DailyView: Day 365, Movie 521
Movie number two on the final day of the DailyView is a sequel to one of the top action movies of the last decade or so. The Raid 2 is an Indonesian crime/action film that is about as brutal as you can get.
I enjoyed the Raid quite a bit, but I have to say that I feel as if The Raid 2 is a step down.
After the events of the first film. Rama (Iko Uwais) was hoping to settle into a normal life, but that would not be in the cards. After his brother is killed, he is roped into going undercover to suss out the corrupt police from the Jakarta criminal underworld.
The premise is straightforward and simple. It is a revenge plot with a side of family drama. The characters are reasonably shallow because the characters are not what attracts us to this movie. This movie is here to show off the amazing martial arts fighting and showcase the Indonesia fighting style known as pencak silat.
Admittedly, the fights are astounding and the martial arts maneuvers are amazing to watch. There is such an easy flow to the moves and the violence that it can lull you into an ease that is then shattered by the splatter of the blood.
Still, this was my biggest issue with the film. The fights are so long and dragged out that it just does not seem as if anyone is really affected by them. They do not seem to ever get tired and our main characters appear to be able to shake off wounds and moves that would cripple or murder the canon fodder all around. When Rama took a bladed weapon to the back of his leg, and it barely seemed to register to him, I began looking at this movie like it was a pro wrestling match where the two wrestlers would not sell for the other. It really broke the illusion.
Not being tired is one things (although wearing down during a fight is what made the Atomic Blonde fight scene so effective) but the resiliency against knife wounds and gunshots really cancelled the illusion of the scene.
It also felt too long and I had some difficulty following who was who.
Still, the film was exciting and fun to watch. At its best, the martial arts look so fluid and amazing that you forget how implausible it is. However, the film takes the violence too far for my taste.