Thursday, 17 April 2014

Movie Review: The Raid and The Raid 2

Martial arts films generally don't interest me, but I heard so much buzz about The Raid that I gave it a go. And for £4 to own on Blinkbox, it seemed worth a punt.

The story is about a team of police going into a tower block that is owned by a criminal kingpin that also houses all his criminals (mostly drugs). The job of the team of police is to get to the top of the building and get the kingpin. Along the way, they have to fight all his mooks that are there to protect him. There is some story and revelations along the way and it holds together, but fundamentally, it's a martial arts movie. What sets it apart from many other movies is that it's faster, more highly choreographed than most of these movies, and also full of imaginative scenes.

The Raid 2 is more ambitious. It still has the martial arts, although it pumps it up even more, throws in an insane car chase and a few offbeat characters that are more like something out of a comic book or video game (particularly Hammer Girl). But its story is fundamentally one about rival crime families that strays into the territory of Godfather 1 and 2, and work well. It's a little saggy in the middle, but the last hour is pretty full-on action. And while you have to suspend disbelief a little, it's also highly enjoyable.

Both films are subtitled from the original Indonesian, but they aren't dialogue heavy.

I do reiterate the BBFC's warning with regards to the second film (that also applies to the first) that they "contain bloody violence and gore". They don't delight in the violence, but try and make it as real as possible.