Saturday, September 2, 2017

Abang Long Fadil 2 [2017]

Director: Syafiq Yusof
Writer: Syafiq Yusof
Starring: Zizan Razak, Syamsul Yusof, AC Mizal, A. Galak, Wak Doyok, Tania Hudson, Shuib Sepahtu, Achey Bocey, Mas Khan
Genre: Action/Comedy
Rating: General
Verdict: "Syafiq Yusof's best work to date..."

About
Fadil now roam the streets alone. He tries to leave his gangster life behind, but at the same time at loss on how to start anew. After an acting gig that goes awry, he tries his hand at being a gigolo instead, but that leads to a series of misunderstandings that results in him being hunted by the police and gangsters alike.



Review
There's plenty to commend in Syafiq Yusof's latest effort. No doubt, comparisons will be made with the last great Malaysian action movie: Polis Evo [2015]. Sure, Polis Evo is the superior movie pound-for-pound, but only by a few points: the story is more inclusive, it was shot and edited with surgical precision, and director Ghaz Abu Bakar handled things with much surer hands.

The big 'however', however, is that they're both really different movies going for very different things. Simply put, if Polis Evo is Eine kleine Nachtmusik; then Abang Long Fadil 2 is March of the Swiss Soldiers (from William Tell Overture).

Right out of the gates, ALF2 invites the audience to just have fun; perhaps (or perhaps not) throwing a shade at KL Gangster [2011], along with a respectful nod to all the stunt personnel they've worked with, and all the glass they've broken - reportedly, 36% of KL Gangster's RM 1.51 million budget was allocated to glass alone [citation needed].

From then on, it was all laughs when there's no action, and plenty of action when there are no laughs - and managed to do it all without being brainless.

You see, despite the title, ALF2 bears little to no resemblance to its predecessor, which felt like a series of images Syafiq Yusof had in mind before the story was even written (unlikely to be the case, but as an audience, that's how it felt like).

With ALF2, the crowning achievement is in its story. As with plenty of local movies, they tend to lose steam very soon after the opening scenes. But in ALF2, the narrative thrust is such that every scene sets up the next, so everything that don't contribute to advancing the plot were left on the cutting room floor; no character was wasted, and no laughs were unearned.

And so with ALF2, I went from just admiring his skills from afar, to wanting to clap him on the back and say, "Congratulations!"

So, yeah. Congratulations, Syafiq Yusof. For better or worse, I shall be looking forward to your next movie.

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