Bad Boys Bring it Home

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Polis Evo
Directed by Ghaz Abu Bakar


Review by freakykitty

As I write this review, Polis Evo has amassed RM13 million in its first three weeks of screening, as reported by Astro Awani, and it seems as if the industry has heaved a huge sigh of relief. The film, directed by Ghaz Abu Bakar, gives you everything you’d expect from a blockbuster, from their elaborate action sequences to the witty banter between the main characters, played by Shaheizy Sam (Manisnya Cinta di Cappadocia) and Zizan Razak (Cicakman 3).

A well-known Malaysian comedian, Zizan Razak is a testimony to what someone can achieve when you give them the time and space to do so. He was totally convincing as Sani, the funny family man who is also the down-to-earth Terengganu boy at heart. Against the macho supercop that was Shaheizy Sam’s character, Khai, Sani came off as your go-to guy, the more relatable abang yang suka lepak mamak, ever ready with the occasional sexist joke – which brings me to my next point.

Why have women in your films if you don’t really want them there? I could have counted the interactions the women had with the main cast on one hand. Thrilled when I first saw the female police officer, my excitement didn’t last long because neither did she. The daughter of the murdered man says about five lines throughout the movie; the rest of the time she’s in a coma, only to awake at the end to reveal that her father was actually the Malaysian version of Heisenberg from Breaking Bad. Nora Danish, playing the role of Sani’s younger sister, had the most screen time and even though it was painful to hear her Terengganu accent, she wasn’t all that bad. But even with all that, I was pleasantly surprised when the film ended without a single rape scene – and that counts for a lot.

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Watching the film, I found myself questioning a lot of the details. If Sani was shot in the right knee, how was he able to drive that forklift thingie? And how was there suddenly a brother dynamic between the bad guy’s henchmen? But then I remembered that, like a thousand other action films we have all grown to love and hate at the same time, nothing ever really makes sense.

So it says something that a film like Polis Evo made that much money. It shows that our audience is actually mature enough and very capable of appreciating film. Yes, stories like these may not get the best reviews in Hollywood, but here it means we’re moving towards something. This film had its ups and downs but it wasn’t just another action film jam-packed with big stars and huge explosions that fed their audience every tiny bit of information, which is something we’re used to in this industry. They gave us moments for suspense and proper emotions, along with some very legit comedic moments.

The fact that movies like Polis Evo and The Journey were able to make money means that the audience is practically dying of thirst for good content, and that shouldn’t be ignored anymore. Astro Shaw was smart enough to copy something well (i.e. Bad Boys) and make money out of it, but we need to understand that there is more to it than that. Money helps, but without content the industry will never move forward.

freakykitty is one of The 2020s, a group of young writers at Critics Republic.

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