We Watched ‘Badang’ So You Don’t Have To. Here’s Our *Honest* Review

We think our brain cells just died.

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We Watched ‘Badang’ So You Don’t Have To. Here’s Our *Honest* Review
Images: FITA Studios
SPOILER ALERT: This review contains some minor spoilers, but to be honest, we want to spoil the movie for you so that the movie won't spoil your life.

If you’ve heard of the currently trending Malaysian movie 'Badang', then you should have a slight idea on what people have been saying about it. (Read: BAD)

Every day, we see Malaysians weighing in on the movie. We know for sure that 95 per cent of those who commented on the movie haven’t seen it but they still think it’s a really bad movie, thanks to a few unflattering reviews.

The lead actor of the movie, Datuk Seri Aliff Syukri, even made a video pleading to netizens and keyboard warriors to stop bashing him and “appreciate his talent.”

But what’s even more unnerving was the fact that he had the audacity to claim that "Badang is way better than Black Panther". Seriously, bro?

So, how bad is bad? Our curious bones were aching to find out what the fuss is about, so we decided to give 'Badang' the benefit of the doubt and brave the one-hour-45-minute torture movie.

To our surprise, there were two other people in the cinema with us, who probably have no idea the nightmare they’re about to experience.

#1 Originality

Is Badang our next neighbourhood superhero?
Right off the bat, you’ll see 'Badang' completely ripping off Marvel’s signature intro – the comic book-style flip pages, the font, the fight scenes and the introduction of characters.

The movie was directed by Professor A. Razak Mohaideen, who happens to be a faculty dean in real life, so of all people, he should know not to plagarise, right? But strangely, he either missed a production meeting about the intro or he was so inspired by Marvel's intro scene that he made a blatant copy out of it! Well, it can't be the latter right? So he must've missed the meeting.

When we heard about this movie, we thought it would portray the Badang we all knew growing up – a superhuman who gained his extraordinary abilities after eating a genie’s puke. However, we felt cheated when we found out that this traditional Malay folklore has been taken out of context and the name Badang was used merely to give a nice ring to the lead character’s name, Bad.

If someone were to take the legendary Badang and elevate it into a modern superhero, we’d have no qualms about it. Sadly, this Badang gained his super powers due to the fact that he was born in a bamboo.

So, he now wears a lime green costume with an 'Alien vs Predator'-ish face mask and proudly parades around taking selfies with his fans and doing media interviews when he’s not too busy. Sounds familiar, huh?

Badang taking selfies with his fans at a random mall.
Badang has super strength and the ability to be invisible, but he has one major weakness though; if he comes into contact with water, all his powers will be stripped. Here's the best part: his best friend conveniently tells the whole world during a media interview - at the beginning of the movie! So, thanks best friend, now we all know how this movie will end.

But okay lah, we guess there was a bit of originality when it comes to character development, but it’s a shame that the mighty hero was portrayed that way. We demand justice for the real Badang!

#2 Acting

This is how we look after leaving the cinema.
To be honest, the casting seems a bit odd. They decided to cast cosmetics entrepreneur Aliff Syukri to play Badang. Was this an elaborate marketing ploy? We think so.

Aliff is quite a character in real life, especially if you’re familiar with his online antics. Due to this, people were curious to see if his real-life personality will translate into his acting.

True enough, not much acting was required (or done) by the man who rose to fame with his 'Terlajak Laris' tagline because it felt like we were watching him play himself on screen.

There were quite a number of scenes where it was very clear that he was overreacting, which really annoyed us. From elaborate gasps and popping eyes, he's got it all covered (to our horror).

Talking about getting annoyed, there’s another character that we feel was so badly casted, we felt like stabbing our eyes everytime he came on screen. 

Sarip or Arep, played by Azhari Zain, is supposed to be a 25-year-old student in this movie, but look at him, he looks at least 40! Heck, he could play the role of Bad's dad or uncle.

We cringed every time we see him trying to fit in with a bunch of 20-year-olds in class, and trying so hard to be funny with his over-the-top expressions.

So, why did  they cast him? No one knows for sure, so we can add this to the list of the world's greatest unsolved mysteries along with UFOs and the Bermuda Triangle.

This is Badang's 25-year-old best friend.
When Bad and Sarip appear on-screen, it was quite a deadly concoction: they often talk in a loud and overdramatic manner, so when they exchanged dialogues, it felt like an annoying migraine that won't go away.

Oh, here's a fun fact: we found out that Azhari also wrote the script for 'Badang'. We’ll let you guys connect the dots yourself.

The heroine is played by Fasha Sandha while Fauzi Nawawi plays the villain, who also happens to be Fasha’s step brother in the movie. Both stars are no strangers to Malaysian cinemas and TV screens as they are seasoned actors, so they did quite a pretty good job with their roles.

Is that you, T'Challa?
Bandi Amuk called and wants his masks back.
Fauzi leads the gangster squad aptly named the Dragon Gang (because, of course) where his ‘anak-anak buah’ sport cheap knock-off Bandi Amuk-inspired masks and yep, you guessed it - dragon tattoos.

To be honest, the Dragon Gang looked like they were busy training for a Muay Thai competition most of the time instead of getting up to no good.

The young thugs were obviously trying too hard to act like the bad guys. We think they need a couple more acting classes with Fauzi, to be honest.

And come on lah guys, tak kan all the gangsters portrayed in Malaysian movies must have the dragon brand? Why not come up with something original like ‘Geng Mak Kau Hijau’ or ‘Geng Muntah Hijau’ so it has a connection to Badang in a way?

But what really threw us off was in the gang of try-hard gangsters, you’ll find a misplaced African man. Is he from Wakanda or something?

#3 Costume and Special Effects

Go dating also wear costume ah?
As mentioned earlier, Badang wears a lime green costume. He loves his costume so much, he even walks around in malls and goes on dates with his girlfriend in it.

And we couldn’t help but to agree with the villain when he says that Badang looks like a grass-hopper. Perhaps they should rename this movie to 'Belalang Man'? 

The special-effects looks kind of amateurish, especially when compared to the 'KL Special Force' trailer we watched minutes prior to the movie. Maybe they should learn a thing or two from Syafiq Yusof on how to make bada** scenes using explosives and proper CGI?

In terms of CGI, there’s certainly effort put into it, but it could definitely be improved. A lot.

If you've always dreamed of travelling across continents in a blink of an eye, well, 'Badang' can take you! You’ll be 'amazed' at how he transports himself to places like Antartica, Egypt, London, and Paris within seconds. You’ll surely ‘believe’ he was truly there!

It's so realistic that it'll make Wakanda look like a joke. (Of course we're being sarcastic)

Also, the dubbing is really, really bad. In some scenes, you could clearly see that some dialogues do not sync with the actors’ lip movements. Even the viral guy doing the MadLipz parody does a better job at dubbing. Just a suggestion: maybe hire him for your next project?

#4 Plot

Fauzi Nawawi was the star of the movie for obvious reasons.
We’re no movie experts, but this movie lacks excitement and has a lot of confusing parts that it makes Aliff Syukri's 'Abang Nak Tegur' music video far more entertaining. Plus, the real-life drama that revolved around that video has a better plotline than 'Badang'.

The plot is basically Badang wanting revenge on the Dragon Gang for running over his mother with their truck. And that scene was so questionnable that we're surprised to see his mother survive the hit and didn't require surgery.

From the looks of the special effects, you'd be damn sure she died on the spot. But wah, the mother also got super powers, is it?

There was no sub-plot, and not even a backstory for the villain himself.

We were hoping that some humour would compensate for the lack of structure and horrible acting in this movie but no, it was almost non-existent - just like the number of people who really liked this movie.

Also, the journey towards the ending was a real big, draggy mess with its weird, jarring transitions between scenes. Some sequence were also illogical, but who needs logic in a fabled superhero movie, right?

Case in point: there was one scene where Fasha arrived with Badang to the Dragon Gang’s lair and both of them were captured by Fauzi. He even threatened to kill Fasha’s mother, who we didn't even knew existed up until that point. 

The next scene, Fasha suddenly looked like she took a shower, wore a new outfit and dolled herself up for a night out with the girls. But the thing is, she’s still roaming freely at the lair and even made a secret call to Badang’s best friend for help.


You can't sit with us. The Dragon gang.
Badang was captured in a way that was pretty easy for a normal person like you and us to escape, let alone a superhero with the ability to go invisible! All he really had to do was wiggle his hands out of the rope, which by the way, was obviously tied too loose.

And honestly, he had COUNTLESS opportunities to escape. But nope, he had to wait for his annoying best friend to save him as if he was a damsel in distress because that's what best friends are for, right?

Badang may have super powers but he ain't got a super brain.


We think Aliff should stick to his own reality-show and business.
Is it as bad as what people are saying? Yes. Should you watch it out of curiousity? No, unless you’re being paid a substantial amount (like RM1,000 at least) or you want to kill your brain cells. Is there hope? We don’t know, ‘cause they took all the hope we have after watching the movie.

It honestly felt as if a Dementor sucked the life out of us as we walked out of the movie theatre.

We give 'Badang' a 1/10 rating, which is honestly a participation trophy lah. It was ambitious, but it all went down the drain quickly - just like its RM2,000,000 budget. 

And ironically, the main lead's name literally spells out what people think of the movie: BAD.

Trust us, if it wasn’t for this review, we would have walked out of the cinema as we were yawning from time to time as we wait, in excrutiating pain, for it to end. The only excitement probably came from us planning a funeral for our brain cells after the movie.

So, if you're planning to watch the movie, don’t forget to stay back for the post-credit scenes. Just kidding; there are no end-credit scenes. We mistook it for the image that was playing in our head the whole time, where we wish we hadn’t agree to watch this movie and stayed in the office instead.

Can we have 105 minutes of our time back, please?

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