A 20-man squad of elite police officers arrives at an apartment block in the slums of Jakarta. Among them is rookie Rama (Uwais) and Lieutenant Wahyu (Gruno), who is leading the raid. Their goal is to kill ruthless crime lord Tama (Sahetapy), who runs his drug business from the 15th floor. Once inside the building, Tama's lookouts sound the alarm, and the police get ambushed by an army of criminals with impressive martial arts skills. With many of them dead and no exit in sight, the surviving cops are trapped. Fighting like a caged animal, Rama presses on with his mission.
Welsh director Gareth Evans delivers a non-stop whirlwind of combat and carnage, barely stopping for breath in this taut thriller. The fighting style is the traditional Indonesian martial art of pencak silat, and the choreography performed by star Uwais and Yayan Ruhian is fast and furious. The interior locations provide a claustrophobic atmosphere; a particularly tense scene involves a machete thrust through a partition coming within micro-millimeters of the hidden men. Uwais demonstrates a balletic grace in dispatching scores of bad guys, and underneath it all, you sense a gentle, sensitive soul. Do yourself a favor and catch the original before Hollywood does its inevitable remake!