badger: (badgerman)
[personal profile] badger
Saw The Raid 2 (aka The Raid: Berandal.) The first is one of my favorite martial arts films of all time. The sequel has some brilliant fights, but is forty minutes longer and is more of a John Woo gangster film than a stripped-down fight film. There's no lack of fighting in The Raid 2, but there's more of everything else too. M likes the first one better for the less complicated and clearer story as much as for all the fighting all the time.

Our hero, the rookie who survived The Raid: Redemption, goes undercover a la Serpico to infiltrate the local crime family. There's the family dynamics of an ambitious son of a crimelord (said son really wants to be king), rival Japanese yakuza, a mysterious third party crime figure, corrupt cops, and so on. Along the way there's a loyal but not very bright family enforcer vaguely reminiscent of The Godfather's Luca Brasi, two great setpieces of fights in prison, a car chase scene and vehicular gun battle with some more hand-to-hand fighting inside the cars, several huge fights of one against many,

The realistic tone of the first is in several points changed to a more stylized tone reminiscent of gangster movies or even low-powered superhero movies: there's a brother-sister pair where the brother drags a baseball bat on the ground and hits baseballs at his victims, and the sister has huge sunglasses, is deaf-mute, and fights with a pair of claw hammers. She'd be at home in Battle Royale and the pair would be normal for Kick-Ass, but they're a little unrealistic especially compared to the first one.

The music is both different, and not: Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park did the soundtrack for the American release of The Raid: Redemption, but is not on The Raid 2 soundtrack. Instead the trio of composers who did the soundtrack for the Indonesian release of The Raid: Redemption also do the soundtrack for The Raid 2. Tone ranges from orchestral to heavy metal, as opposed to the synth-driven electronics of Shinoda's soundtrack.

If you want to hear the original soundtrack for The Raid: Redemption, it's available on the Blu-Ray. I like it.

trailers: (I plan to see both of these)

Brick Mansions - The Raid: Redemption meets District B13 in a Luc Besson-related project with The Man with the Iron Fists actor RZA as the crime lord. Lots of parkour in the trailer. Hopefully it won't be the new Gymkata.

Blue Ruin - Noir.
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