Tag Archive | Mad Dog

The Raid 2: Berandal

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As previously mentioned, I have been very excited for the release of the sequel to the action film masterpiece The Raid Redemption.  This weekend, I saw The Raid 2: Berandal  and went to great lengths to make sure I would be able to.  The movie came out as limited release this weekend and would  be released in more theaters the following week.  However, my friends and I were so anxious to see this movie that we drove an hour to go to a theater that had it and we bought our tickets online to guarantee our seats (which turned out to be a brilliant idea because it was actually sold out).  The excitement in the theater was palpable as everybody sat in their seats waiting for the lights to dim and for the previews to end, signaling awesomeness was going to be witnessed.  I walked into that theater with ridiculously high expectations due to all the hype that surrounded this sequel, including that it was the next Terminator 2 of sequels, and if anything this movie was under-hyped.  It was that good.

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This movie picks up directly from where the last one left off, but this time Rama (the protagonist) gets involved in an undercover cop scheme to exploit the crimes of the mob bosses running Jakarta, Indonesia.  This scheme involves him going to jail and becoming friends with one of the bosses’ sons and ultimately joining the mob while maintaining his undercover identity.  However, things go sour due to miscommunication and suspicious activity from the cop who hired him for this job and from activities going on between the different mobs.  The Raid 2: Berandal had much more story and plot in comparison to the movie that preceded it and it was a wonderful change.  The first movie was very simple: cops fight their way up the tower and fight the mob boss.  This one has much more complicated story compared to the first movie but at the same time it wasn’t too overwhelming.

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This movie being an action/martial arts film, it is known that walking in there is going to be some level of violence.  However, this movie does have a lot of violence and some gore, so just as a warning for those who don’t like those types of movies.  First off, I would like to say that the cinematography of this film is much better than that of the first movie and is absolutely breath taking.  The more cinematic, landscape-type shots were very placid and calm in contrast to the more fast paced parts of the film.  The camera work for the fight scenes is mind blowing in how I still don’t understand how they were able to film everything so perfectly.  One scene had a car chase and a fight happening in one of the cars, and the way the camera weaves through the different parts of the car was so smoothly done.  In addition, their ability to capture the different angles of the hand to hand combat was beautiful.  The fight choreography was done in such a manner that the moves went together and flowed almost like a ballet, but more violent.

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I truly believe that this movie is revolutionary when it comes into terms of action films and the approach to how it is filmed.  It is a testament to how such a quality film can be made without a large budget or fancy, expensive special effects.  However, one thing that is disheartening is that American filmmakers want to make The Raid franchise but with American actors.  I believe that a film like this shouldn’t be remade to fit a more mainstream audience, it should just be remembered by how it is and how it was originally intended to be seen.  This movie will inspire aspiring directors and filmmakers and one day they will remix The Raid franchise into something new and different for the future generations.  I highly recommend this film to any action movie fan and especially if you are into martial arts/hand to hand combat.  You can count me in to watching this movie again in theaters when it is released to all theaters.  the-raid-2 review

 

The Raid Redemption

     A few weeks ago, I was shown two great martial arts films, Master of the Flying Guillotine and Return to the 36th Chamber, and it made me think of the most recent martial art film I had seen.  The Raid Redemption.  I saw this movie last winter while it was in theaters in limited release because my friend, who shares me enthusiasm for testosterone fueled action films, had heard about it and wanted to go see it.  I really didn’t know what to expect, after all I was use to Bruce Lee film’s like Return of the Dragon or Jackie Chan in Rush Hour or Rumble in the Bronx.  This was a modern, serious martial arts action film…I had never seen one of this nature…and I loved it!!!

     The Raid Redemption in an Indonesian film that takes place in present day Jakarta, Indonesia as a SWAT team prepares to overtake an apartment complex ran by the country’s crime kingpin.  The Lieutenant orders this mission and the team must fight story by story up a 50 story complex in hopes to take the boss down.  To me, this was very reminiscent of Stallone in Judge Dredd, where he reminds us that he is the law.  The film’s protagonist, Rama, is an expectant father who is dedicated to not only his family and honor, but his art of mixed martial arts.  The SWAT team goes in and initially has success due to their surprise attack.  The residents of the complex are criminals and eventually they alert the boss who sends a mass alert to the occupants.  They run into trouble and soon start to take losses but the Lieutenant, the protagonist, and a few others are cornered and take a detour to bypass the opposition, with the use of a refrigerator and explosives.  Without spoiling the movie, the characters by encountering enemies up the stories eventually are split up by the battles and the audience follows them as they make their way up to the boss.  However, this mission has significance to Rama because of how his brother works for the crime boss and is one of his right hand men.  The crowd favorite out of the villains in the movie is the killer, crazed character Mad Dog.

       Mad Dog is one of the kingpin’s henchmen who is sent to kill the protagonists one by one.  His martial arts skills are impeccable and super dynamic.  He is the type of villain with honor as he refuses to kill anyone with a gun and instead uses his hands.  Rama’s brother is put in a mess when he realizes his brother is down their fighting to not only take down his boss but to save him.  Without spoiling the movie, the movie leads up to one of, if not the greatest, fight action sequence I have seen where it is 2 vs. 1, between Rama with his brother against Mad Dog.  Here is a sample of Rama’s fighting:

     I highly recommend this movie to anyone that enjoys action and martial arts films.  It is non-stop action with great plot and character development.  It has a variety of characters with different fighting styles, some incorporating knives and other objects.  It is one of the greatest action films I have ever seen and my friends and I constantly reference this movie.  We have also learned that kicks aren’t practical and if you see the movie you will see why.  I believe The Raid Redemption is on Netflix and actually the sequel is coming out in January or February.

-Carlos