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The rising (action) star of Iko Uwais

By Say Peng  /  19 Jul 2018 (Thursday)

Indonesian martial arts action star Iko Uwais is certainly making a name for himself in recent years.

Trained in silat since he was 10 years old, Iko was working as a driver for a telecommunications company when, in 2007, Indonesia-based Welsh director Gareth Evans, who was filming a documentary about silat in Iko's training hall, spotted him and decided to cast him for his next project, the martial arts action film Merantau.

It was the beginning of a long and fruitful working relationship, and the start of Iko's career as an action star.

In Merantau, Iko plays countryboy Yuda, a silat expert who leaves home to try to find success in the city, but instead he is plunged to the seedy world of human trafficking. 

The opening film of the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea, Merantau was a huge success, catapulting both Evans and Iko into the spotlight. 

Their next movie took action up to a whole new level.

The Raid is a survival horror action flick, with the action part pushed to the extreme. It is chock full of intense fight sequences such as the above.

With massive critical and commercial success of The Raid, Evans and Iko became the new face of Indonesian action cinema. 

They followed up with The Raid 2, which, like the first film, spares no bones.

Iko's next action film is Headshot.

Directed by Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto, Headshot follows Ishmael (Iko), a man who suffers from amnesia, 

The film also stars Singapore's rising action star Sunny Pang.

With three highly successful high profile films, Iko is ready to play on a bigger stage.

He played a supporting role as Sua, the leader of an underground human resistance, in the American science fiction alien movie, Beyond Skyline

It was Iko's first foray into Hollywood.

Mile 22, Iko's upcoming movie, is probably the biggest movie yet. 

Starring alongside Mark Wahlberg and John Malkovich, Iko plays the mysterious police officer Li Noor who knows some top government secret, and he has to be smuggled out of the country by Mark Wahlbergh's James Silva, an elite American intelligence officer. 

Naturally, there are bad guys who want to kill Li Noor, and all hell breaks loose.

We can't wait to see the movie and see what crazy stunts Iko will pull off.

We also heard that Iko has now got his own martial arts show on Netflix! 

This is a milestone - not just for Iko, but for Southeast Asia's action stars.

We can't wait to see what new heights Iko will scale. What we know for sure is that Iko will keep fighting his way to the top.

Mile 22 will open in Singapore cinemas 16 August.
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