The Raid: Redemption
Since the lead actors double as stunt coordinators, The Raid was filled with a lot of action-packed scenes transpiring in a dark, run down building. The movie delivers the intensity it promised as it doesn’t fail to keep the momentum, and at the same time it doesn’t get repetitive even if the characters are engaging in battle over and over again. It helps that the delivery of the scenes differ albeit the similar circumstances.
Focusing on the display of martial arts sequences, the movie runs on a plot that provides continuity. Even if the main goal is to fight off the bad guys, Gareth Evans manages to insert some plot twists (if you could call it that) to keep events moving. The fighting scenes were well choreographed and the cinematography was able to make it stand out, particularly the grand fight scene between the brothers and Mad Dog.
For a low budget flick, it does feel like a Hollywood production in a not-so-Hollywood way. It succeeds because it doesn’t feel cartoon-ish, and delivers quality that grasps the attention of the audience without resorting to grand explosions, and letting martial arts do all the talking.
Final Word: If you're an avid fan of martial arts, or find entertainment in watching Hollywood-made martial arts movies (like the Jackie Chan starring ones), this might be up your alley.
Cast: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy
Director: Gareth Evans
The Raid 2: Berandal
The sequel certainly didn’t skimp out on the action, ranging from debt collection, car chases, and ultimate face-offs involving new characters. With a longer run time, Edwards certainly filled his movie with a lot more stunts that still manages to capture attention because it doesn’t let go of its momentum. There is no build up; even the plot pacing has to be constantly moving in order for the fight sequences to commence with ease. He does add more content to his plot, but it’s just to fuel the scenes that people expect when watching the movie.
There’s certainly a lot more gore and violence involved, but unlike its predecessor, this doesn’t have one stand out scene. Instead, there are multiple well-choreographed scenes that showcases the actors talents and abilities in the art. There is a danger of sequences getting repetitive, but with the added limitations of the environment, it still manages to impress. The cinematography certainly adds to the presentation of the sequences, allowing maximum exposure of the art.
It moves with a bigger budget, and it certainly delivers in terms of entertainment. With a third movie in the works, I wonder how the franchise is going to go out with a bang, or if Evans will take this opportunity to introduce a new lead character (with talks that the third movie takes place two hours before the final events of Raid 2). There’s not much martial arts movies coming out these days, so the burnout of the franchise is still a long way off, but it will be a challenge to top this one off.
Final Word: Bigger and flashier than its predecessor,
Cast: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra
Director: Gareth Evans