Film Screening 15th November, 2014

Poster for The Raid 2

The Raid 2 

7:00 PM, 15th November, 2014

  • R
  • 148 mins
  • 2014
  • Gareth Evans
  • Gareth Evans
  • Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Julie Estelle, Arifin Putra

Rama (Uwais), fresh from surviving a full Jakarta tower block full of criminals in the last film, finds himself in a small anti-corruption force – their mission, to take down the gangster who killed his brother and to bust crooked cops with mob ties.

Hiding undercover in a crime family, he gets closer to identifying crooked cops – but also risks his true identity being uncovered. Rama repeatedly finds himself fighting – across moving vehicles, a noodle bar, warehouses, corridors and a nightclub kitchen and wine cellar – to survive.

Somewhat less contained than The Raid (spreading all over the city rather than locked into the one tower block), the sequel manages to sustain the tone by keeping up the high-energy-high-brutality action sequences. Uwais serves out several beatings and takes several more, with beatings not only from fists but also baseball bats, hammers, knives and shotguns.

This is pure action cinema at its best; tense, thrilling stuff. It’s also rather gory, for those who are a fan of the red-stuff – these aren’t gentle playful battles, everybody’s playing very much for keeps.

If you’re a hardcore action fanatic, The Raid 2 is the film for you. If you’re not… well, you may discover your inner action fan.

Simon Tolhurst

Poster for Omar


9:38 PM, 15th November, 2014

  • M
  • 98 mins
  • 2013
  • Hany Abu-Assad
  • Hany Abu-Assad
  • Adam Bakri, Leem Lubany, Samer Bisharat, Iyad Hoorani

Lauded along its festival circuit in 2013, Omar draws the viewer into life in occupied Palestine; a society marked by long-standing conflict. The film condenses the complex social and political struggles into a personal story of a bunch of kids who do Marlon Brando impressions for each other, and yearn for freedom.

Omar lives in the West Bank, separated from his girlfriend, Nadia, by a massive isolation wall. In his spare time he shoots practice targets in the woods with his friends and, in a bold but pointless expression of resistance, they hatch a plan to kill a random Israeli soldier.

The narrative really kicks off as our lead is captured, and presented the choice between betraying his friends, or seeing the one he loves hurt. Both options are painful.

Director Hany Abu-Assad brings the tension to bear with a striking visual sense, dynamic performances from mostly first-time actors, and a thrilling, tightly executed script that doesn’t tie things up neatly.

The antagonist of the film, Israeli agent Rami, is not portrayed as a through-and-through villain, but as a father, and a hard worker under stress who lives in the same culture of violence and uncertainty as Omar and his friends. There are no easy answers, and as the film swerves unpredictably between action, romance, and heavy thriller, the fragility and gravitas of the situation comes forth. Omar hits hard, as any great film should.

Josh Paul