Timo Tjahjanto, best known as the one-half directing duo of The Mo Brothers alongside Kimo Stamboel, is no stranger to making graphically-violent action movies seen in Killers (2014) and Headshot (2016). Tjahjanto continues the same path in The Night Comes For Us, marking his (fourth) solo directing effort without Stamboel, who only served as one of the producers this time around.
His latest action movie, in which Tjahjanto also received a solo screenwriting credit, is as simple as it goes: Ito (Joe Taslim) is a top enforcer working for Chien Wu (Sunny Pang), a Macau-based triad boss of the notorious crime organisation known as the Six Seas. One day, Ito went rogue when he ended up killing his own men for the sake of saving an innocent little girl Reina (Asha Kenyeri Bermudez), whose parents were all brutally massacred. Ito’s grave mistake prompted Chien Wu (Sunny Pang) to deploy his best enforcers — including Ito’s childhood friend Arian (Iko Uwais) as well as two lesbian assassins, Alma (Dian Sastrowardoyo) and Elena (Hannah Al Rashid) — to bring him down at all cost.
It’s a shame that Tjahjanto’s minimalist storyline is served more like a placeholder to fill in the gap of the movie’s two-hour running time. Even with the addition of flashbacks during the second half that shows some backstory on the main characters, it doesn’t really add much to give the movie a necessary dramatic impact.
But if you are here for the action, that’s where The Night Comes For Us doesn’t disappoint. With the help of cinematographer Gunnar Nimpuno, he makes sure every physical impact and the intensity of sound — regardless of punches, kicks, stabbing, gunshots or explosions — is vividly executed to the point you feel the pain as you watch the action unfolds. Tjahjanto also manages to find creative ways of using props like cow femur, stainless steel wet floor sign and retractable blade knife to either injure or kill a character as merciless as possible.