Yesterday I went to the cinema, a rare event for me as I tend to watch my films in the company of two or fewer people, in fact mostly just by myself. Having said that every so often a film comes along that demands to be experienced on the big screen..The Lord of the Rings were three such films with the epic scope to the fighting and the realisation of the world that it raised the benchmark for epic films.
Despite all that I do like the cinema with that sensory deprivation that gives an edge of danger and the unknown to what you are experiencing. The truly great films take you away to another world or time and it’s an amazing feeling to discover that piece of art which allows you to forget you are in a room full of other people and just be totally focused in that moment.
Although multiplex chains have become commonplace and make the world of quality cinema seem almost vestigial these days, (fans of independent cinema I salute you), there is no shame in giving the corporate suits some of your hard-earned money if the film demands it. Ignoring the shamefully expensive food and drink as well as the people talking about how amazing Saw 26 was, it is somewhere I perhaps need to start going to more often.
The film I went to see was The Raid 2, a film in an all together different category from your average action flick. It’s a fantastically colossal action/thriller martial arts film which takes choreographed combat to the limits. The sequel to The Raid, imaginatively titled The Raid 2: Berendal is one heck of a film…for those of you not familiar with the first film it had a simple plot of taking down a gang leader that didn’t get in the way of pure action, it’s a pacy film with really exhilarating to watch fight scenes which get longer as the film goes on. The second film builds on this with even more style than the first without just rehashing the same film.
The nw film has a bigger more detailed plot about the underworld, loyalty and the corrupting nature of power. Hollywood may throw tens of millions of dollars at films but for just $4,500000 this really is a treat showing what can be achieved on such a small budget, perhaps the big film makers could take note. At two and a half hours this is a lot more ambitious enterprise and what it arguably loses with the claustrophobic feel is subtly changed into a claustrophobia of the protagonist Rama in his bid to do the right thing. This more complex storyline does not detract in any way from a brisk pace despite its length.
As far as cinematic violence goes,this is a stylishly professional endeavour, yes, there are some bits that are really bloody but it doesn’t detract from the craft used to act the scenes. The settings notably go from the opulent, to the sleazy and grim which provide a nice change from the bleak look of the first film. If I had any criticisms, they are minor. The subtitles sometimes moved a little too quickly for me to follow and the characters were rather cardboard but that is hardly a complaint with this type of movie as you get enough of a sense of their motivations anyway. Yes its ultra violent but this film is all about the action and if you want to see an astounding level of technical ability from cast and crew coalesced into one film then this is it.
I used to avoid the grim or the thought-provoking themes in films but these days I am embracing them and absolutely loving it! As a curious chap I am wondering what films did you find a treat for the big screen and which do you regret not seeing? For me I would love to have seen? Make sure you turn the volume up and get this trailer up in big screen mode to get a taste of the action.