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The Raid 2: Berandal Review

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a new film review and today I’m going to be reviewing a film I’ve been hyped about for a while now, The Raid 2: Berandal. Now The Raid: Redemption was a lot of fun, it was action and violence in tight spaces and I really liked it, though not as much as I thought I would. But when I saw the trailer for the sequel which critics said in early screenings was better than the original, I knew I had to see it. So after checking it out today how does it fare? Well read on and find out.

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The plot for this film can be described as the following:

“Approximately two hours after the first film ends, Rama goes undercover and infiltrates the ranks of a ruthless Jakarta crime syndicate in order to protect his family and to uncover the corruption in his own police force.”

The story in this film basically takes the plot and themes from the last film and expands upon it in every way making this film feel more fleshed out and immersive than before. The first film was kind of light on story so I’m glad to see that there is so a lot more going on in this film. The Raid 2 takes us deeper into the seedy underground of corruption in the criminal underworld, it is here in the story where the film deals with issues like family issues, gang turf wars and dodgy law enforcement among other things. All of these issues are brought to the table in a very good and interesting way, it makes for a more relevant story that you care about. My only issue is that there is a lot going on sometimes and there were a good few details I missed because I couldn’t read the subtitles fast enough since I’m not a very fast reader in general.

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As for the cast there all really good and on a higher degree to the acting than in the last film. Iko Uwais as Rama is really good, besides laying the smack down on loads of people in a kick ass manner, Rama has become a better character than before. In this film Rama has a lot to deal with, he has to go undercover and get close to the bad guys, but at the same time is constantly worrying about the safety of his family and has to deal with the moral and ethical decisions that come with his line of work. I just feel like Uwais is given better material to work with and finally became the central character I wanted him to be in the last film. Arifin Putra as Uco is awesome and great addition to this sequel. Uco is a man who is committed to his father and like to use his father’s status to help him get by, however he is always looking beyond his current position and wishes to ascend to become a high-ranking criminal. Putra is very engaging, charismatic and intense and I really loved his character’s personality and ambition even if he was a douche.

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Tio Pakusadewo as Bangun is awesome, he is a man who is respected as the main crime boss in Jakarta and has Uca oversee certain aspects of his empire but doesn’t allow him to do more than small tasks because he fears for his son’s lust for power. Alex Abbad as Bejo is great, he’s this very cocky, ambitious gangster who has a great deal of people willing to do anything for him and he longs for more power and wishes to become top dog which means that he’ll have to ruffle some feathers in the criminal underworld in order to ascend. Julie Estelle as Alicia a.k.a “Hammer Girl”, damn, she was SO cool, she was the mute, but had a great presence and some wonderful moments to shine, I really hope to see Estelle in more films because she’s a badass and we need more female badasses in the world. Oka Antara as Eka and Ryuhei Matsuda as Keiichi were pretty cool and had cool parts to play in the film. And lastly Kenichi Endo as Goto and Kazuki Kitamura as Ryuichi are pretty good as well and add some interesting aspects to the story with their characters.

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When it comes to the presentation, good gravy, this film has it down to a tee. The action in this film is insane, frigging insane! The gun fights and car chases are great, but what really sticks out is fight scenes. The fight choreography is SO well done, it is swift, tight, versatile, long in length, has hand-to-hand combat along with several forms weaponry too and it is so sexy to look at thanks to some really great cinematography. The way everything is shot has a gorgeous artistic look to it, like there was a great deal fo care put into the construction of each scene or sequence with some of these close shots, wide shots, rotating shots and quick cut edits, it was fabulous. And then of course there is the violence which is on full display here, this film is so brutal in it’s the display of people getting broken. People get cut, sliced, stabbed, twisted, snapped, broken, shot, etc. It is gruesome at times, however it is done in such a masterful way; you pretty much do one of three things:

  1. Cringe and go “OH!” and the violence.
  2. Say “Yeah” because the violence is so cool.
  3. Or laugh at the way some of these people get messed up because believe me some of it really is funny.

My only criticism of the action is that sometimes it doesn’t know when to call it quits, some of the fights go on for ages, longer than of the average person which makes some of these people come across as superhumans than regular ones.

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In conclusion The Raid 2: Berandal is great. It’s just crazy, my god, so much carnage, so much violence and well-choreographed martial arts. I loved it! XD I urge everyone who is interested in watching films to give this film a watch, I haven’t felt so good about action and violence in a while.

Rating: 8.5 (Violent martial arts carnage at its finest people)

So what did you think of The Raid 2: Berandal? Have you seen it or are you gonna watch it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Raid: Redemption Review

Howdy ladies and gents, its review time once again and today I FINALLY got around to watching¬†The Raid: Redemption after all this time and now I wanna pass on my thoughts. Since I knew that The¬†Raid 2 on the way in a few months I knew that I wouldn’t forgive myself if I hadn’t checked out the first film beforehand. So what did I think of The Raid? Read on and find out.

The story for this film can be described as the following:

“In Jakarta, Indonesia, Lieutenant Wahyu organizes the invasion of an apartment building that is the safe house of the powerful and cruel drug lord Tama and his gang. The SWAT team breaks in the building but one lookout sees and warns the gangsters and the police force is trapped on the seventh floor. They learn that Lt. Wahyu has not informed his superiors about the operation. Now the police officers have to fight with limited ammunition against the armed and dangerous gangsters.”

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First things first, I can’t believe how similar this is to Dredd, since The Raid came out prior to the Dredd, I fell like Dredd just ripped the story off from this film so much a just replaced a few key elements in terms of the amount of characters. Well whatever, I just wanted to point that out (but everyone who saw both films knows that already).

Anyway, the film is small on story and big on spectacle but what story there is its alright. There is some interesting backstory to be found with Rama and I like that there is some dodgy dealings and corrupt police aspects that made it into this film. But beyond those few elements the film gets a bit dull between fights scene, but when action takes center stage it a fun adrenaline rush of fun!

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As for the cast they are all pretty good, however since I’m not good at keeping up with loads of people in foreign films I’ll just highlight the ones I remember. Firstly Iko Uwais as Rama was awesome and really the only man person you should care about because he’s the only good guy with enough backstory for you to care about. Iko’s skill as a martial artist is inanely good with some incredible speed, ferocity and natural charisma, I loved him.¬†Donny Alamsyah as Andi was pretty cool as well, he was a little shady but had a bit more depth to him than I expect.¬†Ray Sahetapy as Tama Riyadi seriously reminded me of¬†Javier Bardem for some reason, just his face, cold and twisted nature, I saw Bardem in him. ūüėõ Other than that I thought Riyadi made for a good villain.

Then there’s Yayan Ruhian as Mad Dog, fuck me this guy was a mutant in this film. His martial arts skill is off the chain and there was so much flair, style and overall badassery to all of his moves that it made my mind bend! Mad Dog was so¬†resilient, I thought he was some sort of super human, but that only shows how badass Ruhian came across in the film. Also¬†Joe Taslim as Sergeant Jaka who I just remembered was in Fast 6 last year was pretty good thought not nearly as badass as he was in the other film and¬†Pierre Gruno as Lieutenant Wahyu was good as the cop looking out for his own ass.

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When it comes to the presentation it is gorgeous. Now this is a martial arts film! So much action, so much blood and carnage, I love it! I dunno if I’ve mentioned this on the blog before but I’m a massive martial arts junkie. Next to sci-fi and action films, martial arts films are what I grew up with and still love to this day. Just seeing a film with some beautifully choreographed hand-to-hand combat sequences just set my soul on fire! And The Raid did not disappoint. This film felt like it had the choreography of 1980’s kung-fu films mixed in with today’s tight and fast fight scenes. Like a cross between Police Story and The Expendables. The fight scenes are tight, well-shot, bloody and very creative with the use of makeshift weapons. And there are at least two scenes of death that made my heart stop and say “Shit!” It was THAT good. As for the soundtrack by¬†Mike Shinoda¬†and¬†Joseph Trapanese, it was a bit of mixed bag, sometimes music work and had a dark and dramatic tone or energetic tone, however a fair amount of the time it was kind of distracting because it didn’t fit with the on-screen action.

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So in conclusion The Raid: Redemption is kick ass film with martial arts action all around that is both violent and well-choreographed. The only bummer was that there wasn’t more fighting, in a martial arts film I’d like to think that the martial arts takes center stage instead of guns, I want it all to be hands and feet messing people up. But that’s just a minor nitpick.

Rating: 8/10 (punches, kicks, weapons, blood and chaos. Good stuff haha)

So now I ask you, have you seen¬†The Raid: Redemption¬†and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in comments section below and I’ll see ya on the film review yo! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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