Tuesday, January 6, 2015

BEST OF 2010-2014 #10 THE RAID 2: BERANDAL

The Raid 2: Berandal is the greatest action movie I've ever seen. No contest. It's not even close. Gareth Evans runs circles around his directing competition, and literally blasts a mile-wide hole in the genre that's unlikely to be topped. Until, that is, Evans makes The Raid 3. Iko Uwais is some sort of martial-arts God; I've never seen anyone that comes remotely close to having this set of s...kills. Outlandishly violent and excessively in your face, this is an action-lovers dream come true, and it furthers the notion that the MPAA truly has their heads in the sand when it comes to how they judge a film's content. Expanding upon the tightly confined events from The Raid, this sequel picks up literally 5 minutes after the conclusion of the first film, and it couldn't be any different in overall execution or ambition. This is an epic crime film, blending elements from the classic Yakuza picture, John Woo-esque ultra-violence, and an "undercover-in-prison" plot-line that echoes Infernal Affairs/The Departed. From set-piece to set-piece, Evans keeps upping the ante in terms of violent spectacle, but still pays close attention to plot, story, motivation, and character. This is a two and half hour work of head-splattering art that truly needs to be seen to be believed. From the rain-soaked prison fight to "Hammer Girl" and "Bat Boy" to the positively insane car chase and then on to the final one-on-one-smack-down (absolutely the best fight I've ever seen in filmed entertainment), The Raid 2 shatters any preconceived notions of what to expect from an action picture; this is pure cinematic adrenalin, a thousand kicks to the ribs and face, and easily the bloodiest, craziest action film that I've ever come across.

No comments: