For reasons we may never understand, movie studios, in their infinite wisdom, often decide to drop two movies about the same thing at the same time. That's how we end up with dueling volcano-based disaster movies, giant-asteroid-based disaster movies, or Truman Capote biopics. But in 2012, we got supremely lucky. I would've been happy with one simple, brutal, unrelenting action flick about outgunned supercops fighting to the top of a hoodlum-infested tenement building, trying to take out the drug kingpins on the top floor. We got two.
The first of those two movies was The Raid: Redemption, from Indonesia, and it was, almost inarguably, the single best action movie that anyone has made in our young century. It was almost the platonic ideal of an action movie: a one-sentence setup carried out with bloodthirsty efficiency, with impactful fights, memorable deaths, vivid characters, and not one single extraneous sentimental moment. It was everything great about action movies, with none of the bullshit we've come to accept, and it was a revelation.