classics: The Raid 2: Berandal

As a rookie cop, doing everything to not only finish the mission but also to survive was already a harsh ordeal. What more if you discovered that all your efforts will go to waste and there is a bigger problem to deal with it. It’s sad but that’s how the story goes in this epic sequel of one of a hell action movie!!!

At first, the story is simple but as go into the end, it became complex and you’ll ask, how this story will end?

Let’s put it this way, hmmmmm I watched it twice and although it has some flaws or goofs but that’s very forgivable. I have only one minor problem in the future, the director said Raid 3 will start and end 3 hours before this movie ends. I don’t know how he will do it but simply this is the end. Of course, you want to see Rama going back to his family alive and all the goons are freaking dead but if the ending suggests cut scene, that’s fine.

However, like I said it has many minor flaws and some weird factors in the film but that’s forgivable due to the major assets of the film that cover the shortcomings.

Here in my country, the title is simply The Raid 2. If you are going to ask me, if you need to watch Raid Redemption or Raid 1, after watching this one, I don’t think you need to watch the first one.  Reason why? Well, first of the scenes of the film already discredit the first film. But of course, you need to watch the great first film, it’s not bad but on how they made this film, I thought well, I don’t think I need to watch it again.

Fantastic things for this flick that made it as a classic.. First thing camera used and photography are top notch. I mean, I don’t know how they get close to such fight scenes, one great example. The toilet fight scene is kinda sick, how on earth they get such close shots of that fight. Another example is the taxi scene, which is short yet heart stopping, I don’t know how they got the top shot of it. Those examples are only the small ones, better yet check the bigger scenes. Great use of the camera and yes, Red Camera used it perfectly.

Another great thing, the sound effects used in the film. I watched many martial arts or action films now and then, but I can’t imagine how they got the perfect sound for every blow, bone crushes, the gore, guns blazing, the cars, the weapons used or even the musical score used. The sound is such perfectly done and it helped really give me thrills and shrieks, one great example.. The car chase scene! Until the last second of that scene, it’s crazy and great. The fight chreography helped or the car racing but the sound really made it great.

One aspect also helped this film great is the actors. I mean most of the action films, few can really act and most of the actors fight. This one, has a great balance of ones who can act like the character Uco and Bangun and yeah the japanese actors. Mix it with great real martial artists but trained to act or the other way around. Iko Uwais I think already surpassed Tony Jaa and might be better if he start doing other kind of films. Then even the bosses, the old cop, Bejo is the rising crime lord which looks fashionable, Prakoso an unusual turn of having fighting and acting as the good henchman. Eka is also a surprise especially at the end. Actually all those characters you see in the poster done great job of acting for their roles. Don’t forget which I’m surprised that they are siblings in the story, bat boy and hammer girl!

Second great part of the film, one of the sickiest, craziest, real fight scenes. I mean, it’s usual for a martial arts film that some scenes where kinda planned or worse they put CGI already and sometimes they put it wrong. Here, I know it has choreo but I don’t know how many times they practiced it but looks real to me. They said that to make real, they reduced speed and strength to really show the blows or pain in the film. Except of course for the knives, bat and the hammer. But seriously, from the first fight scene until the end, wow, kinda addictive. With the sound effects and other factors plus with great fight choreo, they show it in an awesome way. I think Silat martial arts are deadly than ours or it’s the same level with other martial arts, but great thing arnis was used here. I’ll put Silat maybe on top of Muay thai because of the punching and elbow techniques used, in close range, deadly sh*t. The second half of the film, simply martial arts epic madness. Kitchen is a great place to fight. Kidding. Oh I almost forgot, despite less gun use in the film, it’s still great. I mean usual action flicks uses high grade guns, here they use simple ones, baretta and shot gun but it was used in a most practical and scary way. That car chase scene says it all.

Lastly, give credit to the screenplay and director which is one dude. Gareth Evans not the Godzilla guy, really made this film a classic. I mean, despite some flaws such as the snow scene, or the last factory scene which I’m surprised the dudes doesn’t have guns. Or maybe the taxi chase which they can just use a gun to kill Rama but they did not use it for martial arts purposes. I don’t know the reason but the director was able to create adrenaline to really forget those mistakes and just watch the film. I did not feel bore despite it has drama scenes and it’s two and a half hours long! Wow.. Few films can do such feeling of forgetting the passage of time. He’s damn great and I only hope two things like other upcoming directors should do. Do other genre or flicks with such style and another thing for this dude. If bourne is like this, that will be great! This director should do Bourne or James Bond or other action franchises. He can do it anyway in a small budget. It looks big budgeted film, but well it’s small budget. Especially the first film which he admitted the reason he done the first film other than this one, due to budget constraints. Wow..

I wonder, when you look the scenary of the film, I thought it’s in the Philippines, well with the same taxi cars or even eatery and the looks of the actors, we have more good looking actors or better acting but unfortunately, we don’t have really martial artist actor that can somewhat do the same. Or even match what the Thais are doing. Geez, we are so behind.

But well, can’t wait for the home release and I really love that fighting pose in the kitchen scene. Some what iconic.

I watched it despite poor dubbing, delayed release by 2 weeks and more cuts than the director did already. It means the true cut is epic!

Simply this film made some of the classic martial arts and action flicks became basic or forgotten, crappy, whatever.. Or even most recent flicks.

Oh don’t forget Rama is kinda lucky and strong. Iconic character. Will do everything for his family. One undercover cop against everyone, The Raid indeed..

By the way, just got the real copy, can’t believe from start to finish, it has a lot of cuts!!!! Dubbing is correct, sync with subs and with the cuts.. Instant classic!!! It’s like Mad Max 2, you’ll forget there was a first one!

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