With all due respect to impossible missions, topguns, johnwicks and, of course, avatars and games of thrones, there is no more resounding and devastating action saga in modern cinema than the two installments of ‘The Raid‘, which in Spain received the VHSero title of ‘Murderous Raid’ and which have finally reached streaming, since you can see them (both the first and the second) on Netflix.
Their secret is very simple: they are not American productions, but Indonesian. It is oriental cinema of martial arts and heavy artillery that gathers the best of Asian productions, the rhythm, the planning and the excessive tone and without bullshit, and that leaves in evidence the panhandled Hollywood productions, as any stunned spectator of films like ‘The Night Comes for Us’, also starring Iko Iwais and filmed, this time, for Netflix.
And that despite the fact that it is directed by a European. But of course, what a European: the Welshman Gareth Evans, a westerner with an Asian film buff soul, and who is filming action set pieces that combine the brutality of Hong Kong, Indonesian and Thai cinema with the visual luxury of Europe and United States. His are the series ‘Gangs of London’ and the highly esteemed piece of folk horror with kung fu (!!!) ‘The Apostle’ for Netflix.
But these two ‘The Raid’ are his true masterpieces. In the first, with many plot points in common with ‘Dredd’, a SWATS team is trapped in a building under the control of a criminal and his army of assassins. In the second, the hero of both films secretly enters Jakarta’s organized crime in a complex operation against corruption and the mafia.