Headshot ★★½

There are a lot of different reasons to make action films: to exhilarate the viewer by putting them in the protagonist's shoes, to wow them with the graceful beauty of the body in motion, to use violence as a glorious paintbrush for the sensuous possibilities of the cinema.

Or to present a catalog of indignities that can be visited upon the human body.

Have a guess where the guys who directed "L Is For Libido" (from ABCS of DEATH) fit in. That said, their tendencies are mitigated by the fact that their moments of indignity have to be choreographed, and such work is left to Uwais and his crew, and that's pretty awesome. And I do enjoy their use of overhead shots, even if I suspect it's fully endemic of me not having seen the dozens of other action films throwing drone shots in the mix.

But the specific gory sensibility of the Mo Brothers (who have also brought us the notorious if unseen by me MACABRE and KILLERS) is also part of the reason why anything resembling a human moment in this film outside of an action scene is completely fumbled. Remember how THE RAID started with a clumsy, on the nose moment where we meet Uwais's pregnant wife before he goes to work? Dramaturgically speaking, that's CAROL compared to anything here. I know we're not signing up for that side of things, but by the time our putative doctor is showing her patient x-rays in the rain while they're out on a date (she carries them with her?), it's all too silly for words. And silliness can be a tentpole for beauty or grace, or even exhilaration, but it just seems lame when it's a tentpole for grim.

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