Over the last few weeks I’ve said a lot about The Raid 2: Berandal, my most highly anticipated movie for 2014. Hell, I even spoke about it just a few hours ago. But now it’s time for me to shut up, and have some other people talk about it. People who were lucky enough to experience it this morning, when writer-director Gareth Evans debuted the film at the Sundance Film Festival. And judging by what they have to say, I think we’re all going to be talking about this one for quite some time to come.
I have yet to see a single negative comment about the film emerge, so prepare yourself for a whole lot of hyperbolic praise, the likes of which I haven’t seen since, well, The Raid!
Let’s start with Alex Billington from FirstShowing.net:
@firstshowing: Gareth Evans just pulled off something akin to The Dark Knight of action movies. Unfuckingbelievable. The Raid 2 is insane
Badass Digest‘s Devin Faraci:
@devincf: Gareth Evans is the greatest living action director. THE RAID 2 is spectacular… THE RAID 2 is a crime saga that perfectly mixes THE GODFATHER with martial arts. It was better than I hoped… It’s hard to pick out what is the best action scene. They’re all unique, badass and shot with absolute brilliance and beauty… Can’t even imagine the money every studio will be throwing at Gareth Evans now. This movie is just so much bigger and better than THE RAID.
Slashfilm‘s Germain Lussier:
@germainlussier: The Raid 2 is one of the best action films ever made. It might even be THE best. Holy fucking shit.
Slashfilm‘s Russ Fischer:
@russfischer: THE RAID 2 sets a spectacular new benchmark for vehicular action. The Fast and the What, again?
RogerEbert.com‘s Simon Abrams:
@simonsaybrams: THE RAID 2: marital arts’s GAME OF THRONES, or ONCE UPON A TIME IN INDONESIA. Macabrely playful & joyfully inventive action: so much fun.
Producer Keith Calder:
@keithcalder: I think the kitchen scene in THE RAID 2 is the best fight scene I’ve ever seen.
AICN‘s Eric Vespe (aka Quint):
@ericvespe: If The Raid was Assault on Precinct 13 Raid 2 is The Godfather. Sprawling crime epic with amazingly brutal hand to hand violence… They somehow topped the Mad Dog fight! No spoilers, but wait until you see the kitchen scene… and the car chase… and… and… and…
LA Times‘ Mark Olsen:
@IndieFocus: The frenzied crime thriller THE RAID 2 is THE DEPARTED gone gonzo. Bigger, crazier, bloodier, better than first film. A triumph.
Hitfix‘s Drew McWeeny
@DrewAtHitFix: Gareth Evans is the best action filmmaker working right now. Full stop. Bow… The MPAA is going to weep when they see what we saw. And then Gareth will kick their ribcages up through their skulls.
That is an absolutely ludicrous amount of praise. Some might call it over-hype, but based on what I’ve seen from Evans thus far, I doubt it. At this time, the only worrying thing about The Raid 2, as hinted at in that last tweet from Drew McWeeny, is that the cut of the film screened at Sundance was the unrated version, which is apparently so violent that it caused at least one person to walk out of the screening. The MPAA may just decide to get snip-happy and start demanding Evans tone it all down, which could lead to the film losing some of its oomph. I’ll hope and pray to every deity that I know of that this doesn’t happen, as based on these reactions, this may just be the action movie to end all action movies.
And now the million dollar question rears its head: Will we actually get to see this on the big screens locally? You can be damn sure I’m going to be bugging the local distributors non-stop until I get an answer.
Last Updated: January 22, 2014