Gareth Evans’ “The Raid 2: Berandal”

2four-stars4There were moments in The Raid 2 that made me feel as if I were standing in several lines for some of the most extreme roller coasters on Earth, with each wait having to be subjected to a bombardment of meaningless loudspeaker announcements explaining the minute politics of the insignificant price of eggs in Mozambique. I mean seriously, who gives a hen’s shiney hiney shit hole about the state of eggs in Africa?! And while no actual eggs were discussed in the movie (it’s called an analogy, people), what I am referring to is of course Gareth Evan‘s (writer/director) need to overcomplicate his sequel’s action extravaganza with a storyline choc full of who-gives-a-shit expositional moments, all of which that take place in between some of the most extraordinarily exhilarating fight sequences (that would be the roller coaster part of the analogy) I’ve seen in a film – ever!

Those who have the patience to wade through multiple scenes of dreadfully dull exposition (I won’t bore you with the pointless plot) will be rewarded handsomely with some of the best modern day action sequences around. But what makes a great action sequence nowadays? Well, glad you asked. For me it’s the culmination of having an interesting set piece, an understated and non-intrusive score (or even no score at all), the occasional flourish of humor that inherently comes with a good over-the-top rumble, and probably the most important thing of all, the aesthetically appealing way in which the action is filmed, making it all seem fresh and new. Oh yeah, there’s also those “oh shit! Please rewind that” moments to which Raid 2 is practically littered with.

There is no doubt that Evans’ has improved upon the original (at least as far as action an interesting set pieces are concerned), now the question is, how will he improve on part 3 (and yes, a third one has already been announced). My suggestion; focus less on exposition through dull dialogue. In fact, just get rid of it. All of it! Oh, and while you’re at it, see if Tony Ja is available to come out and play.


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