A Tonally Disjointed Experiment That Misses The Target
Ever since Battle Royale became a household name back in 2000, films have been clamouring to replicate the same success that, and the more recent Saw films, have achieved. While many copycats have fallen by the wayside, Indonesian film Target promises to buck the trend, mixing a comedic flair with a more traditional thriller format. Featuring a colourful handful of characters and a nicely worked twist at the end, Target almost manages to stand out from the slew of other films in this genre but slips up with its tonally disjointed premise.
The story sees 9 Indonesian celebrities coming together to film a movie, simply referred to as “Target”. After enthusiastically entering a strange house devoid of crew or a Director, they soon come to realize all is not what it seems. What follows are a series of tests that push each of them to the limits, ending in a climactic free-for-all before revealing who the culprit really is.
For the most part, the story has a good pacing and thankfully avoids a lot of the usual gore and bloodshed that seems to have become a staple in this genre. The various characters depicted have good chemistry together too as they play their roles well, mixing comedy with melodramatic drama. Unfortunately the shifts between comedy and thriller don’t always mesh well and key moments in the film feel tonally confused and disjointed. When the blend works, it works really well; a few fight scenes late on inject the perfect amount of humour while keeping tension high. Other times the humour feels so left-field or out of place it offsets the entire tone of the film.
Props to Target for at least trying something different and at times, this Indonesian film has glimmers of brilliance in its genre-blending plot. Unfortunately the film fails to really inspire the right balance between comedy and thriller and because of that, it feels more lacklustre than it perhaps should. The film isn’t particularly funny nor is it a particularly effective thriller. It does make for an entertaining watch at times but Target misses the mark far too often, reducing it to a forgettable Indonesian experiment.