Sunday, 5 August 2012

Supercharged Actioneering

The Man from Nowhere is a prime example of Korea's commitment to making blistering action thrillers that make their Western counterparts seem tame and toothless in comparison. Quietly running a pawn shop since the death of his wife our retired special forces protagonist is forced to dust off his deadly skill set when his neighbour's daughter is kidnapped by gangsters. Though the set up is brief and fairly hackneyed there's some heart to the script and some wry humour which go some of the way in alleviating the unrelenting violence as the hero spends 70 mins or so of the film smashing, snapping and pummelling his way through a slew of henchmen enroute to a very, very bloody finale. Brilliant but definitely not for the fainthearted.

The Raid: Redemption
is an Indonesian film about a SWAT team attempting to clear a tower block that's firmly under the control of a drug lord and unsurprisingly things get very messy, very fast. The plot is paper thin and there's only the vaguest attempt at characterisation as this film is all about the action and bedlam and what a cornucopia of action is offered. I can't think of a single film which can match the ferocity, the merciless brutality of the violence on offer here as the squad shoot, hack, slice, punch, kick and gouge their way to the top. The action is beautifully choreographed, nicely shot but it's the incessant pace that's jaw dropping, literally breath taking and you'll find yourself, like me, unable to look away till it's conclusion. If you thought Man from Nowhere was too light and frothy try this instead, you won't be disappointed.

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