It’s too early for The Raid 2. Although I’ve listed three films from last year, I’m not ready to take the plunge on movies that aren’t even twelve months old. The Raid 2 is so good, but it was so brutal and so hardcore I didn’t even know if I liked it the first time.
With The Raid: Redemption, there was no ambiguity. Here was a movie about some of the most raw martial arts sequences ever devised, with characters who just exploded with energy as they ran at each other, or as our man Rama sliced and stabbed, stabbed, stabbed his way through the complex. It’s violent, it’s fast, it’s stunning.
This is one of those movies like City of God that no matter how much hype you hear about it, which claims otherwise good movies so frequently, you still think it’s the bomb — there’s nothing else like it. Not even The Raid 2.
There is Dredd, but both movies are good for different reasons, despite the identical stories. Who can blame Garland though (for coming in second, not for ripping the idea off), it’s such a perfect set up for an action movie, in the mold of Die Hard or Speed. There’s a high concept premise, and it becomes the perfect platform for cool stuff to happen.
In the meantime, you flesh that premise out, and world-build — the gritty atmosphere and desolate locale tell their own story, but do so in support of something that is decidedly not preachy. And it could’ve been, but the Evans and co. wanted this to be the right kind of ambassador to the rest of the world.
And the rest of the world thanks you for this film — but me specifically, here and now, and forever.