Note: This is just my personal opinion on the movie. I’m not a professional reviewer or whatnot, so just take it as a long-winded blog post of a fangirl. More reviews can be found on the world wide web, like this one!
TL;DR – it’s EPIC and you should WATCH IT before it gets taken off the cinema.
Today I watched a local film after being intrigued by the wonderful trailer. I’ve been trying to help out with the local film industry by watching movies made by our local filmmakers, and to support our stars. After all, I’m Malaysian!
The movie was called ‘POLIS EVO’ and okay, I expected a cheesy film with lots of explosions, car chases, and hot cops running around. IT HAD ALL OF THAT AND SO MUCH MORE!
Watch the trailer here.
I loved so many things about the movie.
Great impressions, great scenes, great characters.
I loved how they started the movie, even from the beginning you could see the thought and detail into every move and every scene. The lighting, and atmosphere of the first scene itself kept you on the edge of your seat, and you knew. You knew that something was about to happen, and you couldn’t look away or you’d miss it. I don’t know the names of the actors, but the man who was acting as Adli, wow, he amazed me. I loved the little details that he managed to incorporate into his character – I do not know if he suffers from any ailments in real life – but you could see the way his hands shook as he did certain things, the way his mouth would wobble as he puffed on a cigarette. I loved how his character was so prominent despite a brief role. He left an impression even when he wasn’t there anymore.
I can say the same for many characters in Polis Evo. As someone who strives to work out the best characterization and motives for my own characters in my novel, I often love to pay attention to the characters on screen. Polis Evo had a great cast, and they seem to effortlessly bring life to their characters. Inspector Sani shows up as this cocky know-it-all Inspector in the beginning, who has a wonderful family, and throughout the movie, you can see him dwindle down to a genuine lovable person who cares deeply about the people around him. You can see why he’s a great Inspector in Terengganu. His interactions with his family was A++, and I loved the bickering between siblings and how he exerted his authority as the first-born through little things, like, “Come on wear your tudung” and his little sister obeys with a little huff. It’s little things like that, that really tells you the hierarchy in the family.
Inspector Khai seems like an aloof cool cop in the beginning, or ‘Supercop’ as he’s called in the movie. You’ll see his flaws a little later on, work-driven, head-strong, but so deeply affected inside. Wow. Even as I’m writing this, I think I’m being too corny, but I love the characters. He even has a dark and murky past to go with his ice-cold strong persona, but as he confides in his new partner, you can see his eyes turning red, and his voice shaking with emotion. Polis Evo, you did an amazing job.
I’d like to comment on all the characters but this post is already getting too long! Other lovable characters include the Chief Police Mokhtar, the villians whom I love, especially Jimbo. Jimbo is a ridiculous name but when used on this particular guy, you just want to run away and pretend you did not even think of laughing at his name.
Basically, great characterization and awesome cast.
Attention to detail.
They were careful about any injuries the actors/actresses had. For example, one of the main characters was shot earlier in the movie, and you can see the healing process throughout the movie! I thought that was a pretty fantastic detail that they didn’t miss. One of the actresses was choked in one scene, and when she finally wakes up, she had authentic looking bruises all around her neck. They paid attention to the finer details of the movie, which I did not expect as not a lot of movies would do so. Especially one touted as an action comedy.
Coherent, well-paced plot.
Oh, as for the plot. Well, it’s a standard cop movie, with the ‘I can’t be partners with this guy!’ trope. Many other tropes were also included in the movie, with the ‘good cop, bad cop’ sequence, ‘falling in love with partner’s sister’ romance section, and many others. Quite typical of any movie, but the key factor I’d say would be putting it all together coherently, and not become a mess. Some movies try to insert too many damn tropes and it gets convoluted and messy. I like how Polis Evo moves through its scenes. Things are happening, and you think you know what’s going to come next. You may be right, but it happens in a way that keeps you excited, and you’re rooting for the good guys! The sequence of events are done wonderfully, and moves through each plot with grace. I like that. I don’t feel bombarded, and as each trope comes and goes, it just feels right.
Pretty good soundtrack.
Music! Music plays an important role in any movie. I concentrated a lot on characterization and plot so I probably didn’t pay too much heed on the music. I do tend to get jarred by the storyline if the music doesn’t fit, so I assume that all went amazingly well-coordinated with the scenes. My sister commented that the music was good and I trust her tastes.
The language. Oomph. Beautiful. They spoke mostly in Malay and in the slang found in Terengganu. I confess that I had to read the subtitles some of the time to understand what they were saying. That accent is thick! But seriously, it is beautiful to listen to. So proud of this movie for keeping to the local dialect when filming!
Full of humor!
Did I mention the humor factor in this movie yet? It kept us in stitches when we watched the movie. A lot of the jokes came from the smart-aleck Inspector Sani, and also the bickering between the two partners. Really, I think I’m revealing too much about the movie already.
Other miscellaneous epic moments.
One of the things I loved about the movie was how they had ‘morals’. It’s like those fairy tales you read: don’t do this, or this bad thing will happen to you. I like how they were against smoking, and had a character who smokes constantly but against the barrage of nagging, finally stops. YES. SAY NO TO SMOKING.
Another thing is how they had a supposedly transsexual feminine-like man. There were no insults or jibes about it, it was just another memorable awesome character on screen. There were those little things that made me like the movie so much more as well. You know those little condescending glares people give when they see a Malay lady not wearing the hijab? Yep, those glares were caught on screen. These little details soothes my soul okay. People go through judgmental looks all the time, and I love how this movie did depict it.
Just the sweetest tinge of romance.
Hmm, what else. OH THE ROMANCE PART. Yay to a romance factor in the movie that did not end in kissing or whatnot. It’s my pet peeve in any movie (except romance because that’s the main thing in a romance movie I get it). Inspector Khai and his love-at-first-sight face was a sight to behold. And the giggly feels after that. Beautiful.
Okay, I think I’m done enthusing about this wonderful movie, and I’d like to recommend all of you to watch POLIS EVO! Support the local Malaysian industry! Then they can produce more epic movies like this one.
WATCH IT OKAY. OR YOU’LL GET SHOT.