Friday, 2 May 2014

The Raid (4¼ Stars)

After watching and highly enjoying "The Raid 2" in the cinema last week I had to buy the first film. Among other things, it explains the film's title. No raids take place in the second film, so the title doesn't make sense. But the first film is all about a police raid, so now I understand. The second film's title has been picked simply to show that its events follow on from a previous film which was about a raid. This is a common procedure for sequels. Another example is "30 Days of Night: Dark Days", the sequel to "30 Days of Night". In the first film there was a prolonged night due to the film being set in Alaska, but the second film was set in Los Angeles. I'm not saying that I agree with this naming procedure for films, I'm just saying that I understand it.

The film's plot is simple. A police lieutenant leads a squadron of police rookies in a raid on a building belonging to a crime lord. The crime lord himself lives on the 15th floor, and the rest of the building is rented out to criminals under his protection. The police are suspicious that men as inexperienced as themselves have been chosen for a mission as difficult as this, but they obey orders. As they later find out, the mission is off the books, the personal vendetta of a corrupt policeman, so they cannot expect any backup when things go wrong.

Due to the element of surprise the police successfully advance to the 7th floor, shooting anyone who resists arrest. Then the criminals begin to fight back, wiping out almost the entire police force. This is the point, 35 minutes into the film, when it really becomes interesting. The fight scenes are incredible, though not as exaggerated as in the second film. A third film in the series has already been announced. I can hardly wait.

The film poster above looks good, but it's inaccurate. There are no helicopters in the film. The building is only 15 floors high, not 30. And is it right to describe the police as "elite cops"? Let's call them "elite cops in training". They obviously don't have what it takes for an operation of this magnitude.

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