Not Rated | Color | 121 minutes
Directed by Timo Tjahjanto
Also Known As: La noche nos persigue
Purchase it: N/A (Currently only available to stream on Netflix.)
Review originally posted on Patreon on February 28th, 2020.

When I first saw the trailer for Timo Tjahjanto’s THE NIGHT COMES FOR US, I quickly added it to my Netflix queue… and promptly forgot about it. Nearly two years later, I finally watched it, picking it randomly from my extensive watch list, and boy was I glad I did!

Set in a dark underworld of crime and extreme violence, THE NIGHT COMES FOR US tells the redemption story of Ito (Joe Taslim), a Triad assassin. Once part of an elite group of killers known as the Six Seas, Ito is now a hunted man after sparing the life of a child named Reina (Asha Kenyeri Bermudez) and killing his own men instead.

Seeking refuge and help from his former gang, Ito brings the full wrath of the Triads down upon them. This triggers a series of escalating, gruesome fights as they struggle to protect young Reina from relentless killers. The battles are filled with arterial sprays and bone-shattering impacts, becoming increasingly violent, and often hilariously so.

While the plot is thin and the redemption arc isn’t fully developed, the film’s appeal lies in its relentless action. Expect bone-snapping martial arts, and gory gun and knife fights where necks, backs, and limbs are broken; people are sliced, diced, stabbed, disemboweled, set on fire, blown up, and riddled with bullets. Just when you think the violence has peaked, THE NIGHT COMES FOR US raises the stakes even higher.

The cast is excellent, with standout performances, particularly from Zack Lee’s Bobby, who steals the show in a mid-film battle against a horde of knife and axe-wielding henchmen. As Ito’s old friend, Bobby is over-the-top and dishes out substantial punishment before meeting his end, earning a measure of redemption for his past.

Joe Taslim’s portrayal of Ito is formidable, convincingly embodying his character’s brutal and relentless nature. His adversary, Arian (Iko Uwais of THE RAID films), is a fellow gang member turned rising Triad star. Arian is a skilled fighter nearly as unstoppable as Ito. Despite his internal conflict over killing his former friend and the others protecting Reina, Arian’s thirst for power leads to a bloody showdown.

Though set in a predominantly male world, the film features multiple badass female characters. Elena (Hannah Al Rashid) and Alma (Dian Sastrowardoyo) are lesbian lovers and Six Seas members. Elena nonchalantly slashes through her foes, while Alma uses a razor-sharp piano wire with deadly efficiency. The mysterious “Operator” (Julie Estelle) is on a mission to eliminate the Six Seas and their leader. She proves to be the ultimate badass, besting Ito in a one-on-one fight and holding her own against Triad thugs led by Elena and Alma near the film’s climax.

The fight choreography, camerawork, and editing in THE NIGHT COMES FOR US are exceptional. Indonesian filmmakers once again outdo their American counterparts, crafting well-executed fight scenes where every detail is visible. Although there’s a brief, clumsy “Go-Pro/Over the Shoulder” sequence when Ito battles through an army of foes, it is mercifully short and not repeated.

I highly recommend THE NIGHT COMES FOR US. What it lacks in plot and substance, it more than makes up for in action and sheer carnage. However, if you’re squeamish or uncomfortable with scenes of children in danger, you might want to skip this one.