After being raped and beaten, Nina is left empty and broken with not knowing what to do. That's when her stepbrother, Ares, comes in and teaches Nina the art of killing. A talent that was mastered by their father and now passed down to Nina and Ares. With the help of a rogue cop and a priest with a mysterious past, Nina and Ares will have their revenge on the rapists and take down the other scumbags that populate the city.
The general rule of thumb is that the greatness of a movie is measured by how capable a person is pronouncing the directors name. It's why movies from someone like McG are absolute abominations and why someone like Dicky Tanuwidjaya makes kick ass movies like "The Devil's 6 Commandments". All joking aside, except for that McG dig, "The Devil's 6 Commandments" is a micro-close-to-non-existent-budget independent flick from Australia designed to celebrate martial-arts and artists of Australia in an unusual action movie that ribs revenge flicks.
I'll give Dicky credit right of the bat for having his debut feature film be an action/thriller with assassins and hit-men, as opposed to going with something easy like a zombie flick, a slasher, or some terrible comedy about movie-shoot-gone-bad. It's nice to have something different and "The Devil's 6 Commandments" is definitely an unusual flick in terms of 'revenge' films: Nina is beaten and raped and as a result her stepbrother, Ares, convinces her to take up the family trade of assassination. While it starts out as Nina simply extracting revenge for those who raped and beat her, she finds out she has knack for killing and finds herself getting involved with one hit after another with crime bosses, pedophiles, cannibals, and dirty cops. A pretty ambitious story to take on with a budget of only $30k.
Given the scope of the project, the limited budget, and being a first feature, there are more than a few problems with "The Devil's 6 Commandments" that are a little tough to ignore. For me the biggest problem was that the movie becomes a bit of a convoluted mess with the characters and stories. The idea is that there are six different stories relating to six 'commandments' and how these separate storylines are intertwine with our lead characters. Once again, credit to Dicky for willing to go out on a limb and do something different. The problem is that there is no real transition between the different segments - the movie feels more like it's merely jumping around which causes the movie to have an erratic pace and a choppy feeling. Then there's also no real separation of the different stories outside of the commandment title cards. It feels like our characters Nina and Ares simply go from one job to the next; its actually hard to tell how the movie is suppose to play out: Are the different segments suppose to stand out? Or should it feel seamless, like one cohesive story? And because the 6 revenge segments are suppose to be their own vignettes, you have a hard time keeping up with the minor characters; people seem to come and go at random.
It is an unfortunate problem for the movie and something that keeps it from being a great indie title, however, ultimately, the real goal of "The Devil's 6 Commandments" is to be an entertaining movie. That seems kind of redundant, I know, since all movies are technically entertainment. What I mean is that "The Devil's 6 Commandments" isn't going for this perfection of technical execution; the story and flow being a bit of a mess doesn't change the dark-comedy tone of the movie or that it's a simple and fun movie. To be more specific, this isn't a silly movie. It's serious when it needs to be; like the rape and during the 'hits'. The movie does have fun in between those moments with some subtle tongue-in-cheek (other times not so subtle) humor that ribs action and revenge flicks while throwing in some absurd jokes awkward bits that might get a chuckle out of the viewer. It got a couple laughs out of me, at least. The comedic tone helps the movie greatly in being entertaining; had the movie played it straight, it wouldn't have worked nearly as well.
"The Devil's 6 Commandments" is an interesting creature - it is a flawed movie, as unfortunate as that is and as much as I hate to say it that, but the movie does have more than a few problems. However, being a first time feature, having budgetary constraints, and being such an ambitious project for an indie title. I can look past its short comings and accept the movie for what it is: a fun and entertaining flick with some great bits of dark-quirky humor. "The Devil's 6 Commandments" isn't like to make a 'Top 10' list but it was a good movie to kick back to and simply enjoy. The other thing is Dicky Tanuwidjaya showed some great talent and a whole lot of potential; problems and short comings aside, he showed he has what it takes to make something great. Even though I didn't love "The Devil's 6 Commandments" like I was hoping I would, I'm anticipating what he's got next since I believe he is only going to get better with each movie.