13 Bom: Indonesia’s Die Hard-like action thriller

13 Bom: Indonesia’s Die Hard-like action thriller

As I nestled into my seat for Angga Sasongko’s latest film, ‘13 Bom,’ my initial concern was my growling stomach. I had plans to grab a bite during a lull in the action, but that moment never came. Instead, I found myself engrossed in a relentless display of gunfights, fistfights, and car chases for the next two hours.

A bit of transparency here: I’m on the board of Visinema, the studio behind ‘13 Bom.’ In this review, I’ll share both what I loved and what I thought could be improved.

The film’s non-stop action brought to mind the likes of ‘Die Hard’ or a typical Jason Statham movie. When I asked Angga about the sparse character backgrounds, especially compared to his previous work, ‘Mencuri Raden Saleh,’ he said he wanted to create an action-packed experience for the audience.

Visinema’s decision to use real ammunition added a layer of authenticity. Ganindra Bimo, who plays Emil, the Counter Terrorist team leader, mentioned that the live ammunition made their reactions more genuine, differing significantly from his previous action roles.

I was on set for one of the explosion scenes, and even at a safe distance, the intensity was palpable. This dedication to realism in action sequences certainly paid off, making the scenes more immersive.

The cast was full of strong female characters that kick-a**. Agnes, Karin, and Gita, played by Lutesha, Putri Ayudya, and Niken Anjani respectively were not mere bystanders.

Rio Dewanto, as the antagonist Arok, delivers a standout performance. His portrayal of a grieving father turned terrorist leader is both deep and engaging, skillfully balancing emotional depth with action-packed sequences.

The subplot involving Walujo, the brains behind the bombs, adds another layer of intrigue and emotion to the narrative.

The film also touches on the dangers of financial Ponzi schemes and their impact on vulnerable individuals. While this adds a layer of social commentary, delving deeper might have extended an already lengthy runtime.

The inclusion of Indodax as a sponsor is noticeable but doesn’t overwhelm the story. The script cleverly integrates this element, allowing the narrative to flow naturally.

‘13 Bom’ is not a film for those seeking deep drama and complex character development. It’s an unapologetic action thriller that delivers precisely what it promises. If you’re looking for a film that exemplifies the excitement of an Indonesian ‘Die Hard,’ ‘13 Bom’ more than satisfies.

Check out the movie in theaters next week.