ALL flashy cars but no drive.
If it was great the first time, wouldn’t it be better on the second? I’ve taken a look at Abang Long Fadil 2 a comedy-action film by Syafiq Yusof and the question kept lingering in my mind as I watch the scenes notably fade away (there was a lot of fading-out in the editing of the transition of scenes) and the straightforward plot pushed into a predictable storyline. The sequel is a continuation on the life of Fadil (Zizan Razak) who was caught in the world of mafias, gangsters and having to deal with these issues with his humour and wits. An unexpected incident had caused the main character to be falsely accused of a murder and in the journey to clear his name; he was involved with an underground mafia, the police, a crazed assassin named Tiger and an eye-candy reporter. While being hunted by inspectors, Wahab (Syamsul Yusof) and Shuib (Shuib Sepahtu), Fadil was hired by Taji Samprit (A. Galak) and his son, Wak Doyok to assassinate their competition, King Kong (Dato’ AC Mizal) and he was also aided by news reporter, Yana (Tania Hudson) with her cameraman while the story begrudgingly progresses with little character development and an even messier presentation.
I couldn’t ignore how the hand-held camera moved and panned out and zoomed in as if it was another episode of the comedy, Keluarga Iskandar; there were too many unnecessary low and high shots which did not give an artistic turn to the camerawork thus, making the film look nothing more than a local TV drama. Hollywood is infamous for its shaky cameras to hide the fact that an action infused scene is heavily choreographed and there is the usage of stunt doubles but, it wasn’t executed well in Abang Long Fadil 2; it is quite evident that the actors were not punching each other which made it difficult to be impressed. The choreography is not very unique; it might be part of the jest that one of the action sequences is an imitation of a scene from the film, Kingsman however, it came out rather underwhelming. I do have to admit that a fight scene involving actor, Shuib was performed effectively even though the camera was rather wobbly and it was saved by the actor himself who seemed to give his all especially since he wasn’t given enough screen time in spite of being one of the most interesting roles in the film.
Wak Doyok’s debut in the feature film was surprisingly remarkable; I can confirm that the fashion icon can act and he stole the scenes where he portrayed the son of a gang leader who was also impatient to establish his own empire. It was unfortunate that the damsel in distress, Yana has a foreseeable fate and that her lines were delivered without any convincing emotion (the same can be said for actor, Syamsul Yusof) and depended on needless and exasperating hand gestures; director, Syafiq Yusof who is also one of the youngest in the industry could have paved the way for creating more realistic and diverse female characters since it is the 21st century. Zizan Razak carried the film on his shoulders particularly in ensuring that the gags are funny and not infuriating as they tend to loiter on some of the jokes in order to prolong an already failing punch-line (specifically the portrayal of a Sikh man by the Malay actor which is insensitive and tasteless). It’s a waste of having AC Mizal play twins with no distinctive personalities as they were both goofy, violent & have only slapstick infused jokes; it would have been more entertaining & a window to the actor’s talent if he were to play two characters who are very different. As for comedian turned actor, Achey (Bochey), I would have understood his lines more if he were to say them normally than shout them just to justify his emotions (one can act without unnecessary voice projections).
Credit must be given to how the film did not take itself seriously with an engaging opening sequence as well as breaking the fourth wall with the ending. For a film that labelled it as an action-comedy, it depends on the viewers on whether it upholds that genre; the director may be young but he had seven films under his belt which was more than other older directors had i.e. Yasmin Ahmad and Dain Iskandar Said which means that he had the experience to learn and to develop his work. A question that must be considered and be individually retorted is; does Abang Long Fadil 2 has the makings as the movement in our local film industry as promised by Datuk Yusof Haslam in his speech before the film premiered? Or do we still need more productions to properly ascertain how far we’ve come?
Abang Long Fadil 2 is in cinemas now.