The thrilling story of an ex-con looking to avenge his murdered family, helped by an eccentric assistant.
This review of the Netflix film The Assistant (2022) does not contain spoilers or any major plot points.
Netflix has released the Malaysian action-adventure film The Assistant, where we follow the intense story of a man who lost his whole family while being incarcerated. Carrying the grief of not only losing his family but losing years of his life behind bars, once released, Zafik embarks on a vigorous, violent journey to find the killers and avenge his wife and son. He doesn’t do this alone; he is helped by an unlikely assistant.
The film starts slow but is intriguing. We’re introduced to Zafik, who is traumatized by the loss of his child and wife and is on a mission to find the people who killed them. He is propositioned by Feroz, who is a crazy, unhinged character and helps bring justice. Together, they embark on the journey of a lifetime filled with vengeance and retribution.
Ledil Dzuhrie Alaudin, Hairul Azreen, and Kin Wah Chew give great performances, all very honest and passionate. Feroz’s character is a great, maverick, insane choice who helps drive the story along with added intensity and humor. He is both a guardian angel, saving Zafik multiple times throughout the film, and then also a wild card, turning out to be closer to Zafik than we first think. The two female characters are unconventional, they are intense, feisty, and strongly mirror those actions of the men around them.
The storyline is intense, and slowly and dramatically builds with a surprising plot twist. There are little twists along the way, and as you’re watching, you can tell something is going to happen, and you’re trying to guess what the twists will be. As the film develops, so does the action, and there are some powerful, well-constructed fight scenes. They’re filmed in tightly controlled spaces, which compliments the explosive energy. The cinematography is clear, and there is frequent use of neon-lit scenes, giving a sensory style to this film.
Overall The Assistant is a good watch; for a low-budget production, this action film is a real competitor. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to a typical action film, and there is comfort in what we know and expect from this genre. With a runtime of just over two hours, it’s a decent length, and there are subtitles available. I recommend watching it if you’re a fan of crime, action, and thriller films.
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