105) The Raid (2011) Dir: Gareth Evans Date Released: March 23, 2012 Date Seen: March 25, 2012 Rating: 3.75/5
Gareth Evans is the kind of genre filmmaker we need more of. He's the kind of director that isn't afraid of being flagrantly illogical for the sake of making a better spectacle. Take the scene in The Raid where character is mercilessly beaten while trussed-up by the hands. Moments later, he joins a tag team fight with an ally to fight a dude nicknamed "Mad Dog." Flies in the face of logic almost as forcefully as that one evil henchman that gets thrown through a window as soon as he pops his head up like a Whack-a-Mole Mole. Or that other bad guy that gets used as a human shield when the film's lead good guy charges into a drug lab.
Still, Evans's decision is based on some very simple but trusty logic: two guys versus one is a fun fight to watch. Heck, I want to see that fight, and I got to see that fight. And it was really well-choreographed and it ended with a really sickening and exciting throat-cutting.
All of this is just to say: Evans is the kind of genre filmmaker that doesn't question the potential affect of his brusque but refreshingly straight-forward martial arts flick. He didn't do it before in Merantau and he doesn't do it here with The Raid. I had a feeling he was a guy to watch.