Foxtrot Six marks the reappearance of Mario Kassar. Through the 80s and 90s, Kassar was a producer on an incredible number of notable films. Starting out with the classic ghost story The Changeling and Superstition. He co-founded Carlco Pictures which had a string of hits that included The Terminator, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, First Blood and Cliffhanger.
But since the epic disasters that were Showgirls and Cutthroat Island in 1995, he’s kept a low profile, mostly with credits on sequels to his earlier films. But now he’s re-emerged with Foxtrot Six, a dystopian near-future action film from Indonesia. Can he still deliver the goods?
A few years from now drought plus overpopulation has pushed the global food supply to the breaking point. In Indonesia, one of the few fertile regions left, the Piranas Party has used this to rise to power. But as things get worse a rebel group The Reform has risen up. Angga (Oka Antara, The Raid 2) an ex-special forces officer turned politician is captured by the rebels. Who it turns out are led by his presumed dead ex Sari (Julie Estelle, The Night Comes for Us). Of course, he realizes the error of his ways and joins them.
He puts his old unit back together. Oggi (Verdi Solaiman, Message Man), the slightly psycho Bara (Rio Dewanto, Gundala), Tino (Arifin Putra, Macabre), hacker Ethan (Mike Lewis, Dead Mine). And adds Reform sniper Spec (Chicco Jerikho). After their attempt to thwart a false flag attack by government forces goes spectacularly wrong, they’re left with only one option. Infiltrate the government’s stronghold.
Foxtrot Six was shot in English with an Indonesian cast and crew. That includes writer/director Randy Korompis. The result feels like an American action film shot in Indonesia rather than an Indonesian film like The Raid or Headshot.
That’s one of two missed opportunities that stop Foxtrot Six from reaching its potential. The other is that after establishing a potentially interesting dystopia it all but ignores it in favour of a straightforward action plot. About all we see of this future are a couple of neat weapons including a Predator like invisibility cloak.
Foxtrot Six was shot on a budget of $5,000,000 and it’s amazing how much farther it goes in Indonesia than in the US. It may not be quite the epic Kassar was producing in his prime, but it has production values that rival $40-50,000,000 films.
Taken for what it is, Foxtrot Six is a good film. At just under two hours it does run a bit long. However, the last hour is pretty much nonstop action as our heroes storm the Piranas complex. There are the usual cliches, but they tend to pay off nicely. For example, a scene, where the hero and bad guys drop their weapons and trade punches. This turns into a brutal fight between Bara and five enemy soldiers. There’s also a mid and a post-credit scene to watch for.
Lionsgate is scheduled to release Foxtrot Six on DVD in North America on April 14th. It’s already available in several other countries. The film’s Facebook page might tell you which ones if you speak Indonesian.