Fragmented Films October 2012

If you enjoy that moment when watching a slasher movie where you think, wow this is the last thing you should be doing right now, then you’ll love Rabies (Accent), a flick billed as the first Israeli slasher film. Sure there’s a psycho in the woods but he has nothing on the lunatics he’s lured in there. Every moment goes wrong, the wrong impression is drawn and as a result people do ridiculously stupid things and pretty much the worst outcome occurs every time. It’s a domino effect that’s measured in blood.  And to some extent humour because it’s so black, so over the top that all you can do is laugh. And really? Teens in tennis gear? Who doesn’t want to see them slaughtered?  If you have no faith in humanity Rabies will reassure you. It’s much safer not to interact. There’s less bloodshed.

Ok. Lets lay it out. 20 cops decide to raid a crime ridden building presided over by a ruthless crime lord in a Jakarta slum. The crime lord has two henchmen. One is crazy, the other crazier. He’s on the top floor. Between him and the cops are twenty floors of seedy, violent, crazed criminals out for their blood. What does this sound like?

If you answered Donkey Kong with bullets then you’d be right. The Raid (Eastern Eye) is a new kind of action film, simplified, shot and informed by gaming. It’s streamlined action, where it’s all about the fights, the jaw dropping choreography, the brutal barbaric unrelenting hand to hand combat, and plot or character development feels like a distant after thought.  It’s extremely violent and bloodthirsty. That’s meant to be a bad thing. But let’s be honest who wants extensive emotional back stories when you can have comic book villains literally breaking their victim’s necks with a savage twist after exhausting hand to hand combat?

Date Rape Dave is in trouble. Firstly he’s living with both of his ex wives. Secondly they’re sisters and thirdly they’re over his shenanigans. Then of course there’s work which isn’t much better. An LA cop, he’s just been caught on camera beating a suspect half to death.  The higher ups want him out, but Dave is a wise ass and won’t budge. Rampart (Madman) provides Woody Harrelson with an emotional tour de force as a crooked cop desperate to hold onto his work and his family, both of which seem to be slipping away. It’s a star studded cast boasting Ned Beatty, Ice Cube, Steve Buscemi, Robin Wright, Sigourney Weaver and a bunch of other folks all turning the screws on our unrepentant antihero.  Harrelson plays Dave as a dinosaur, an old school cop who’s tried and true techniques that have served him well up until now are now working against him. But he knows no other way. Make no mistake this all about Harrelson, with his red splotchy face, dangerously thin, chain smoking and popping pills Bad Lieutenant style demeanour, watching his former life and with that all of his meaning slip through his fingers.

 

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