Wed. Oct 28th, 2020

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Hammer-hard series tip Gangs Of London is the perfect replacement for The Raid 3

5 min read

Hammer-hard series tip: “Gangs Of London” is the perfect replacement for “The Raid 3”

“The Raid 3” was high on my list of films I would want for a long time – but that is history now. With “Gangs Of London” director Gareth Evans delivers pretty much exactly what I would have hoped for a third part.

opinion

“The Raid” was a straight fireworks display, “The Raid 2” a martial arts epic based on the undercover cop films from Hong Kong – for “The Raid 3” I always had a degree in the series wanted, which goes a step further, is even more epic, offers even crazier action and in which, for my part, even more blood is shed. But nothing more will come of it.

“The Raid 3”: So it is about another sequel

Director Gareth Evans has long shattered hopes for “The Raid 3”. The 40-year-old Welshman doesn’t want to cannibalize the series and instead devote himself to a little different projects – commendable. And yet I am pleased that Evans is now returning to more action-packed realms with “Gangs Of London” after his Netflix horror film “Apostle”. Because basically the series that has been running on Sky or Sky Ticket * since July 23, is nothing more than another, extra-large “The Raid” chapter.

About gangster sons and undercover cops

At the center of the story is the impulsive Sean Wallace (Joe Cole), who has no time to mourn after the death of his father – because he is supposed to continue the criminal empire in his place. How good that, on the day of the funeral, of all things, he runs into the mysterious Elliot (Sope Dirisu), who wins Sean’s trust in the twinkling of an eye and brings it straight to his henchman. What Sean doesn’t know, however: Elliot is an undercover cop who wants to get the Wallace family and their powerful partners off once and for all!

The basic tension is exactly the same as in “The Raid 2”: There it is policeman Rama (Iko Uwais) who is supposed to sneak the trust of gang boss son Uco (Arifin Putra) in order to defeat the syndicate of his father bring. While the Indonesian criminals are dealing with a Japanese clan, among other things, in the English metropolis, alongside the Wallace family, Albanians and Pakistanis are fighting for supremacy in the underworld.

The basic tension is exactly the same as in “The Raid 2”:

Just like in “The Raid 2”, our hero in “Gangs Of London” is always exposed to the risk of being exposed at any moment – and that’s it. At the same time, he is increasingly being pushed into atrocities to show his loyalty, which may just as well end up causing Elliot to switch sides.

Gareth Evans uses the scope of the series primarily to bring several parties into play that would simply go beyond the scope of a feature film. “Gangs Of London” makes this all the more complex entanglements possible. A masterpiece: Individual characters often trigger chain reactions of tragic events with their actions, which are always understandable – and are so grippingly staged that the nine episodes fly by.

The series works wonderfully as a heavily written and convincingly played gangster drama because Gareth Evans never loses track – neither in terms of content nor in terms of the action. And yes, in terms of action, “Gangs Of London” gets down to business in typical Gareth Evans fashion.

In terms of action, “Gangs Of London” gets down to business in a typical Gareth Evans style.

A splatter festival for action fans

First of all: you will not see martial arts fireworks here. Because even if, especially at the beginning, there are some heavily filmed, brutal melee interludes (which are less choreographed as a dance, but rather are remembered as hammer-hard bar fights), one must not forget that the biggest criminal gangs in London are at war here – and they just don’t hit each other on the hat until none of them can stand anyway, but shoot everything and everyone who stands in their way.

First of all: you will not see martial arts fireworks Xmovies8 after a break of several years, I only recently started watching series again. At least in episodes, I still know a lot, especially when it’s something “extreme” – the job as editor simply brings with it. And as such I can say without too much hesitation: “Gangs Of London” is one of the toughest series that ever existed.

“Gangs Of London” is one of the toughest series that ever existed.

Whole houses are completely shot to death, just to get the few people who are hiding there in any case. Shards, shavings and the cuckoo knows what fly through the booth in the best John Woo manner, while the opponents are mowed down in droves. Every time you think it really doesn’t get any more blatant, Evans picks it up again – and the camera is on top. “Raid” -typical tracking shots provide an unbelievable dynamic and some spectacular images, if ultimately the degree of hardness is what burns into the memory.

Just to name a few examples that illustrate how brutal it is in “Gangs Of London” (Warning, spoilers!): In addition to classic shootings that kill more people than you could count while watching, bones become smashed with hammers, stapled open wounds, torn out fingernails, cut out tongues and dented eyes – and if you are unlucky you will not only be gunned down in an instant, but also stabbed and burned. Better safe than sorry. Others just explode.

Just to name a few examples that illustrate how brutal it is in “Gangs Of London” (Warning, spoilers!):

Conclusion: One of the series highlights 2020

“Gangs Of London” is modern gangster cinema par excellence: absolutely uncompromising, gripping from beginning to end – and a must-see for all fans of “The Raid”

“Gangs Of London” is modern gangster cinema par excellence: absolutely uncompromising, gripping from beginning to end – and a must-see for all fans of “The Raid”

Too many and especially not elaborately choreographed close combat duels like in the “Raid” films are not shown here, but they would be a bit out of place anyway. In terms of both action and content, the handwriting of director Gareth Evans is more than clearly recognizable in “Gangs Of London” – sometimes so much that the series actually feels like an extension of the “Raid” universe.

Would I still secretly like “The Raid 3”? Clear! But while Iko Uwais (“Mile 22”) is now fighting his way through half Hollywood, I can live very well with Gareth Edwards actually leaving part three – as long as he continues “Gangs Of London” for a few more years or with a new action hit comes around the corner. But now I’m looking forward to the already confirmed second season.

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