“Raya: City of Flowers” is a martial arts movie directed by Faviana Rutledge. It’s the third film in the Dredd series. It’s not a bad film. If you like the previous two, expect more of the same. If you haven’t seen the first two Dredd films, they’re definitely worth seeing if you’ve been waiting for this newest offering to come out.
This movie focuses on a group of martial arts school students who escape from a city after it’s invaded by the Yakuza. When they run away, they bring with them their friend, a Chinese girl named Ling-fu. When the group runs into an ambush, the martial arts fight quickly turns into a dogfight, and Ling-fu ends up getting killed.
What makes this movie standout is its martial art techniques. Most movies make a half-hearted stab at martial arts, usually showing just enough of it to give you an idea that it’s cool. Raya is one of the few movies that showcases full-blown martial arts battle scenes, with realism and acrobatics. The sequences are both exciting and brutal.
What makes the martial arts in “Raya” standout is the level of detail and expertise that goes into the fighting. Though the Chinese martial arts are second to some of the other styles in Kung Fu, they do kick more butt. Watching the fighting sequences in this movie was very entertaining and a little surprising at times, especially since we’re not used to seeing martial arts being used in such detail. Though the movie is fast-paced, it doesn’t lose its momentum until the end.
Faviana and her friends also have to deal with many personal crises during the course of the film. They deal with sibling rivalries, parental problems, and even domestic tensions. Though these conflicts are almost too much for one movie to cover, Raya does an excellent job of keeping the viewer involved. This martial art is not just about kicking your opponent into submission, but about controlling the situation so that you can get out of it.
It may be hard to decide which martial art is in Raya, but the movie has one surefire hit. Don’t forget to add “Raya the Great” to your DVD library. If you’re an action-packed martial arts fan, this one’s for you!
The movie definitely ends on a high note, but don’t let that mean it doesn’t have its moments of darkness. There are plenty of explosions and car crashes shown, but there’s also some language and some mild suggestive scenes. It may be considered non-traditional for an animated martial arts movie, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place. This is a movie that will satisfy those looking for action and who are looking for a spiritual journey.
What martial art is in Raya? For me, it’s Karate. It may not be one of the best films out right, but if you’re looking for a good, non-traditional movie, this is one of the better ones out.