01 April, 2013


Careful. This is important.

See that trailer? Congratulations, you saw the only good parts of The Raid: Redemption. What follows between the split second cuts is a moldering heap of nonsense, bad CGI blood, and follie work thrown into a blender,spat into, and then hard-boiled. Somehow the featureless, grey mush that pours out is considered a film by some. These people are art-criminals.

At some point I stopped watching the movie as it was intended and instead began to watch it in fast forward. After about five minutes of that (I don't think I missed much), I grew weary of that, too, and quit the entire project all together.

Don't watch this movie. Not drunk. Not high. Not with friends. Not ever. Roger Ebert was right. Everyone else is wrong. It's a nonsense movie. It's the kind of martial arts movie snobs mean when they say, “Oh, isn't that a martial arts movie?”

There's nothing interesting or redeemable at all about this film and I say that as a fan of violence. The plot is non-existent. The main character is a non-entity. The bad guys are just various tank top wearing goons that might have accidentally fallen out of a closeted bisexual's fever dream (nothing but long hair and a lack of sweat despite all his exertions). The main villain himself an out of shape man in a tank top. Even the set itself is a boring, nondescript place that makes you wonder if The Wire ever happened. Or if set design ever happened. Or if reality actually exists in a form that can be observed by any of the production crew at any point in their lives.

Hold on, I'm keeping back the vomit here.

Okay. Let's carry on.

If someone gets their throat slit it should mean something either because it's a horrible thing to happen to a person or because it is the culimination of a lot of other bad things. In this, like everything else in the movie, it's just a thing that happens. Regarding the violence, though, it's my love of violence in film that makes me loath this film just so much, because I've seen this damn thing done right.

That isn't awesome. That's grotesque in a way that is almost autistic in its misunderstanding of how violence works. Violence isn't awesome because it's on screen. Children get this. Why this director thinks that the popping of arteries devoid of context or meaning or emotion is awesome makes me think that he should be put in a home in the country and held down with a series of wet medical-grade blankets.

Then maybe someone should read a story to him, because there's a chance he's never actually encountered one in his entire life. (He is Welsh and they are a people in need of many things. And if this movie is any indication, literacy might have been one boon too many).

If you want a good movie about clearing a tower of criminals watch Die Hard. Or Dredd 3d.  If you're keen for trash, then go check out Fast Five, at least. And if you want an insane martial arts movie watch Ong Bak 2 (a film that involve pirates, child/alligator fights, ninjas, and Babar: King of the Elephants all within the first fifteen minutes), which, for its many flaws, does include things like people and set design in its overall aesthetic. If you want an Indonesian movie then check out Marentau, which isn't even very good either, but at least it has a heart. And a story. And, like things that exist in a place somewhere adjacent to the planet earth. Then it ends.

Fuck. Fuck.

Fuck this movie.

The only redemption to be found is watching a better movie afterwards. In my case it was The Lives of a Bengal Lancer. With you it could almost be anything.