The Raid movies had a huge impact on martial arts in movies and television, and the latest episode of Warrior shows that their influence continues.
Warrior season 2 presents the show’s best action scene for far in its latest episode, and it draws a clear influence from The Raid movies. The series is the belatedly realization of a concept developed by Bruce Lee prior to his passing, so it’s not terribly shocking that Warrior quite arguably has the best fight scenes of any currently televised series. While the show obviously draws a lot of influence from Hong Kong movies in this regard, The Raid films were the clear template of season 2’s latest episode, “Not For A Drink, a F–k, or a G–damn Prayer”.
In the episode, a huge battle breaks out after the Fung Hai’s leader Zing, played by Dustin Nguyen, orders Hoon Lee’s Wang Chao tortured and killed, with the San Francisco police storming into the conflict. The capstone is a one-on-one confrontation between Zing and Li Yong, played by Joe Taslim, on the top floor of the building. In observing how the whole set piece unfolds, it’s very apparent that The Raid movies were the basis for how it was designed.
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The fight between Li Yong and Zing itself occupies a similar setting to the hallway and apartment setting fights of The Raid: Redemption. While neither was a unique setting to the movie for a martial arts fight to unfold in, The Raid kicked off a big trend of hallways in particular as the setting for swift and brutal fights to unfold in. Warrior carries this over with Li Yong and Zing going head-to-head in an environment pulled right out of the apartment complex setting of The Raid, but the homages don’t end there.
As soon as the cops arrive on the scene, the sequence feels remarkable reminiscent of the prison riot in The Raid 2. Though that took place in a muddy prison yard, Warrior nevertheless adopts the same feeling of chaotic, out-of-control brawling in the latest episode’s big action scene. Moreover, Warrior had already brought in another, more subtle reference to The Raid movies before this that are greatly heightened here.
Both movies made heavy use of knives and machetes as melee weapons in their action scenes, while Warrior has also never hesitated to bring swords into the equation. However, the presence of bladed weaponry in the major action of Warrior‘s latest episode jumps out even more alongside the other influences that are incorporated from The Raid films. With the show already being every bit as unrelentingly harsh in its bloodshed as both of The Raid movies, the bladed action now feels like it was pulled right out of them, as if Yayan Ruhian’s Prakoso or Cecep Arif Rahman’s unnamed assassin are in the series in spirit.
With Joe Taslim himself also having been in The Raid as Jaka, the smaller individual influences that the two movies have had on the show overall and the newest episode specifically add up to an homage that is just impossible to miss. The Raid movies would set a new bar for martial arts action that is still being paid tribute to today, and the latest episode of Warrior is proof-positive that their impact is nowhere near abating. With the show’s Old West setting, perhaps the gun fu of the John Wick series might also be up next to be filtered through the action of Warrior if there is a season 3.
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