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We Will Not Die Tonight [2018]: ‘NYAFF’ Review

All through the film, I kept looking for it to redeem itself, but alas there wasn't anything here. With every passing minute, I somehow wished the title of the film proved to be wrong and for everyone to burn and die. I denounce this ugly patch of randomness to be even called a film.  This is just uninteresting garbage sold as a festival film. 

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We Will Not Die Tonight [2018]: ‘NYAFF’ Review

After the emergence of the rib-cracking, spine-chilling Indonesian martial-arts film – The Raid, a sprawling number of action films came out in most of Asia with minimalistic narrative elements and tons and tons of action. Richard V. Somes’s “We Will Not Die Tonight” also falls into the same category. Wherein, the initial premise – including the lead protagonist and her life motivations are established in around 20 minutes, also setting up the central conflict while the rest of the runtime relies completely on brutal and grimy cat-and-mouse fight. However, the film doesn’t really hold your interest even for the initial 20 minutes to sustain its existence. 




 

The film revolves around Kray (Erich Gonzales) – an underpaid, underappreciated stuntwoman who is often dissed by her directors and production assistants over her outdated 80s action style (A direct reference to its influence The Warriors?). She, on the other hand, works really hard to be the best not only because she needs to take care of her ailing father but because she is a FIGHTER (A voice-over confirms this). When she is hard on cash and really struggling to think of more ways to get proper care for her dad – her old gang reunites for what seems to be a big-earning gig. And of course things don’t go off as planned and the big-earning gig turns out to be a human-trafficking-cum-drug-peddling bunch of hooligans with a lot of cliched hubba-hubba. 

The conflict arises when the morality of Kray and her friends steps between the drug traffickers who have lost theirs. These are a bunch of people who are so high on their own supply that they fail to understand that sliting small children in front of their possible new employes wouldn’t do them any good. Which is why, when the dispute happens it results in complete enrage and also gives a big, stupid fuck-off to the narrative in question. The rest of the runtime is either consumed in shouting out dumb expositionary dialogues or completely redundant blood-splatter. 

Even after considering the fact that Richard V. Somes’s film is a low-budgeted genre affair with only 8 days of the shooting schedule there’s simply nothing in the film that is worth recommending. Even the 20 minutes prelude that introduces us to Kray and her friends is peppered with bad acting and blander expositions. 3 of these minutes are dedicated to showing Kray’s toned body as she practices her kicks in slow-mo to loud American music. Moreover, the action sequences, which are mostly shot in stark red light or dark grimy sepia tone are absolutely repetitive and bland. 




 

All through the film, I kept looking for it to redeem itself, but alas there wasn’t anything here. With every passing minute, I somehow wished the title of the film proved to be wrong and for everyone to burn and die. I denounce this ugly patch of randomness to be even called a film.  This is just uninteresting garbage sold as a festival film. 

½

‘WE WILL NOT DIE TONIGHT’ PREMIERED AT THE NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2018.
BUY TICKETS HERE.

 

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