I have always associated heist movie with clever plans and cool eye candies. So I was quite intrigued by The Professionals – mainly because of the cast. Seriously. I went in expecting to see those pretty faces neatly pulling various tricks, while looking dandy and suave. Nothing more. So when the movie turned out to be enjoyable, I was pleasantly surprised.
A few years back, Abi (Fachri Albar) was framed and wound up in prison. Now, he gathered a crew of clockmaker Cokro (Lukman Sardi), fighter Joe (Richard Kyle), hacker Ferry (Cornelio Sunny), and driver Sophie (Melayu Nicole) for a revenge against his former partners: Reza (Arifin Putra) and Nicole (Imelda Therinne).
The Professionals reminded me of a literature review. It reminded me of a time when I perused through a lot of journals and compiled the keynotes from each of them for a report. It’s just a secondary sources that offered nothing new or experimental. And that’s what The Professionals felt like. As if Baskoro Adi Wuryanto and Stella Gunawan watched those “best heist movies of all time”, made a list of “what constitutes a heist movie”, and then used that list as plot points for The Professionals. But it’s not all bad, though. Yes, it was predictable and it offered nothing new, nor any out of the box twist. But it also felt familiar and said cliched model made sure the movie was enjoyable.
Admittedly, it’s hard for me not to enjoy myself. I am a sucker for sharply dressed eye candies, and The Professionals was littered with such. Seriously. Fachri Albar looks sinfully dellish and Imelda Therinne’s dresses were all on point. So watching them pranced around on the screen along with other casts – whom, by the way, were also appropriately dressed – was pleasing. Even more so when they started doing those heist-ish tricks. Like infiltrating the building. Or hacking the security system. Or doing needless violence. Or trying to extract information by using “sex appeal”. Or racing through the street. Or just preparing for the big heist. You know, all those patented heist movie scenes to convinced us that they are the best in their field because they looked so damn cool doing what they do.
Thankfully, both Baskoro and Stella actually supported those scenes with proper narrative. It’s nothing beyond the typical revenge driven storyline, where the main character gathered a team for a mission which turned out to be not as easy as it seems. But it was neatly written. Like, it didn’t even try to be overly smart or groundbreaking. It stuck to the guidelines and did as supposed. A bit bland, true, but it was easy to follow. There were no unimportant side stories with no closure either, because Abi’s family story served only as additional background motive, as did Cokro’s. This was never about Abi and his family, or Cokro and his. This was simply a story about getting a revenge and taking pleasure from doing so. Which was nice. And they actually made good use of most elements that they showed in the movie, so kudos to that.
In term of characterization, The Professionals was as generic as they go. Fachri Albar played the brooding leader, Lukman Sardi played the uptight second-in-command, Richard Kyle played the good looking muscle, Cornelio Sunny played the rowdy hacker, while Melayu Nicole played the cool femme fatale. On the opposing team, Arifin Putra played the handsome douche while Imelda Therinne played the enigmatic-long suffering-second in command. Aside from Fachri Albar’s Abi and Arifin Putra’s Reza, everyone else were obviously plot devices – there only to keep the story going. Sure they had background, but it was mentioned offhandedly as a reason for their involvement in this whole scheme. Though I’m actually thankful for the lack of needless drama, which would surely be there had Baskoro and Stella explored their back story further.
Appropriately, the casts gave decent performances. Which wasn’t hard, considering it wouldn’t made much difference whether they acted or not. They could just be themselves in front of the camera and I would still think they were in character because their characters were that paper thin. But hey, at least Fachri Albar was good. I honestly think he was unfairly underrated, because Abi had the widest emotion range and the most coherent character of all. He had a bit of a lisp, yes, but outside from that, he was good.
And delicious. Arifin Putra was unsurprisingly good as the douchey Reza, even if it was just a variant of Uco. It’s impossible for Lukman Sardi to not be good, and Cokro kept stealing the scenes.
At the end of the day, The Professionals was a surprisingly enjoyable watch. Its by-the-book storyline was well structured and the heist was fun, with great scoring to boot. Even with such shallow characters and awkward dialogue, Fachri Albar, Lukman Sardi, and Arifin Putra shine. Especially Fachri Albar. Please give more love for Fachri Albar because him going up against Arifin Putra was such a sight to. Also, I’d like to thank Affandi Abdul Rachman for the generous amount of gratuitous shot. Way to make use of such assorted eye candies, and for enhancing the entertainment value.
Director: Affandi Abdul Rachman. Writers: Baskoro Adi Wuryanto & Stella Gunawan. Released on: 22 December 2016. Casts: Fachri Albar, Arifin Putra, Lukman Sardi, Richard Kyle, Cornelio Sunny, Imelda Therinne, Melayu Nicole.