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“That’s us!” Remember The 7 Times Malaysia Was Mentioned/Featured In Popular Movies? We Do!


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Source: IMDb

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This year, not only did Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh make history as the first MALAYSIAN to win a Golden Globe, but she’s also the first and ONLY Malaysian to win the Best Actress award at The Oscars! Malaysians everywhere are confirmed proud of her, even our beloved Prime Minister congratulated her!

Fortunately, this isn’t the only time that our country got the spotlight in the international entertainment scene. From KL’s infrastructure being shown in all its glory to being relevant to a movie plot, there have been quite a few times Malaysia was featured or mentioned in Hollywood blockbusters and the like!

Scratching your head on remembering which movies gave us the special treatment? Not to worry, let us walk down this memory lane of movie magic together!


1. Blackhat: Thor hacking our hearts in Ipoh & more

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Msiamovies Blackhat Chris Hemsworth Tang Wei
Taiwanese actress Tang Wei (right; known for leading Ang Lee’s controversial Lust, Caution) was also spotted in Malaysia!

You probably won’t remember this 2015 hacker thriller, but you’d DEFINITELY recall hearing news of Aussie hunk Chris Hemsworth running through the streets of Ipoh under our sweltering weather ?; the Perak-based town of Seri Manjung was even integral to the storyline! Other notable locations where the film was shot at include Kuala Lumpur (of course!), Port Klang, Pulau Pangkor and Putrajaya.


2. Venom: Aliens finally came to Malaysia first!

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Msiamovies Venom Borneo
And no, we don’t have THE Borneo Forest Reserve – we have MULTIPLE forest reserves in Sarawak.

The wildly successful Marvel superhero movie (it made a BILLION dollars!) has arguably one of our favourite opening scenes: a symbiotic alien crash landing NOT in America, BUT in freaking Malaysia! Not only did Sibu get a special mention in the movie, albeit mispronounced with an American accent, but one of the extras – acting as a local paramedic – even spoke Malay. We’re bummed the extra wasn’t Malaysian, but kudos to her for speaking the language accurately and not spout gibberish.


3. Zoolander: The Malaysian “Prime Minister” makes a cameo appearance!

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Msiamovies Zoolander Pm
The Prime Minister of Malaysia! Hol’ up a minute…

Did you know that the iconic supermodel comedy, starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, was banned from showing in Malaysian cinemas? It’s mainly due to Zoolander’s plot, which sees male model Derek Zoolander being brainwashed to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia, and deemed inappropriate by the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia. And the most hilariously stupendous part about our PM? He’s portrayed by an actor of Japanese descent! Talk about facepalm.


4. Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation: Spot the world’s seventh tallest tower!

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Msiamovies Mission Impossible Rogue Nation Kl Tower

Filmmakers seem to associate the act of hacking with Malaysia for unknown reasons, as that’s the case once again in the fifth instalment of the Mission Impossible series. The thrilling opening sequence of Tom Cruise taking off from the outside of a cargo plane was made possible plot-wise by Ving Rhames’ hacker agent Luther Stickell, who needed to be on top of the KL Tower to infiltrate a Russian satellite. Not sure how plausible that is, but then again, we know how to hack meh?


5. Kabali: KL gangster but Kollywood-style

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Msiamovies Kabali Rosyam Nor
Malaysia represent! Local actors Norman Hakim (left) and Rosyam Nor (right) made an appearance in Kabali, while veteran actor Datuk Jalaludin Hassan (middle) provided Kabali’s voice in the Malay-dubbed version.

Indian superstar Rajinikanth kicking @$$ as a Malaysian gangster? Of course lah, we flock to cinema to watch! To ensure the authenticity that it’s a Kollywood blockbuster set in our tanah air, Kabali allocated almost a month to shoot its scenes in the country, including Melaka (for which they had to get permission from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture), a Hindu cemetery in Sepang, and even Bandar Sunway. Fun fact: Kabali was screened with an alternative ending in Malaysia, to avoid portraying our police force from committing unjust murder.


6. The Viral Factor: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Jay Chou!

Msiamovies The Viral Factor Poster Min

This 2012 Hong Kong actioner was filmed almost entirely in KL’s Golden Triangle, which starred the Taiwanese heartthrob and his equal, Nicholas Tse, as two brothers on opposite sides of the law. Aside from iconic backdrops like KLIA, KLCC and Pavilion KL, even lesser-known shooting locales were given the chance to shine, including a chase sequence in the Mid Valley KTM station, a shootout at KL Central, and even a staged traffic jam at Jalan Raja Chulan, which was filmed during long weekends and public holidays for better crowd control.


7. Train to Busan Presents – Peninsula: Malaysia gets the Korean treatment!

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Gang Dong-won (right) leads the horror-thriller, with his co-star Kim Do-yoon.

Msiamovies Peninsula Bella Rahim
Bella Rahim showing off the United Nations military uniform she wore in Peninsula.

Instead of our famed city skylines, WE got the chance to be the white knights in shining armour for once in this spin-off/sequel to Train To Busan. In the movie’s climax, the United Nations rescue team were initially hesitant to save the main characters as they were surrounded by deadly zombies. However, one particular soldier from MALAYSIA – played by local actress Bella Rahim – persuaded them to do the right thing, resulting in a happy ending~ Truly a cameo done right!


So proud to be Malaysian lah! 

Isn’t it awesome every time to see our country being included in the movies we watch? Hopefully, we’ll one day produce a Malaysian movie that becomes a worldwide phenomenon, but in the meantime, we’re making pretty good progress on the movie magic front.

Did we forget to mention other movies that featured Malaysia? Jom remind us in the comments!


Also read: Michelle Yeoh Safely Returns Home in M’sia, Brings Oscar Trophy for Her Mother & Late Father

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Source: IMDb
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Source: MovieMaps
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Source: IMDb
Source: IMDb

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