I'm a freelance illustrator from Warrington, England and i'll watch just about anything bar slashers and musicals. Massive Simpsons Fan and a lover off all things animation in general
You got a question ask away.
(Agree with RT meter 78.2% of the time)
Iv'e still not seen the first 'Raid', it never even occurred to me to watch it for some reason. I know it became this big thing for a short period of time. But I assumed and I still do that it doesn't matter so much. For all in tense and purposes its an action movie and that generally doesn't make a difference. But that's neither here nor there because now that iv'e seen the sequel I'm certainly going to go back and watch the first.
One assumes this starts off where it ends with 'Rama' (Iko Uwais) beaten but in tact, he's made an offer by a police officer to infiltrate a criminal underworld and weed out the corrupt police officer as well as take down the criminal syndicate. Things move quickly and at first with little information thrust into the prison and then introduced to 'Bangun' at a quick pace. It suits the film and makes sense, there's little time wasted at all. The story isn't the best, it's essentially a revenge film but it's the choreographed fight scenes and inventiveness that make this film great.
Even saying that, the story isn't bad. It plays out well and some of the actions and dialogue prove interesting. There's a 'Tarentino' like flavour going here as well - with characters that have very specific traits. There's a blind girl with hammers, a guy with a baseball bat and ball and somewhere who matches 'Rama' blow for blow. These are things I remember and it helps separate it from other martial arts films. Having not seen the first one I can't really comment whether or not the fight sequences are different and diverse enough to separate them. I can only view this a fresh experience and they're at times amazing. There's a kinetic speed, efficiency to them and importantly an energy to the way they're shot by the director. It's not just a case of, they're well choreographed they're also well put together and shot, making you feel each punch and create an intensity.
Some may find viewing it a bit queezy, even though I knew it would be violent I didn't expect it to the extent of this. But a high level of violence doesn't bother you and you're into your martial art or have seen this first one then this won't disappoint. While the story is just serviceable and not much interesting the action sequences are some of the best iv'e ever seen. While most action films these days an over familiarity this does not, the speed and power here rises it above everything else in the genre from the best years.
Animated sequels are tricky subjects, it rarely works out well. There are some that improve upon the first - 'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs'. And there's the exceptional 'Toy Story 3' that transcendence all I knew about animated sequels. But more often that not the 2nd outing feels inferior. 'Cars 2', 'Monsters University', 'Ice Age 2' the list goes on. Not necessarily a bad thing after all I enjoyed all those films to varying degrees. But keeping the same characterization while exploring something different isn't easy. Most fall into the trap of rehashing the first films plot. And that's exactly what happened with 'Rio 2'.
It's been several years and 'Blu' (Jesse Eisenberg) and 'Jewel' (Anne Hathaway) have a 3 kids. And when 'Jewel' learns of another Blue Macaw in the amazon she convinces 'Blu' to take a trip there. There's a nasty logging man, rival birds (who solve their differences by paying football). There's also Jewel's family but none of it is particularly interesting, at the same time none of it is bad - it's just inoffensively bland. They try and give 'Blu' a human element with his satnav and multi purpose tool but it feels like overkill. It's played for laughs but his inability to navigate isn't anything new nor was it this bad before. And there in lies the issue, there's nothing new - it's still about fitting in finding your place and about the rainforest. it's retreaded every single point from the first one but drilled into the ground this time.
There are some good points to be had Jewel's need to find other Macaws makes sense and wanting to stay with her family when they get their does to. But it should be obvious to everyone before hand that 'Blu' wouldn't fit and even more surprisingly it takes himself a while to realize - which is quite frankly ridiculous. There are more songs around this time, which is further proof of story problems - often used to cover the cracks. 'Nigel' (Jemaine Clement) is made into a joke this time and more of a clumsy idiot rather than the predator he was before. He's probably the best thing about the film, the voice actor on him is excellent and he has most of the best lines too.
It's difficult to write a review when it's middle of the road, having no strong feelings either way but figuring out why I found it so dividing. It's watchable, it has some good points 'Nigel' is by far the best thing, occasionally it made me laugh. But on the other hand the story has some serious pacing issues, a rehashed plot and too many songs that only further drive home the story problems. Kids will probably like it, it's colourful, is a fair amount of action and there are a lot songs. But for adults you're looking at 50/50, for every good thing there's a bad thing.
It can be exceedingly difficult to adapt a bible story and make sure that it works for the religious yet doesn't feel pretentious and preaching to those who don't. Dependant on the intend of course either may be the purpose. I'm in the camp of being turned off by any attempt to "enlighten" (I say in sarcastic quotes)the audience. In my book the more someone tries to convert me the lower I view said religion. There are some films that I fell are trying this but happily i don'tget that from most.
Case in point here. The title says it all this is the story of 'Noah' the classic bible story that has been hotly debated by all. Is it possible? is it metaphor - all sorts. But it can't be denied the idea is interesting and makes for a great story. This time 'Darren Aronofsky' takes a wake at it. It's grander, bigger in ever sense than ever before. There's some of his usual flair for visual uniqueness and indeed has some exciting moments - the best being when they're all on the boat. The story seemingly takes a detailed look at the events and with artistic license crafts a nice sweet spot between the two.
It's Darren's most CGI heavy filled by far but there is still some restraint to be had. It doesn't feel overused nor does it distract and become the focus. The CGI on the animals however, is bad. I'm not sure if its a budget issue but it looks 4 or 5 years old - and looks way out of place with the rest of it. The story is still the most important aspect, ultimately it's a story about a family and trust. The 'Noah' here is much different to what is normally portrayed - an old wise looking man, here he's a grizzled man. Despite all the things I like about it, its still just very plain in this genre. Not a bad thing but disappointing from an 'Aronofsky' film. There are large portions of the film where nothing of much note happens. And this the films biggest fault, it set things up nicely but I personally found the battle the most boring and least needed aspect. The way that man lived was vaguely interesting and it did create the dilemma of 'Noah' as whether Noah is good or not. It just didn't grab me, it felt run of the mill and just an elongated version of the Ent/Isengard battle in 'Lord Of The Rings'.
'Noah' could of been more than what it was. It's not bad in fact I'd say it's 'good'. Finely acted and the script is fine too and a final third act that was extremely well executed. Unfortunately the middle section is full of nothing and disrupts the pacing in a big way - also the CGI on the animals awful. Still, it's worth a watch and the fact I didn't feel preached too and that there's a positive message of trust and family makes it a success. If a small one.