brilliantly as it has been.  The camera can start a scene as one character’s point of view before it moves and the same shot than becomes an objective shot, but it is always done in a way that feels natural and doesn’t draw attention to itself.  The film begins very cleverly at what we assume is the end of the film with a character laying apparently dead with a plastic bag on his head (see poster).  He suddenly revives, calls his family, only to find out that they are all dead.  Normally when we see scenes like this at the beginning of the film, we assume it is a scene that the rest of the film leads into eventually, but here it is not the case, so while we may think that we are ahead of the filmmakers, that is not the case.  What we are witness to at the beginning of the film is actually the end of another robbery that this gang has committed, so while it may not have a great importance to the story we are about to see, it does reveal the lengths these criminals will go (something the characters within the story are unaware of), which helps in keeping the tension alive.  

The whole situation presented in “Kidnapped” is very realistic which again adds to the tension.  It is set up very nicely in the beginning with all of the family’s belongings being moved into the house by removalists, all while the family members go about their daily business.  Once the workers have gone and it is just the family that is left, the parents are in their room getting ready for dinner, while playfully arguing about a family disagreement.  It is during this moment of normality that the bandits unexpectedly break in by violently smashing a window.  It is such a shock because you just do not expect it, it doesn’t feel like the normal set up for a horror scare, it is incredibly realistic which makes it all the more terrifying.  To help keep this atmosphere, all of the actors pull off the fear of the situation, especially young Manuela Velles who plays the teenage Isa, so you believe that this is all happening now in the present.  Actually Manuela Velles probably has the hardest role in the film because it is her character that goes through the most physical and emotional turmoil and who has the biggest arc by the end.  Most of the violence in the film happens during the finale but when it does it is bloody and very painful.  This isn’t one of those horror movies where you go “Oh Wow! Cool effect!”, this is very real and extremely shocking.

As good as all of the above is, if there is one reason to see “Kidnapped” it is to witness the two split-screen sequences in the film.  After watching this film, I am sure that director Miguel Angel Vivas is a huge fan of Brian De Palma, who is often considered to be the king of split-screen filmmaking, but I even think that Vivas has actually one-uped the master by creating the best split-screen sequence I have ever seen, besting my previous favourite from De Palma’s “Sisters”.  Split-screen is usually used to show two characters performing different tasks at the same moment in time, and in “Kidnapped” we have two of them.  The first is when the women of the family separate themselves from their kidnappers and try to escape from a locked room.  Here we get the images of the girls trying to escape on the right side of the screen, with the bandits trying to enter on the left.  It is a powerful sequence with a great (and surprising) ending, but it is nothing compared to the next one.  The bravura sequence of the whole film is an amazing scene which lasts just over seven minutes in length which exhibits what both Jaime and Isa are doing at the same time while both are in different places, the father in the car with one of the bandits, the daughter at home.  I have no idea how they made the sequence work as perfectly as it does, because it is done to absolute pinpoint accuracy.  It is hard to talk about what happens in the shot because it nears the end of the film, but I will say that we follow these two characters via split screen for seven minutes which ends in a single shot of the father and daughter embracing.  Seriously the shot is stunning and I have never seen anything like it, and if for no other reason, you need to check out “Kidnapped” for this sequence alone.  I am sure even De Palma himself would be impressed by the scene.

Overall, while I understand that the graphic nature of the story may deter some people from seeing this film (not to mention the subtitles – did I mention the film was Spanish?), if you have any interest in cinematic technique and what can be achieved with it, I certainly recommend that you give “Kidnapped” a chance.  This is proof that if you be inventive you can still make a tired old cliché exciting and that is exactly how I feel about “Kidnapped” – it is exciting and bold cinema and I look forward to whatever director Miguel Angel Vivas delivers in the future.

4 Stars.