Ever wondered how the lives of UTK (Unit Tindakhas) agents are especially during one of their discreet yet vital missions? Well, J Revolusi do come close to portraying the Malaysian heroes in action complete with an obvious villain, the exceptional main character with a heart of gold and the traditional plot twist in spy movies. J Revolusi gave us a fictional spectacle into UTK operations when the film opened with a UTK agent, Jay Zulkarnain (Zul Ariffin) who was unable to rescue another agent who is also his sister, Dian (Nur Fazura) after an attempt to arrest a terrorist involved with the film’s primary deadly weapon; a drug known as ULTRA VIRUS. The story follows Jay in his struggles to find his sister and the obstacles he would have to face such as sacrificing his good name as an agent in order to free a beloved sister and his complicated relationship with the captain of the squad as well as the palpable anti-hero who is always in his way, Andra (Farid Kamil).
The film is packed with stunning action sequences especially one involving the agents opening fire at the enemies during an operation and another of an adrenalized chase in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. The fight scenes are also notable and sharply edited as it did not hold back in capturing the actors’ precise movements i.e. between Jay and an agent under orders, Eddie (Izara Aishah) in the compound of a small room and a heart-stopping bordering humours scene between Jay and a trained fighter in a gym. Though, there is the questionable camerawork of focusing too much on the actors’ faces that they filled the screen and left no space for viewers to enjoy the landscape. The flashbacks of Dian and Jay as children are explanatory but the repetitive sequences seemed unnecessary and they could drag the storyline a bit from other dynamic scenes.
Zul Ariffin is likable as the lead and it is evident in his performance that he wasn’t trying to imitate other well-known spies in other franchises like James Bond and Jason Bourne since he played a knowledgeable and charming agent who is loyal to both his team and his family. Supporting characters are not wasted on the side-lines like Skodeng (Azad Jazmin) who carried the film solely with the chemistry he shared with Jay and his effective punch-lines, Eddie who depicted the non-stereotypical Malay female character and was a breath of fresh air and other minor roles like the cameo by Hans Isaac. Unfortunately, the central baddie, Andra fell a bit flat and his motive of selling such a fatal weapon and his hatred for Jay and the world was unclear and almost baseless.
Meanwhile, some scenes are not executed efficiently i.e. the auction held where the ULTRA VIRUS was an item for sale and a short and sentimental scene between Skodeng and his mother as he apologised for keeping his profession a secret. Though, these are saved by other acts like the comedic dinner scene at Skodeng’s house and the UTK agents in combat. It’s quite unfair to quickly put Zulkarnain Azhar’s directorial debut at par with Hollywood productions however; the comparison is justified as the film could hold its own against typical and contemporary Western action blockbusters and it is undeniable that the film is the needed cinematic tribute to the UTK. J Revolusi is in theatres now.
Featured image; J Revolusi’s poster.