Thursday, April 8, 2010

[REC] 2 (2009)

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of this film from an international amigo. I actually saw the first one with this same friend I met in my travels years ago in theaters (luckily subtitled) and he really wanted me to see this installment. So gracias mi amigo! Donde es el banjo y quiero mas cerveza? Man I hope I said that right.

This review is going to be tough because I am not spoiling the film, but I would love to hear feedback and opinions from those few who have also been fortunate enough to see it. In order to do this review, I do need to spoil the original, so if you have not seen the original (and Quarantine does not count) please go do so...and shame on you. Shame, shame, shame on you for not seeing [REC] yet.

The film picks up 15-20 minutes after the final scene in [REC], with Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) getting dragged into the darkness. Now a SWAT team is sent to escort a Ministry of Health officer into the apartment complex for an investigation. Armed to the gills, the team is going to learn what exactly happened in that building prior to their arrival and they are not going to like it.

I'm glad my friend remembered the right subtitles or I'd be screwed

The camerawork is changed up a little here to keep things fresh. Not only do we have the main camera from one of the SWAT team members, but the film's "seeing eye" is switched to each of the other team members' helmet cameras. The team's main orders are to record and document everything, so these cameras are recording the entire time. This is a neat trick that helps to not keep things stagnant and also used to set up some very interesting scenes.

Also along for the ride this time are a bunch of annoying kids who sneak in the building and stumble into the father who went to get medicine for the "sick" child in the original and Manu's fireman partner (is that what they call fellow firemen?). The kids use their own camera to record their story arc which eventually leads them to intersect into the arc of the SWAT team.

If you have not read about this film on IMDB, STAY THE HELL AWAY!!! There is a strict divide between those like it and those whi hate it. And spoilers run rampant in titles. This divide is caused by the zombies because they are an extremely different foe this time around.

So readers, let's just chat for a second and let me keep my spoiler alert at level green...

For those who saw the original, do you remember when we were having an all-out zombie fest and having a good time and all? Ok, then do you remember when Angela and her cameramen read those articles posted on the wall about the original source of the virus at the end? Kinda took things in another direction as far as the whole "zombie" thing, no? Ok so I thought it was pretty obvious what the filmmakers were trying to say about what was actually happening in the film based on those a little twist on things. Well this film moves forward with this concept and a lot of people are not pleased. Maybe I missed something in the original but I always took this "implication" as what the filmmakers originally had in mind, but others took those articles to have a whole other meaning. And there is an uproar over the believability of the characters and certain situations that a horror film called [REC] 2 about crazy infected zombie-like people...come on!!

My thoughts? It fucking kicked ass! Yeah that's brash. Sure the first one completely owns in my opinion, but for the path the original was taking us down late in the film, this was the only logical choice to take this sequel. This is not the same film as the original, so don't look for anything like the first story. Although they are different films, they are however close to the same in greatness.


The filmmakers created a worthy sequel here. They seamlessly continued the story by continuing with the twist we got at the end of the first film. There were some suspenseful moments and although it does have its slow parts, is a pretty exciting flick. Another good thing is that this doesn't feel like a sequel for sequel's sake and that is what I totally feared was going to happen.

Here are some of the film's flaws: one is those annoying kids. That whole arc was ridiculous and their bitch-assedness made for some unintentional comedy for me. But in a bad way. Maybe this was the case of the filmmakers padding things out. Who knows? The other flaw is that I expected the zombies from the original to bum rush these guys as soon as they got in. But in all fairness, that would make for a 10-minute movie and add zero suspense. There is another instance that would be unfair to categorize as a flaw which involves night-vision (again I can't say more for fear of spoilers) that feels a little out of place. It does lead to some cool action and sets up the final act quite well though. And finally, I needed WAY more zombie Manu!!!! Still these flaws are petty and I easily brushed them off because I was having such a good time.

More on Manu quickly...I thought he was the shit in the first one. By far my favorite character. He took out zombies with his axe like it was his job. He was so much better than his counterpart in the remake. Ugh it was like night and day with those guys. In the original when the camerman looks down the stairs and we see zombie Manu look up from around the railing...I was like "Oh Shit"! It's not good when your biggest ass kicker goes to the other side. I wish I could contact Fright Rags and ask them to create a Zombie Manu shirt that has him as a zombie with his axe and simply states "Zombie Manu!!" That would be the coolest shirt ever. Don't know if the demand is there r not but I'd buy like 50.

Very minor spoilers, Manuela Velasco returns in a small role. I don't say this to be a spoiler (she was at the red carpet and even has a top billing, so I think everyone knows she's in it already), but because well I would kill someone just to spend the night with her. And if by some oddity Manuela, if you happen to read this (and in English no less), please understand that I mean that with the utmost respect for you. I would never kill anyone, I'm a vegetarian. Just kidding I'm not a vegetarian...

There is also a scene involving Manuela where she is doing something that is not supposed to be erotic (at least I don't think) but it got me all excited. You'll know what I'm talking about when you see it and come back here to call me a freak. But I'll be a freak for her any day. Ok I need to get a hold of myself here and wrap this up.

Yes Manuela, I love you too. Right back at ya!

So if you are lucky to get this film, see it and enjoy. I recommend it. Not that that means anything, but it is a fun ride as the [REC] mythos expands. I don't know what the deal is for the U.S. release at all. Last I read, a theater in San Fran is going to be screening it for 3 days in the late summer/early fall. Who knows if it will be theatrically released everywhere in the States, but I will be sure to see it on the big screen and buy the Blu-ray if/when they are released. see Manuela in Blu-ray! Did I mention that I'd kill someone just to...oh nevermind.


Jerry said...

Never heard of this movie. I have to check it out now.

Planet of Terror said...

Thanks for sending a copy my way broheim. Haven't had a chance to see it yet this week to peep it out. Great review. Can't wait to see it.

Matt-suzaka said...

I cannot wait to see REC 2! I loved the first film and yes, Manuela Velasco is tight bangin'! Glad you dug it and I believe it will be out on VOD in June I believe with a small theatrical release in July. Magnate picked it up, so it will be out in the near future at least!

Rev. Phantom said...

I am really looking forward to checking this out--especially now. I loved the first one.

Copyboy said...

I love that you are able to span the globe with your horror tastes. It's amazing to note the slight differences of what foreign filmmakers consider to be scary.

Chuck said...

Sounds like a flick worthy of my viewing time...thanks for the tip. And Manuela is enfuego!

Carl (ILHM) said...

Nothing could ever stop me from watching this one, cant wait and glad you liked it G man!

TheAmazingFoxworthBlog said...

i loved this show as well!!!! Fuckin excellent sequel imo :-)rarely happens - especially with horrors.

in the first one there's a scene in the attic where somethin happens, something that didnt make any sense but me & the missus called it on the nose - an after seeing the second one we were delighted to be able to turn around and shout "in your face2 to the doubters.

really excellently made & i hear talk of a 3rd one. or maybe i hear talk of quarantine 2 and in that case it can go jump.

The Man With No Name said...

DAMN YOU. I am so jealous you got to see this one. I saw the trailer and couldn't wait back around Christmas. I can't wait!

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