The latest film from young director Syafiq Yusof, who is known for his action thrillers, is set to ignite the imagination of cinemagoers and potentially blow up the box office as well.
After all, his last kinetic film, Abang Long Fadil 2, managed to collect close to RM18 million last year, making it the highest grossing Malaysian film to date.
KL Special Force (KLSF), which opened in cinemas yesterday, stars two big talents in the local entertainment industry.
One fresh and hip, in the form of red hot actor Fattah Amin, and the other, the original Hero Malaya himself, Datuk Rosyam Nor.
The explosive combination is a winning one that’s reflected in the script, also written by Syafiq.
When met recently both actors praised the 25-year-old director for his fresh ideas, keen eye and vision in presenting an action film with depth.
“He’s maturity goes way beyond his age. He’s crafted something special with this new film,” says Rosyam.
Fattah adds: “It’s very different, not at all your typical local Malay film. And it’s got plenty of twists and turns. I think many people will be surprised and entertained as well.”
The film, with a RM2.5 million budget and shot in KL, Putrajaya and Ipoh, is said to be more serious and darker in tone than the usual local action film.
Rosyam plays Roslan, a veteran officer leading the titular fictional elite unit of PDRM (The Royal Malaysia Police), who has solved hundreds of criminal cases.
“I’m hot-tempered, egotistical and very set in my ways. I’ve got experience on my side and I get the job done by the book no matter what,” says Rosyam.
Fattah who plays Zul is a maverick young upstart with his own method of doing things and is eager to prove himself. Things heat up between the two macho individuals when Zul is assigned to the unit to help Roslan with the capture of an illusive gang of robbers.
Calling themselves Geng Anarkis, it’s led by the charismatic and manipulative Asyraff, played by Syafiq’s older brother Syamsul Yusof.
“The clash of old and new school thinking threatens to make the two doubt each other and stifle their ability to catch the criminals,” says Rosyam, who adds that everyone has secrets.
All of this drama will be accompanied by lots of giant fireball explosions. Thrown into the mix will be the destruction and flipping of a whopping 10 luxury vehicles as well to up the action stakes.
A cops and robbers film will not be complete without firefights, so expect a fair amount of gun play and whizzing bullets too.
In a film like this, action junkies can expect lots of dynamic movements and stunts as well and KLSF wholeheartedly delivers it in spades.
Although there were a dozen stuntmen employed to carry out the action scenes the actors did most of the stunts themselves. A newcomer to the action genre, Fattah said that it was invigorating.
“Sure, I had lots of scratches, cuts and bruises but thankfully there were no major injuries among the cast,” said the young actor.
In the film, Fattah can be seen, running a lot and jumping on and off vehicles.
One scene had him standing on a moving bus and another saw him systematically lowering himself down the side of a building.
He also shares a major fight scene with the sleek villain Asyraff.
“The fight choreography and action scenes were tough and draining but enjoyable to do. The cast and the whole production team put a lot of effort into the various action scenes. I hope the audience will get a thrill out of watching it,” he said.
Rosyam is no stranger to the action genre having starred in films like Castello, KL Gangster 2 and Kabali. But executing the action scenes in KLSF was still a tricky, if not hair-raising, experience.
“I was 50 at the time of shooting last year so it’s more challenging,” says Rosyam, who turned 51 on March 1.
His most harrowing stunt was when he had to slide down from a 7-storey building on just a rope.
“Syafiq was sadistic!” he says with a laugh, adding that he thought the director would use a stuntman for the job.
“But he wanted the audience to see me do it for myself. Then I had to psyche myself up and recite whatever I had to before going for it.
“As it turns out, he made me do it over and over again. I did it eight times. It was crazy,” he says.
Rosyam said that he got an earful from his wife later after she found out about the stunt.
“Praise God, everything went well and I’m glad that I did it,” says the father of five.
PLAYING COPS AND ROBBERS
When asked about playing a police officer, Fattah, 27, says that it wasn’t too hard.
“I did a lot of homework and Syafiq gave me a lot of guidance on what he had wanted for the character. And my father was a police officer, so I grew up with that,” he says.
“When I was a small boy I had wanted to become a policeman as well. But you know how kids are. One day you want to be this, the next day you want to be that.
“I had wanted to be a mechanic and also an uztaz,” says the star of hit TV dramas like Hero Seorang Cinderella and Suri Hati Mr Pilot.
He adds that being an actor enables him to live out his dreams by playing different characters.
Working with a senior and well-respected actor like Rosyam was also a big learning experience for Fattah.
“At first I was a little intimidated by him after realising I’d be sharing a lot of scenes with him.
“I told him ‘I’m just a new guy learning the ropes, it’s my first film, so I apologise if there’s any mistakes on my part,’” says Fattah of his first encounter with Rosyam.
He adds: “But he was very open and accommodating. He wanted us to work together.”
Rosyam says that Fattah was very quiet the first day he met him and asked for lots of advice.
“I told him that I wasn’t here to tell him what to do. Rather I wanted us to learn and discover things together while doing this film.
“I always go into a new film with nothing and build from there,” says the instinctive, award-winning actor.
Rosyam adds: “Fattah did well on this film. The audience will see a new side to his acting.”
Aside from the intense action and stunts, both actors also agree that KLSF features characters with back stories that will draw the audience in.
Syafiq had previously said that Asyraff was not a typical villain but someone motivated by his past and had a distinct ideology.
As Geng Anarkis confounds the police with their tactics and strategies at conducting well-planned heists, Asyraff also manipulates the emotions, minds and doubts of the Roslan and Zul, eventually pitting the two against each other.
Both suffer in respect to their personal lives as well. Roslan’s unwavering dedication to his job puts a strain on his family life and gets in the way of him being close to his wife Diana.
Zul also has similar troubles with his fiancée Mia, who is the daughter of the chairman of Bank Damofa Datuk Mior.
The slippery Geng Anarkis only robs the banks belonging to Datuk Mior.
This comes back to the point of the main characters having secrets that will all come to light once the story progresses.
“So there are lots of dramatic moments and sad parts as well. It wasn’t just about the physical aspects of the film,” says Rosyam.
According to Fattah, the dramatic portions of the role were what challenged him the most.
“That is what’s great about this film. All the action aside, it has a great story, characters and emotional content,” says the hunky actor of KLSF, which marks his big screen debut.
Rosyam says that he’s blessed to be able to collaborate and be part of this film, which features young talents who will be leading the next generation of actors and filmmakers.
“For an aged actor like me, I’m grateful that I was given the opportunity and trust to star in an action film such as this that’s different and fresh.
“I hope people will respond well to it and that it’ll set the standard for the local action film, as well as foster more collaborations between young and older talents,” he says of KLSF.
The 100-minute film, produced by Skop Productions, Damofa Productions and Viper Studios (that did the special effects), also stars Tania Hudson, Sabrina Ali, Putri Balqis, Mahmud Ali Basyah, Esma Denial, Liza Abdullah, Ramona Zamzam, Rafiq Salimin, Mustaqim Bahadon and Josiah Hogan.
KL Special Force is now showing in cinemas nationwide.