The Raid: The Defining Action Trilogy of the Decade

Very few action films come along that seldom live in the memory of the cinema and film spectator, there are some that captivate us with extraordinary sequences, some that have great antagonistic face offs, and others that remain immortal, The Raid may just tick all those boxes.

the-raid-posterBack in 2011 Welsh director Gareth Huw Evans released an action film with a similar structure to that of Die Hard, we do not think of it at all as plagiarism but rather taking that inspiration and amplifying it to the superlative maximum. Perfect choreographed fight scenes kept us glued to the screen while at the same time driving a plot in a frenetic and organized direction, the actors themselves were tremendously dedicated to their craft, which very rarely Hollywood actors do in terms of action sequences, the Indonesian production of The Raid allowed Evans to have total control which he executed brilliantly.

Films like Die Hard, Face/Off & Hard Boiled all shared one thing in common in terms of how genres of action should be made, it’s that their chosen plot was very well balanced with action sequences and character development; this is what Evans has shown superbly and in even more greater detail in The Raid 2.

the-raid-2-posterWith almost an hour longer than its predecessor, the sequel takes place moments after the events of the first, with a much wider expansive world, plenty more characters that can fight, shed blood, cause destruction which produces sequences that make almost any modern action film seem like child’s play.

Gareth Evans took what he learned from his first masterpiece and cranked the volume to a level that will make heads implode, and that’s what you get when you witness an action film of such sheer magnitude.

The-Raid-2-3-Connections-StoryThe plot flows even more smoother and with even more detailed action than ever before, you just wonder what he has in store for the 3rd and perhaps final part of this blockbuster trilogy, with Tony Jaa rumoured to be included, filming and development will not begin till 2018 or 2019 according to Gareth Evans.

the-raid-2-gareth-evansWhat these two films did so vividly is attention to exponential detail in terms of action and characters, Gareth Evans trusted his cast so much that they definitely showed their loyalty, the result is on the screen, both films already looking to become instant classics, but with the third looming over the horizon and waiting to be released you just wonder if The Raid trilogy will be a significant benchmark in the rebirth genre of action filmmaking.

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10 Foreign Films that Hollywood should stay clear of and not remake

Below are a list of films that thrived in their chosen country of release, Hollywood recently has ran out of ideas for original films and instead they have either expanded the superhero genre or recycled the same Disney analogy over and over.

The following films should remain untouched by Hollywood or if they are to be remade should be remade correctly and stay true to the craft of the original film, Notable mentions that were made well include “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”  “The Departed” (Infernal Affairs), “Insomnia”, “Vanilla Sky”..

Here are the great ten that should not be remade:

1.    “Hodejegerne” Headhunters (2011)  Country of origin: Norway

headhhdAn intense action thriller featuring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones), it follows a skilled head-hunter who also acts as a thief stealing valuable pieces of art, but when one heist goes wrong he is hunted by a former mercenary in what becomes a thrilling cat & mouse game. If there is an American adaption it shouldn’t steer away from the original storyline but stay true to the action brilliance of this film.

2. “Cidade de Deus” City of God (2002) Country of origin: Brazil

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This masterpiece from Brazil follows the lives of teenagers who grow up in a violent neighbourhood of Rio De Janeiro, what ensues in their coming years is some of the most intense scenarios ever, beautifully shot, this film should remain timeless as it is, I know most of you agree but there is a little curiosity if there is to be a remake, there certainly has been similar films like this but a direct remake should remain off the cards,A masterpiece of modern filmmaking.

3. “Kung-Fu Hustle” (2004) Country of origin: China & Hong Kong

kung-fu-sokagi-izleFeaturing some of the most outlandish and exciting fight sequences, this outrageously entertaining film from Stephen Chow showcases gangsters at wars with residents of small housing complex, highly fantastic, this is one that should remain untouched and if you haven’t seen it already I highly recommend.

4.Amelie” (2001) Country of origin: France

le-fabuleux-destin-d-amelie-poulain-originalIf you have seen Amelie you can argue that this film cannot be remade into any other language, and a Hollywood version should no way be in contention, this brilliant film should remain untouched, it is unique in its own form and an American version should no way be even considered.

5.“Shichinin no samurai” “Seven Samurai” (1954) Country of origin: Japan

Film_2w_SevenSamuraiAlthough a remake has been green lit for next year, it is a very bad move on Hollywood’s part, a sort of remake was made as a western “The Magnificent Seven” but a direct remake should not even be contemplated, considered to be director Akira Kurosawa’s greatest work, if a remake should be made, it should be a tribute and instead of adapting to Hollywood, notable Japanese directors should take the helm if they wish to touch a significant film such as this one.

6.La Haine” (1995) Country of origin: France

la_haine_3Quite possibly one of the most intense French films ever made, it stars a young Vincent Cassel as a youth along with two others that explore Paris in 24 hours, it takes place in riots between citizens and the police. With more recent events taking place around the world, it is easy to see why Hollywood would want to remake this, jumping at the opportunity to adapt it in the modern times during the escalating protests taking place around the world; the whole film takes place in black & white but set during the present time, this does not take away the pure intensity, a classic that has to be seen and felt.

7.“El secreto de sus ojos” “The Secrets in their Eyes” (2009) Country of origin: Argentina

The-Secret-in-Their-Eyes--006A mystery thriller which takes over a number of years in which a detective goes back to solve an unresolved case which brings to light more than he could have anticipated, beautifully shot with an air of mystery & suspense, it would be easy to see why Hollywood would want to tackle a challenge like this one, if done right this could be a great crime remake, the main focus throughout the film are the eyes of each character along with the incredible detail of its brilliant plot.

8. “Ichi The Killer” (2001) Country of origin: Japan

ichi_killer_poster_05[1]Now here is a film that I know for a fact that Hollywood would not even touch due to its extreme graphic nature, Hollywood at best would cut most of the scenes in this brilliant film to even gain an R-Rating (18 UK).

For those who have seen it time and time again, you can argue that you don’t even wish for this film to be remade and also would argue how Hollywood would even tackle this project, Anything outside of United States does not even care if their films are not marketed extensively, some purely rely on word of mouth to reach its cult status, Ichi the Killer is such of a film that has no chance of an English remake.

9.Metropolis” (1927) Country of origin: Germany

metropolis1This sci-fi masterpiece was an absolute landmark when it was released even looking back at it now the pure futuristic setting is one to behold, a massive challenge that was undertaken by Fritz Lang, it would be ridiculous to consider a remake of it because one would take away its significance and would not look modern at all, a Japanese animation of Metropolis was released in 2001 but Hollywood should not go for a remake due to its original importance nearly 90 years ago, a ground-breaking achievement.

10. “Akira” (1988) Country of origin: Japan

Akira-Poster-akira-13827694-1013-1500One of the most important anime films of all time, a lot would argue that this film should not even come close to a Hollywood remake, its sheer complexity in animation should reinforce it as such, some of the scenes witnessed in this film is fantastic to the spectator, although studios have been trying hard to adapt into a live action film, time and time again it has been shut down, maybe even for the greater good, but it is not long before we do see a Hollywood remake whether we like to or not, I for one would not want to.

The enormous size of such of these films should be handled with care, and a remake must stay honest to its originality, in order to do so, studios must take on creative consultants of the original films and they must try their absolute best not to steer far away from their fundamental narrative only then a remake is worthy of the film’s tribute.

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Feel free to add your own suggestions below along with any comments you might have.

Die Hard,Harder,Hardest Where it went wrong for the Die Hard Franchise and how it can be improved

First of all I wish to state that I do not hate the Die Hard franchise I consider them to be a worthy action series but with the ever changing landscape of friendly action films from Hollywood what was once hailed one of the most action packed and gritty action films has become a shortened down version in terms of duration and content.

With the first Die Hard we witnessed John McClane in a fantastic action packed film for the ages that in a way worked like a video game, going up a different floor where the bad guys become more in quantity and strength, tougher to defeat before the semi-final boss fight on the roof and the intense finale of Hans Gruber’s demise in the end.

die_hard_ver2I can honestly say the first Die Hard film rates as one of my all-time favourite action films, not only did it have the explosions and the ultimate hero but it had a plot that drove it towards that. With a strong rating of 18 (Rated R) it lived up to that but it was fantastically entertaining and gritty, the best in the series.

Commencing from that, the second instalment Die Hard 2 also a strong 15 rating this too was equally entertaining and had some worthy bad guys’ as well. This like the first film was also set around Christmas time and spared no punches at the action including a blockbuster finale sequence at the end with McClane vs The Villains plane, proving again he’s a one man army.

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The third film in the series I found out to be the most modern action of the bunch and also pitting McClane with a fantastic villain in Simon Gruber played by the brilliant Jeremy Irons, and if that wasn’t enough McClane had a partner to work with in this Samuel L. Jackson, having previously worked together on Pulp Fiction, they were put together as a team in order to track down Simon who had put bombs around New York and the one man with the goal of stopping him was once again McClane, this was also a great film of the series and very stylishly made.

die-hard-with-a-vengeance-original Twelve years later was quite a long time to wait for a Die Hard film and this is where the series took a slight turn, Die Hard 4 or Live Free or Die Hard or Die Hard 4.0 whichever way you wish to see it, was quite entertaining but with a rating of 12A (PG-13) it did not have the violence or bad language (e.g Yippee ki-yay, motherfu…!) it had John McClane pitted in the modern era now where the bad guys weapon was a means of manipulation of technology, this was a fun film to watch but it had lacked the rawness of the previous three and set up what the series would look like in years to come with future releases.

live-free-or-die-hard-posterWhich bring us to the latest film of the action franchise Die Hard 5 (A Good Day to Die Hard) which introduces us to McClane’s son and them teaming up together, the film had been given a 12A rating but the action was still present, it may have seemed over the top in most instances, but it just shows the comparison if you compare the latest Die Hard to the first one, this is also the shortest film in the series at a mere 98 minutes, whereas the previous ones had gone just over the two hour mark.

A_Good_Day_to_Die_Hard_30With the next film out most probably next year it is hard to see how it will live up to the standards of the first three films, the last two films heralded a new era for the Die Hard franchise, but one thing that is common is the protagonist John McClane he still remains the only great thing about this franchise, with the emergence of a safe Hollywood action era we wonder when the next time will be when will see a gritty all out action frenzy version of Die Hard as witnessed in the first three going over a little on the fourth instalment.

I highly doubt that Hollywood would produce a Die Hard with a rating of over 15 (PG-13)  but the focus should be more on the villains and what a massive threat they can offer to the indestructible McClane rather than the most over the top action sequence.

We can allow the first three films this because they were unpredictable and truly applied a well-balanced formula of a brilliantly driven action plot film, we await what Die Hard 6: Die Hardest will bring, and a note to the director, study the first three films of the series carefully and bring back the true action nature of what makes the Die Hard franchise rightly something to behold, and to anyone who hasn’t seen any of the films I highly recommend seeing them and comparing the jump of style between the 3rd one and beyond. Let’s hope the 6th film in the series will bring back the rawness of the first three, as for John McClane there can be no wrong as he finds creative new ways to destroy the bad guys and with his notable and iconic catchphrase too.

 

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