Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Raid 2

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! This is the type of movie that if it kicked you in the crotch, you'd thank it for doing so.

The Raid 2 - 5 out of 5    

If you call yourself an action junkie and you’ve never seen The Raid: Redemption, then you need to turn in your Action-o-holic identification card to your local Department of Action Lovers office because you are not fit to own the card and utilize all the perks that come with it (like 10% off your entire bill at Olive Garden). The movie was just badass incarnate as it was a punch in the face, a knife to the gut, and a kick to the ass brutal rollercoaster of epic action…so, naturally, we got a sequel!

                                                                                        PT. Merantau Films/XYZ
A sequel with a girl killing people with hammers!

Taking place only hours after newbie police officer Rama (Iko Uwais) survived the ordeal of the previous film, the young man is set into an undercover operation to get into the world of two crime lords. After getting his ass incarcerated, Rama befriends Uco (Arifin Putra), the son of local crime boss Bangun (Tio Pakusodewo). Once released from prison, Uco gets Rama employed with the organization but he soon learns that he’s in deeper than he thought he would be and now the only way out is to throat punch and nut kick as many motherfuckers as he can.

                                                                                            PT. Merantau Films/XYZ Films
Hmm...he kinda looks like Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Like I stated in my review of the first film, I thought that movie was incredible and the brutal action was like mainlining an adrenaline shot directly into your beating heart...but adrenaline made by the gods in the heart of a dying sun. It was exciting, had a decent story to carry the action and, most of all, the battles were balls-to-the-walls. While it’s hard for a sequel to live up to a great starting film, I really didn’t go into The Raid 2 expecting the film to be anything less than the first film. And to be honest, it wasn’t bad at all.

                                                                                           PT. Merantau Films/XYZ Films
I keep telling myself she is just a character but I'm still scared shitless of her
and keep trying to give her my wallet so she doesn't hurt me.

                                                              PT. Merantau Films/XYZ Films
Martial arts battle or just dudes having fun in the mud?
The only real complaint I had with The Raid 2 is that writer/director Gareth Evans really wanted to work in a character rich story…and that’s not actually a bad thing. The characters were actually really great and interesting but the real problem came when the film would go off on a B-story and the story of Rama and his undercover journey feels forgotten about—for example, the character of Prakoso (Mad Dog in the first film) returns to be a badass and we get some amazing action sequences from him and a peak into his character but when this starts to feel like this is the direction the film wants to go, it flies back to Rama and the formula of going down one path until it starts to gel and is then thrown back to the other story is repeated. This wasn’t a deal breaker because both Prakoso and Rama’s stories are filled with rich detail and backstory and, most importantly, motherfuckers beating the ever-loving shit out of each other but it just became a little distracting.

                                                                                         PT. Merantau Films/XYZ Films
Once it was distracting though, that's when the bats to the chest came in to make me forget...

Like the first film, the story takes some time to take off and get to the whole reason I went to the theater in the first place (I’ll give you a hint: the reason is people fucking each other up with fists and feet and other types of weapons including, but not limited to, baseball bats, hammers, glass windows, water bottles, serving trays, machetes, guns, and much, much more). However, once the action scenes arrive, you forget how slow the story moves at points and you are just immersed in brutal, “good gawd, I could feel that man’s pain from here” action. I was hard-pressed to even pinpoint which fight was my favorite because each one is unique and each one is satisfying as all hell and overflowing with impossibly amazing choreography.

                                                                                         PT. Merantau Films/XYZ Films
However, if I was forced to pick a favor by threat of getting my ass kicked by
the entire cast of the film...this fight would definitely be a front runner.

While I will admit that I feel The Raid 2 wasn’t as good as Redemption, I concede that I wasn’t expecting it to be--I just expected it to be amazing with its action as the first one. I just wanted the film to be another fist-pumping action film that makes me want to leap into the air and punch the nuts of angels because it was so adrenaline-fueled and that’s exactly what the film gave me. Sure, I felt the story is a little sloppy as it can’t balance out the details very well but it was still a great story…with fucking fantastic and bloody action!  I can't emphasize that enough.

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