Review: Buffalo Boys, 2019, dir. Mike Wiluan

I’m a simple man with simple tastes*. All I want out of my genre movies is genre stuff. So when I watch a martial arts movie, for instance, all I really want, nay, need, is a bunch of solid fight scenes to satisfy my hunger for kung fu kickassery. I’m not adverse to getting more than I pay for! But you’d best at least give me the most basic thing I’m paying for, y’know? 

So: Hurray Buffalo Boys. I don’t know if I can do the math on why exactly Singapore picked this movie to represent it at the upcoming Oscars (especially considering that they never even made the short list), but I’m glad they did. Prestige is, or should be, about more than glamour and self-importance. It should also be about plain ol’ goodness, and movies that communicate to their audience the joy of making movies. Any movie can do that. Take Buffalo Boys. I’d be surprised to learn that no one involved had a good time putting it together; here’s a movie that takes obvious delight** in its substance, in martial artistry, in dusty main street showdowns. 

You can read my full review over at Paste Magazine.


*Ha ha! Gotcha. I’m kidding. I’m actually quite complicated.
**Such as delight may reasonably be taken from depictions of brutal Dutch colonialism.

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