Matthew Lickona noon, July 29
The Raid 2
Pit anywhere from 5 to 15 thugs against one lone tough and instead of a dogpile, the bad guys line up like they’re in a bakery waiting for their numbers to be called. (Don’t any of these maroons pack a firearm, and more importantly, haven’t they seen Billy Jack?) This scene is repeated at least a dozen times in Gareth Evans’ monumentally tedious, 148 minute (!) followup to his fanboy favorite of two years ago. It’s one long vacation from logic followed by another: we see our lead ditch his wire the second he’s sprung from prison, yet the subsequent strip search is played for suspense. The characters occasionally take a break from kicking and clawing at each other long enough to spout more expository dialog than you’d find in a dozen Christopher Nolan pictures. On a humane note, while many lives are lost to brutal car chases, no airbags were deployed during the making of this picture. 2014.
- "Kicking, clawing" • April 10, 2014