Indonesia, 2014, 111 minutes
The Golden Cane Warrior is a very fine martial arts drama from Indonesia. It debuts today, Tuesday, November 3rd on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD from Well Go USA Entertainment.
The film begins with a voice-over describing the true use of a warriors skills. Not to be able to kill, but "to be able to defend the weak and powerless." In other words, the true warrior uses his -- or her -- skills to benefit mankind.
|Merah Dara (Eva Celia Latjuba|
The speaker, we soon learn, is Cempaka (Christinne Hakim, Eat Pray Love and Merantau). She is the elderly and highly respected woman who heads Golden Cane House. (Note that the "cane" is what would more commonly be described as a staff.) She has four students. Merah Dara (Eva Celia Latjuba, Jamila and the President) is the younger of two females. Day Gerhana (Tara Basro, Killers) is the older female. Kala Biru (Reza Rahadian, The Mirror Never Lies) is the oldest of the four, and he is regarded as the most able student. These three were the children of rivals Cempaka was forced to kill. The final student is Angin (Ariia Kusumah), a young boy who had been abandoned and who reminds Cempaka of her greatest sin, which is eventually revealed.
Feeling the approach of death, Cempaka announces her choice of a successor and takes this student away from the small compound to pass on the ultimate move, Golden Cane Encircles the Earth. She also takes along one of the other disciples.
|Kala Biru (Reza Rahadian)|
But the remaining two are not at all pleased by Cempaka's decision and both agree that one of them is them should receive the Golden Cane. They plot to kill their master, obtain the Golden Cane and blame the two for these dastardly deeds.
The two students who went with Cempaka must seek the knowledge of Naga Putih, who knows how to perform the Golden Cane Encircles the Earth move, overcome their own limitations, avenge their master's death, and regain possession of the Golden Cane.
|Angin (Ariia Kusumah)|
Thus, The Golden Cane Warrior is another revenge film that utilizes the "you killed my master" trope. But it is a very superior one, and not just because of the fine work by action director Xiong Xin Xin. More to the film's credit is Ishansya's fine script, which truly has heart.
Audio - Indonesian 5.1 DTS-HDMA or Stereo 2.0
Subtitles - English / Off
Extras - trailer fo the film and "previews of three other Well Go USA releases (Kung Fu Killer, Vengeance of an Assassin, and Muay Thai Warrior)
AsianCineFest Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars; very highly recommended