The films of the ‘John Wick’ saga are as meritorious and spectacular as they are indebted to a way of approaching action cinema. Specifically, a conception of a markedly oriental character, where elements such as martial arts, extreme physical explosion and firearms skilfully introduced into the shaker create exercises of absolute enjoyment even when faced with cases of extreme violence.
Just as the Keanu Reeves franchise would not be possible without those references, it is possible that it has benefited from other phenomena that, although on a smaller scale, create the perfect breeding ground for the current public to open up to this kind of action. . Indonesia has been a benchmark in the genre for yearseven if it is from the margins, and it had to be a Welshman like Gareth Evans who showed it to us with his tapes of ‘Murderous raid (The Raid)’.
Climb a building full of enemies and no elevator
Both the first and its sequel ‘Murderous raid 2 (The Raid 2)’ have just arrived on Netflix to brighten the start of the year with top-level action. Iko Uwais became known to the western public with these films that mark a new peak when it comes to choreographing, shooting and editing sequences that are as vibrant and amazing as they are physically brutal.
The first one plays with a more elementary premise but from which it takes full advantage. Uwais is one of the members of the special forces group that will enter the building that he acts as stronghold of Indonesia’s most dangerous criminals. He should go floor by floor facing terrible enemies armed to the teeth and not one-armed in hand-to-hand combat.
Going through the building is a high-risk expedition. Without having supernatural qualities, this turns out to be quite an enemy due to the different obstacles that our heroes find, very close to the challenge of an arcade game where each floor is a new level and the difficulty increases as progress is made. Evans’ use of space adds a claustrophobic feel to a frantic and devastating action.
‘Murderous raid (The Raid)’: a clean smack
Its sequel already offers a broader scenario, although our protagonist does not stop feeling cornered. The turn to the crime syndicate incorporates very intense gangster thriller elements, which anticipate the work done by Evans in the ‘Gangs of London’ series. And again, he creates absolutely stunning melee action sequences that blow movies with ten times their budget to the ground.
We are facing two essential cult films, which offer the best counterpoint to lazy blockbusters when it comes to designing a interesting, clear and fun action into bestiality. The two ‘Murder Raids’ do a wonderful job, opening the door to the wonderful Indonesian scene for many and putting Evans on the radar of fantasy fans and beyond. Both being on Netflix, you have to see them yes or yes.
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