3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not sure what to make of this ...,
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This review is from: The Raid [DVD]  (DVD)
I watched 'Seven Samurai' at school and have since grown up and gone over the hill watching several exotic productions, from 'Porco Rosso' to 'Ong Bak', 'Azumi', 'Old Boy' and so on. I'm no expert, and I find myself in two minds over this one. One thing for sure is that the hype is, er, hype! The blurb, cover text included, is also plain wrong in terms of the number of floors the good guys ascend. For some strange reason - different continent, I know - I compare this with the original 'Die Hard' which, in my opinion, changed the face of "Get the h*ll out of a tight jam" films. (I accept that the parallel is not 100%.) My view is that 'Die Hard' held together because its sub-plots were woven into the narrative, the lead characters had some depth, there was the odd touch of humour, and you emerged from the cinema feeling you had done ten rounds with Rocky Marciano. In just the first 90 seconds of 'Die Hard' we found out a lot about John McClane's background and attitude. That's good movie making. 'The Raid' ain't quite there ... although, for sure, the action scenes are outstanding, even by 'Ong Bak' standards. That side of it had me gasping. But what about the plot, sub-plots, characterisation? No sale.
Like any armchair critic I 'no fule wel' that if I could direct a movie half as well as Gareth Evans, I would die happy, let alone die hard! But, by the standards of the best, this film lacks depth, characterisation - and another 20+ storeys! I can't sell 4 stars to myself, and 3.5 feels right: I don't even want to watch the DVD a second time. I will give it 4 stars as it has so many admirers and I respect my fellow Amazonians.