Sunday, March 08, 2015

Cicakman 3: A Movie Review

Guest Review by Mehmed Hossein

A potential new direction but a bad execution.

You don't need to watch the first two films to understand the film (For I myself did watch these two but it faded in my memory like dust). They reset the movie to a new character, a new era, and a new direction. The filmmakers sought to bring a gritty, added realism into the film which the first two lacks (its a satire spoof, come on). What they bring us is a story of a troubled father on the verge of divorce and he was given the chance to prove himself as he became the new Cicakman.

Click to read your own willingness to be spoiled!

It started with MakNyah terrorists (LGBT-biased) getting their ass kicked by a superhero known as SuperBro. At this point, the portrayal of MakNyahs and having them getting beat up seems insulting for this range of group. I am not sure what is the intent of the filmmakers whether they had extreme bias against these people.

Enter the main protagonist (Man) portrayed by Zizan, on the verge of divorce with his with wife, Linda, played by Lisa Surihani, who takes custody of the son, Boboy, which Id say, an annoying character. Adam who is also a police officer, brother of the head police chief, is into Linda as well.

With Zizan felt troubled by his situation and ignoring the help of his friend (I forgot his name), he discovers an emblem of Cicakman that belongs at the former statue. Zizan places the emblem back at the statue and discovered, a box belonging to the former Cicakman. So Zizan went home and he gets into a conversation with... a girl, who we will not remember her for the rest of the film other than being a damsel in distress temporary by gangsters of the area. So while she gets harassed, Zizan walks away to his house, un-boxing the box he found and discovered he has been chosen as the new Cicakman. So he wears the new suit, and with a sudden confidence, he goes down to halt the attack, hours later.

The girl is being harrased constantly, and for a long period of time. This number of people, this girl is close to being gang-raped and made this damsel in distress scenario close to a serious situation. Of course its a superhero movie made for general audiences but the timing and severity is too wrong. It took like 5 hours for Cicakman to halt the gangsters after she got first harrassed, by realistic she'd be in trouble by then. So Cicakman fights the gangsters, and lost. He have yet to discover his true potential and gets his ass kicked, simply because... He did not check the whole content of the box entirely. In that box contains the serum that will transform him into Cicakman (drugs are good for you). Only at this time, he really starts finding his true potential. He graduallyn unlocks his ability with his tongue, his moves in combat, wall climbing and so. So Cicakman once again halts the gangtsers for... harrasing the same girl again? Gee dear, If I were you, Id move out of the place immediately. But this time Cicakman kicks their asses and won the day.

So within these chapters is the struggle of Zizan reconnecting with his family, the intrusion of Adam, and his attempt to save the day when a train gets hijacked by a group of gangsters, only to have SuperBro intervene and finish the job. The crowd disregard Cicakman who saved the day and favors SuperBro more. This sense of superhero storytelling is good I must say. Later Cicakman gets his ass whooped by SuperBro because, SuperBro is a dick.

There is at one point, Zizan intervenes Linda's new job as a singer (quite good singing too) at a local bar (provided by Adam), at this point he discovers how much Adam is into Linda and found a folder in blood containing a photo of Adam and this certain guy.

So when Zizan returns, he discovered his friend got... sodomized by SuperBro? Well, that's the current situation. He found a robotic stick stuck up his friend's ass, and the friend felt traumatized. The friend is in dire trauma similar to a guy named Saif- oh I see.

The next day, Zizan is supposed to see his son's sports day. He deliberately misses a bus to the venue (such priority) and instead investigate a supposed suspicious truck he found at the bar where Linda sings. As Cicakman, a roof on a car chase ensues, but Cicakman gets incapacitated with a gun, shot at his chest. It was here that Cicakman found his full potential of self-generation. So he went to the sport's day venue extremely late and trying to explain to Linda why he missed his son's Sport's Day. He tells her the truth, which didn't work out well and gets told off by Linda. At the same time, Adam threatens the son to bury him alive for eavesdropping. For a guy who wants to bang this one chick, he certainly sucks at being a future foster father.

At this point, Zizan is at his breaking point, he burns his suit out of despair. As he walks close to the wall, he sees a wanted poster of the same man in a photo with Adam. Realizing Adam is a criminal, Zizan retrieves back his burned outfit. So what shall Cicakman do to prove himself worthy?

Cicakman proves himself a capable hero by...
Sending the pictures of Adam and the gangster leader to the police.

While I like the frankness and sudden move of this. Believe me, I snerk at this scene. Its not about how right or wrong his moves were, but how he solves it its like straight to the point no bullshit approach in solving the matter.

So Adam brings Linda to the pre-jubilee event where she will sing. I wonder why Adam has yet to notice his situation is in dire, but it was at this point where Adam proposes his love and marriage to Linda, but he reacted violently when he gets rejected. Talk about being a psychopath, in the long run if that's how you react to a rejection, they wont even accept you for being a violent person to be with. How violent can he be? Well, he shot an innocent sound mixer guy in the head for just... being there. Wow, I feel sorry and... ok. Guess he's beyond saving, he's a mad villain at this point. So he tied the mother and son and challenges Cicakman for a battle, out of anger? Well, that's pretty understandable.

So Cicakman comes to save the day, and fighting ensures. There are two points where the villain shoots an explosion round ammunition on... a Ferris Wheel, which I wonder why these people still continue on the Ferris Wheel while a destructive fight is ongoing nearby. So the occupants of the Ferris Wheel got into trouble and hanging, and Cicakman managed to save them. Secondly the villain aims another explosive round on... A baby's carriage? Dude, the baby? He might still be there or something. So Cicakman tried to stop the explosion and... well, it exploded... WHAT ABOUT THE BABY!? Oh my god, what the... well, Cicakman got kaput'ed on the floor, and he gets his ass beaten to a pulp. But don't worry, he has regenerative powers, all he has to do is to hold still until the villain's battery runs out... isn't this like... Reel Steel? Rocky? That scenario. So he managed to beat the villain once his battery ran out, by kicking him into the sea. Why? Because electronic suits like so is not-resistant to water (Wow, talk about military suit that has a weak point). But no, the villain rises up again, and only the battery really got drained out, he gets electrocuted (There's no electricity anymore!? ) and got blown into a fireworks. Yes, a fireworks with a muffled sound effect, and its not as good as the Kingsman.

Later, Cicakman is being awarded for his bravery, and he took off his mask to prove how much he will be a responsible man and father. At this point, I don't care about Identity secret sake, it's just divisive argument. And the mayor awards Cicakman with... surprise, a statue of him. How in the world the Jubilee event managed to build a new Cicakman statue within a few hours, despite for a long run the citizens of Metrofulus favors SuperBro more and they even have his image on banners and screens.


Overall this story... this is like Taken 3 plot... and old plots involving a 3rd man trying to woo the protagonist wife turns out to be evil wohodokohokokodo and its up to the protagonist to save the day and family from the evil villain. It follows the sense of heroes journey here but, execution wise it falls flat.

I barely laughed throughout this movie. Though that doesn't mean I didn't laugh at all. Only a few scenes made me laugh, and this is because of the politcal subtext that reflects our country involving butt-sex. Pretty much that.

Acting in this movie was divisive. Zizan and Lisa did a good job in their delivery. Fizz Fairuz is not great but his musings as SuperBro was amusing. Bell Ngasri puts a good performance as well. But the kid is so annoying. Every time he speaks, I let a loud breath. It's like I'm sure the kid would be ashamed of himself if his friends were to watch the movie and made a mockery of his annoying voice.

The fight scene choreography doesn't seem to pack enough wow factor. All I get is the character is fighting and that's that. At least its clear to me but it lacks the rhythm, rhythm as in the ones like you see in those old kung fu movies (mainly got it right), this movie lacks it, its a poor cover the take act with the magic of edit but it just kills the rhythm. I'd expect more from it. The last fight scene was poorly done as I recall Cicakman for awhile is doing good, suddenly he falls flat doom, only at the last minute he does his thing once again.

The picture was awful, and this was my biggest gripe when watching a film that supposed to be shot with a high end quality cameras. I noticed the shots are all completely devoid of noise, they de-noise the whole movie the picture looks waxy and awful quality. The lack of definition is marred by the softness and less sharp picture due to the de-noise filter. How bad it is on a big screen? It's like upscaling a 720p footage and they added a smooth filter. If it was shown on a TV screen it would be pleasing but for a feature film on a big screen, I'm sure KRU can do better at this. They did it well on their last few features. Cinematography-wise ignoring these waxy problems, they did a good job on alot of scenes especially the night scenes, except when it comes to vfx shots, it seemed too obvious. Color Correction applies, its only good at night scenes, but the daytime scenes are SO YELLOW.

The Visual Effects, in comparison to their old works, they leveled alot, but the result isn't that great. I myself was a VFX artist and I know a great deal spent on this film. Alot of effect shots has a bad definition to make it blend, most of the green screen shots seemed obvious because the effect plates they use is of low resolution. I'm not sure whether its intentional but its like divisive in terms of style. Camera tracking was good, but the render wasn't really great. The lighting was wrong and the textures resolution was too low. They did a good job at wire removal at least, but the green screen key isn't good enough because the lack of definition of the picture. Shots were combined with blurry edges it doesnt seem interesting enough. The motion graphics are great, they even recreate the Iron Man UI which is good (not that great),

Music in this film was forgettable, though the song Adiwira seems catchy. The sound effects in this film is good that it helps pack a punch during the fight scenes, it gives these a more momentum and impact, but during explosions, it doesn't feel like an explosion, it feels like a small fireworks that even a real fireworks sounded more menacing than what was presented in that film. Dialogue well has a bit share of problem, some lines were muffled, some voices feels dubbed, and some voices were tad way loud its out of balance.

This film, co-produced with Grand Brilliance, and Astro Shaw, at a budget of 3.5 million ringgit, still results in a congested sub-par movie. Being in the industry, I'm sure as hell there are a lot of grunts and dissatisfaction among the producers and the directors of the film. It seemed they hide it, but by the industry standard, I can tell how much they'd say it looks wrong at everything I nitpick in this movie. Overall, this movie tried enough, but its disappointing, I rolled left and right in my cinema seat with a lot of huge breaths let down.


the Charioteer said...

nice review.

munirah :) said...

Very nice review. Agree with most of them. I'm planning to watch the first two films, and then compare with the third one. There's just a lot of flaws in the third film, I'm so disappointed with KRU :(