THE RAID 2: REVIEW & BLU RAY GIVEAWAY

We are revisiting this review because GUESS WHAT? GET EXCITED, THE TITLE GAVE IT AWAY – WE HAS BLU RAYS UP FOR GRABS!! Thanks to our amazing, as always, friends at Madman Films we have three copies up for grabs, they even threw in an extra for me to stop being a lazy ass and actually watch it 🙂 

ORIGINAL REVIEW FROM MARCH:

Kernel Andrew, got excited, he lunged, he attended and he loved. I am still yet to see the first one – I saw the Judge Dredd movie at the same time as the first one and started watching THE RAID but sadly fell asleep – I felt it was too similar to Dredd. But everyone raves about it and after this review I need to pull my finger out and revisit THE RAID and then suss this one. Suss below the review to find out how to win. It should be noted this film is R18+ and you must be over 18yrs to enter. The film is 150mins long. Enjoy……JK

 

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THE RAID 2: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

REVIEW BY ANDREW BRUSENTSEV FROM MARCH 26TH

If you want instant geek film cred just familiarise yourself with The Raid. It really is that simple. Just hesitantly drop this into any geek’s ear and you automatically unlock some secret handshake status with these types. To be fair the accolades are well warranted. For myself personally I say this without a shadow of a doubt The Raid: Redemption is simply one of the greatest action films ever made. Not only would it get the tick in that category I would go so far to say that it would probably tick the same boxes as an instant martial arts classic. It really rivals anything in either of those genres. What is surprising is that this movie was not made by an Asian director steeped in the glorious traditions of martial arts flicks but rather a Welsh born writer / director / editor Gareth Evans. I think Evans was bitten by the same homage bug in a sense that Tarantino was bitten with. With an outing like The Raid I would even strike parallels with Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs in terms of promise and talent level.

When I heard that this movie was being made I could almost hear the critics and fan boys sharpening their knives ready to tear this movie apart should it fall anywhere less that the lofty heights of the first. But dear reader director Gareth Evans has done it again. Pardon another geek reference; he has given us an “Empire” to his previous “Star Wars”. Or Cameron’s “Aliens” to Scotts “Alien” it really is that good.

 

THE RAID 2, THE RAID, REVIEW, MADMAN FILMS, MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT, MARTIAL ARTS, ANDREW BRUSENTSEV, GARETH EVANS, CRIME, FOREIGN FILM
THE RAID 2: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Look if you didn’t like the first one there is no chance that you will like The Raid 2: Berandal. It is more of the same. Raid 2 is more over the top, more jaw dropping in fight choreography, bigger, longer and crazier. Not only that but I think the pacing has substantially improved. The second outing sees changing of gears where the plot (although quite generic) is given room to breathe and characters allowed to emote and establish. But that is not its true genius it really is non-stop action mayhem lunacy.

Evans has learnt from his previous outing with these characters.  He has learnt from the art form which he so clearly loves. The Raid 2 retains what we loved about its predecessor while expanding the scope in all sorts of interesting ways.  If you stood back from the movie you can also see many riffing themes from the classic gangster movies of the late 40’s early 50’s, Hong Kong Kung Fu classics or 70’s film noir. You know the ones were there are only a few good men but a seemingly never ending group of evil men that need to be cleansed off the streets?  I think if you sat Evans down he would not try to claim that his movie is anything original either from a Western or Eastern perspective. Perhaps its most subtle achievement is that Evans, but also cinematographers Matt Flannery and Dimas Imam Subhono, should be given full credit for is the fact that even with such minimal dialogue we are able to get into the characters heads. The camera work is impressive with the use of carefully captured body gesture and facial expressions from all of the protagonists.

 

THE RAID 2, THE RAID, REVIEW, MADMAN FILMS, MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT, MARTIAL ARTS, ANDREW BRUSENTSEV, GARETH EVANS, CRIME, FOREIGN FILM
THE RAID 2: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

The movie starts with Rama (Iko Uwais), the hero of the first piece, forced to go undercover in a prison. He is placed there by the police in order to bring down a crime boss. A man who is not only the paymaster of most of the corrupt cops in the city but also is responsible for most of the illicit trade uncovered in the first. In true 1970’s noir style the only way to do this is to infiltrate a prison gang which is run by the boss’s son Andi (Donny Almasyah). We know what will occur don’t we? Indebted to Rama whilst in jail Andi introduces him to his father Bangun (Tiko Pakusodewo) and with all the chess pieces on the board Rama can begin to claim his bloody punchy justice.

Over the course of the next 2 ½ hours the viewer is treated to simply some of the most superb action choreography captured on film. There are easily 30 or 40 separate action sequences and none of them feel contrived, pointless or there just for filler. The fight choreographers: Yayan Ruhian, Larnell Stovell and our principle actor Iko Uwais should get some special academy award for their efforts. It is a visual feast for the eyes.

 

THE RAID 2, THE RAID, REVIEW, MADMAN FILMS, MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT, MARTIAL ARTS, ANDREW BRUSENTSEV, GARETH EVANS, CRIME, FOREIGN FILM
THE RAID 2: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Some of my highlights: Staging a visually striking showdown in a muddy prison courtyard early in the piece. Or a car chase which is as good as anything you would have seen in Ronin, Bullit or The French Connection. Scenes which combine multiple camera combinations and techniques, seamlessly edited which at times seem to defy the laws of gravity and are all the better for the fact that they are not CGI. Near the end we meet three killers who our hero must overcome. A girl armed with hammers, a man armed with a baseball bat and a venerable assassin armed with traditional eastern hooked short knives. The fight sequences here are all unique, nuanced, paced and simply glorious.

It’s easy to throw around the word masterpiece and I am guilty of it all the time but honestly it’s hard not to argue that this really is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. The film succeeds in everything it attempts. The sequel tells a more cohesive, ambitious story than its predecessor. It has a sharper narrative. It has infinitely more impressive action sequences (a hard feat as the first was a genre breaker). It’s hard to find faults with a work as completely and utterly awesome as “The Raid 2: Berandal.”

Look nobody will say that this will win awards for narrative or script but that is already marginalising the genre. The genre does not thrive on these elements. Action is its narrative and in this light Evans has triumphed.  “The Raid 2”’s is a homage not only to the East but to the West, I could even spot elements of The Godfather, The Departed and many a James Cagney and Steve McQueen pastiche. But it is its own unique beast. It is a rollercoaster work of genius. Yes I said it. Shall I say masterpiece?

There is nothing in this movie that I did not get and for that reason it is perfect.

 

5 Pops

 

With special thanks to MADMAN FILMS to win one of the 3X BLU RAYS of THE RAID 2 you need to either like and share this post on Facebook or retweet/ favourite it on Twitter, you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer to the following question:

What is your favourite non-stop action film and why?  Mine would still probably go to DIE HARD – I just worship that film 🙂

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter then get with the times old timer haha – You can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter on the website).

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent in the next week. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.