Posts Tagged ‘gareth evans’


The Raid 2 (2014)

April 26, 2015

Starring: Iko Uwais, Arifin Putra, Yayan Ruhian
Director: Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption)

Bottom Line: Honestly, I feel like that poster says it all. The Raid 2 deserves any and all praise heaped upon it. Gareth Evans – who already wrote and directed the excellent original – has now established himself as the premiere action director in the industry – at least for anyone paying attention. While stars Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian deserve a lot of the credit for the phenomenal fight choreography, Evans’ ability to make everything look stunningly real is nothing short of amazing. I can assure you, you have never seen fight scenes as awesome as the ones in The Raid series.

The Raid 2 continues the story of Rama (Uwais), a rookie police officer in Indonesia that is now being recruited by a secret task force to go undercover as a prisoner and befriend the son (Putra) of a known crime lord in order to infiltrate their organization and gather evidence against dirty cops. What results is an action epic with a surprisingly swift 2.5 hour run time that rarely takes a breather from its astonishing action sequences – we’re talking prison mud fights, baseball bat and hammer action, and possibly the best car chase scene ever captured on film. Gareth Evans is a true master of his craft. How his films haven’t attracted more mainstream attention boggles my mind.

The Raid 2 is every bit as good as the original when it comes to action, but packs significantly more substance. The more I ponder it, the more I think it might be one of the greatest action movies of all-time. It’s a clear classic in its genre and one of the best and most overlooked movies of 2014. A clear must see and probably a future classic. I can say with confidence that I’m eagerly looking forward to anything Gareth Evans has planned in the future and if Iko Uwais is really in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as he is rumored to be, I have a feeling people are going to be talking about his character afterwards.

Replay Value: I had to watch it twice before I sent it back to Netflix. Possibly a must own film.
Sequel Potential: The Raid 3 has been announced (directed by Evans but Iko Uwais is not attached) and an American remake is on its way.
Oscar Potential: None.

Grade: 9/10 (Potential Classic)


The Raid: Redemption (2012) – CLASSIC ALERT!?

February 8, 2015

Starring: Iko Uwais, Donny Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian
Director: Gareth Evans (Merantau)

Bottom Line: I’d have to think quite a while to come up with a pure action movie I liked more than this. The fight choreography in The Raid is perhaps the best I’ve ever seen – it’s mind-blowing. It’s so stunning it looks brutally, bone-crushing, blood-spilling real most of the time. Star Iko Uwais makes Jet Li look like Steve Oedekerk in Kung Pow: Enter The Fist. The story is nothing much: 20 S.W.A.T. police officers infiltrate an apartment building run by a crime lord and riddles with loyal residents. But seriously, we are talking unrelenting and amazing action sequences throughout the whole movie – with very little emotional bull getting in the way of the next fight. Bring it on.

I couldn’t figure out how to watch The Raid in it’s original language, so it was kind of weird to watch a movie that has been clearly dubbed over in English. Also, I was completely unfamiliar with all the actors in this, so I got kind of lost the first time I watched it as it was difficult to keep track of the characters. Having a solid grasp of that, I watched it again and enjoyed it much more.

Seriously, The Raid is must see film and will eventually go down as a classic action movie – if it hasn’t already.

Replay Value: Was better the second time I watched it and it feels like a movie I should own – even after I’ve recently decided to stop buying movies.
Sequel Potential: The Raid 2 came out in 2014 and is reportedly as good as the original. The Raid 3 has been announced but seems far away from development. Also, an American remake starring Taylor Kitsch and directed by Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3) is rumored for 2018 (yawn).
Oscar Potential: No nominations.
Nudity: None.

Grade: 8.5/10 (Excellent/Potential Classic)