onsdag 29 april 2015
[...]action is the most important artform ever. Its language is international and can be crossculturally adapted. A roundhousekick is still a roundhousekick no matter what language. Everyone can understand the awesome power of a good kick to the head or the burning sensation of a third degree burn from a bigass explosion.No misundertandings or translation errors. It just hurts as hell.
I am quoting my mission statement for this blog. And no other actionfilm embodies my thesis as Gareth Evans shit-I´m-gonna-be-out-for-six-months-to a year-ouch!-kind of way-The Raid. That shit hurts! Whether it is a machete tearing up a leg or a head that gets smashed against light bulbs, the violence gives you a gut reaction which is a good thing, I believe.
Most people should know the concept of the film by now: An indonesian SWAT team makes a raid against a high rise building hoping to arrest the gang leader who lives secluded Howard Hughes style at the top, all paranoid and shit with surveillance all over the place. As a result , the team gets trapped and their only way out is to fight. Shit gets primal in other words. There is howeva other forces at work of which the police officers who takes part in The Raid(Tm) are unaware of at first.
It´s a sleak concept and expertly executed by writer/director Gareth Evans and it is technically more proficently executed than Merantau. The use of sound and visuals are very creative and the location in which it takes place may be the shittiest looking place I´ve seen in a film in a long time. It really looks lived in and dirty for real which gives the film a sense of real grittiness which fits perfectly with its primal survivalist aspect.
Evans has called the film a "survival horror film" and it certainly is a vivid description of it. It´s like Night of the Living Dead but with a twist; instead of shutting themselves in from the monsters outside, the monsters shut THEM in with them. Kinda scary actually....help!
Of course the physical performances of actors Yayan Ruhian, Joe Taslim and star Iko Uwais helps deliver the intense action to make you feel all the "ouch!" "ow!" and "urgh!" in your gut.
I honestly don´t know what else to add, except that it is a work of art. A work of art that belongs in the Louvre if your idea is to wreck the Louvre, stab all the visitors with a machete in their knees and continue to the next floor.
tisdag 14 april 2015
After the successful killings of the culprits responsible for the brutal murder of his family Max has now become a shell of a man. We know this because that´s what Mad Max 2 tells us. That´s the best thing about sequels. It refutes any kind of imagination on the viewer. "Geez, I wonder what happened to that ex-cop? Did he move on with his life? Start a new family? Did he learn that love can bloom even on a battlefield? "
Nope. he became a shell of a man. He did get a dog though.
Gasoline is a real problem when the film starts. It really never was when the original came out. People just drove around without a care in the world. Here, like in the real world, gas is quite a commodity. Which makes this one more reletable to people. "Oh man,these people in their cars are dead. I feel so bad for them. Wait a minute...free gas?! I´ll take it!"
This is what Max do. It seems like his goal in life is to collect gas just to get by. It really has become a dog eat dog world. It is kind of shit, if you ask me.
Max roams around until he stumbles upon a settlement that has its own refinery. The settlement is however under siege by a bunch of Mohawk hairstyled motherfuckers, riding around the settlement like Native Americans used to do in those good ole racist westerns from the thirties.Huh, maybe the movie alludes to it. The mohawks? Hmm.. maybe Mad Max 2 is a futuristic western that critiques its genre-history? But then you se this:
Would that make this one a futuristic Friday the 13th? I think not, dumb ass.
But there are structural and visual similarities between Mad Max 2 and your typical Western. The iconic vast barren wastelands, the isolated protagonist, the community that needs his help. All those are western tropes, so I think the movie share at least some similarities.
Anyway, Max sees an opportunity to get some gas by helping one of them out. The inhabitants ( I call them Sons of Exxon ) are naturally skeptic to his intentions through simple acts of empirical studies.
After all, all the strangers they´ve met so far have shown great murderous intentions and bad hair cuts. You don´t have to be an academic to understand their skepticism.
But when he hijacks a gastruck, ploughs through the Mohawk Madmen-camp, participate in a battle thwarting the threat of these ridiculous-looking bandits, they start to warm up to him. Max still claims he only did it for the gasoline, declines further deals with the Sons of Exxon and heads out on the highway for more Adventures of Solitude.
Big mistake, an ambush leads to them wrecking his car and killing his dog. An even bigger mistake.
I am not sure about the film´s narration, howeva´. The movie opens and ends with a voice over of how Max begin his journey of becoming a man again. It tells the story from the perspective of a cave man boy, that somehow grew up to be an intellectual sounding old guy. Something is kinda fishy here, because a lot of the events in the movie is told when the Caveman Boy is not around.
More implications that we are dealing with an unreliable narrator is when Caveman Boy uses his boomerang skills to kill of and maiming a bunch of the Mohawk Madmen in order to make him look capable and awesome as a kid.
Add the fact that they for some reason need Max to drive their truck on a straightass road, when basically anyone else could. It´s not like a car-chase pursuit like in the first movie, in which you saw Max´s skills.
You know Caveman Boy is full of shit. For all I know, Road Warrior may never even have happened.It may be the same bullshit like the Captain Walker fairy tale in the next one. Who are you trying to blow smoke up their ass? Fuck you, unreliable narrator. I prefer Mad Max.