I was at the TIFF world premiere of Gareth Evans’ The Raid (read my review), a theatrical experience that was as good as any orgasm in the history of the universe. The film was so crazy good, and jam-packed with stunning fight sequences and extreme violence. Even through this indie production, the film put its boot on the throat of Hollywood and applied some pressure.
After last night’s premiere of Evans’ The Raid 2, it’s sounding as if he’s finally broke Hollywood’s neck.
Early buzz from the Sundance Film Festival is that Evans’ sequel is so crazy good that it’s causing people to question the validity and effort of Hollywood blockbusters. Why so much CGI? Why are the action sequences to weak and generic? What the hell is costing so much money? Are A-list filmmakers being lazy?
Evans’ The Raid 2 was shot over 100+ days in Indonesia, where his buck gets more of a bang, showing the major studios that there is something wrong with their business model.
Here’s what the critics are saying:
“When Gareth Evans’ The Raid premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, audiences were floored,” explains Collider. “It was as if someone had smacked us in the face about 800 times, and showed us that the action being churned out by Hollywood wasn’t half as effective as it could be. No amount of CGI could ever pack the punch of a perfectly choreographed, perfectly shot, and perfectly edited fight scene.” They continue, “Whereas the first movie was mean and lean, the sequel is epic and explosive with a twisting crime drama serving as the backdrop for some of the best action scenes you’ll ever see. The violence is brutal; the set pieces are brilliant; and the movie hits so hard that your grandchildren will have bruises.”
Badass Digest adds that “Evans managed to top The Raid, but only by making a movie that’s completely different, but just as utterly badass.” Further adding that “the action is unmatched, the camerawork and frame composition is always stunning and the crime tale underpinning it all is compelling.”
The boys at AITH drop this bomb, stating that “The Raid 2 might be one of the best action sequels since Terminator 2.” In terms of violence, get ready… “The sheer amount of bloodletting makes Paul Verhoven’s early actioners look tame by comparison. The violence is just non-stop, and ramped up to horror movie levels with machine gun blasts at close range to the face, and terrible things done with hammers. This is the most violent mainstream film since The Passion of the Christ, and it seems a stretch to think the MPAA will let this slide-by with an R-rating, meaning the theatrical version will likely be cut down to avoid an NC-17.”
Watch this spot for our review when it comes in.