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Geddo Habibi: Cringingly Irritating Egyptian Comedy
Fekreya (Boshra) is a British-raised Egyptian who insists on being called Vicky. Completely broke and out of her job after the stock market crash, she decides visit her estranged grandfather Hussein (Yaseen), who is on his deathbed in Egypt. As his sole heir, she stands to inherit a fortune which would effectively cure her financial woes. Predictably, she gets to Egypt, meets her granddad and after a thorny adjustment period, they become best buds.
The film kicks off with an awful opening credits sequence that really sets up how irritating Vicky’s character is. It was during this sequence that this reviewer first found herself cringing; something that would be repeated quite frequently throughout the rest of its running time. The film’s first act involves Vicky and her roommate harping on about the money Vicky stands to inherit if her grandfather would just die already. The movie paints the roommate as the more awful of the two, although Vicky is every bit as distasteful.
The middle of the film revolves around twenty-something Vicky’s friendship with a bunch of teenage boys and the problems this poses for her grandfather who thinks it isn’t proper. Cue a bunch of partying scenes and her granddad coming home to find kids making out and a random guy offering him a spliff.
The final act has Vicky and her granddad tracking down a former flame of his who, lo and behold, has a grandson who would be perfect for Vicky. This is when the film takes an inexplicable turn for the preachy which, all things considered, is still a definite upgrade to everything that preceded it. It extols, quite heavy-handedly, the virtues of real-love marriages as opposed to arranged ones, and gives Vicky the happy ending she’d been dreaming of forever; a husband.
678 had Boshra showcasing some decent dramatic chops and this reviewer would like to implore her to stick to drama because her comedic timing is completely off. Vicky was something along the lines of a manic, grossly materialistic person until she falls in love and suddenly calms down. It’s a very unlikable character and one that’s frankly highly irritating mainly due to the thrashing around that passes as physical comedy. It was the visual equivalent of nails on a chalk board. On the plus side though, Boshra has a pretty decent English accent.
The rest of the actors didn’t fare much better. Yaseen looks remarkably healthy and active for someone who’s knocking on the doors of death, while Abdel Aziz looks distractingly botoxed and is made up to look like a raccoon. Meanwhile, Fahmy is so bland that he barely registers on screen.
The actors involved in this movie are capable of so much better which makes this wreck even more depressing.
It was the magnificently choreographed fighting sequences and its unapologetic approach to violence that made Gareth Evans’ 2011 The Raid: Redemption a breakthrough hit and it sure looks like that The Raid 2 - the sequel to the deliciously fierce Jakarta-based thriller - will have no problem in keeping the momentum alive.
The Raid 2 picks up hours after the events of the first film which finds Rama (Uwais) - the sole surviving member of the elite squad responsible for uncovering evidence on dirty cops and taking down the forty-story compound run by Jakarta’s crime-lord – with an opportunity to dig deeper into the rampant corruption.
However, getting there is no easy task and if he is ever to gain access into Indonesia’s criminal underworld, he must go undercover and into prison, where he is to earn the trust of Uco (Putra); the son of a mob kingpin, Bangun (Pakusadewo). With a number of people on his tail – from street mobsters to the corrupt officials he helped expose – Rama has no choice but to accept and after four gruelling years infiltrating the system, he finally manages to get in.
Upon their joint release, Rama becomes one of Bangun’s trusted enforcers and soon witnesses the troubles between the overindulged Uco and his controlling father; but the real worry comes with the arrival of Bejo (Abbadi); the leader of the rival Japanese gang whose sole aim is to take control of the city’s underworld.
The Raid 2 is definitely not for the squeamish or for the faint of heart, but if you are a die-hard action fan then you will find plenty to love about Evans’ latest effort. With plenty of broken bones, blood and bullets, the violence is unrelenting and very little is held back in terms brutality and carnage. The fighting sequences are aplenty –perhaps even a little excessive – but they are all captivating and exceptionally fascinating to watch.
Although still as hypnotising and captivating as its predecessor, The Raid 2 suffers from an overly long running time – one hundred and fifty minutes to be exact – and the narrative, whose simplicity was one of shining factors of the first film – now just seems heaped and overcomplicated. There are too many faces and names to keep up with and it takes a while before the plot finds its foothold; Uwais, the real-life Indonesian martial-arts champion, returns to play Rama and once more demonstrates amazing skills, while Putra – as the spoiled son desperate to break away from his father’s shackles – steals the show.
In the end, The Raid 2 makes for a fine sequel and although its storyline may be a little convoluted at times, Evans’ brilliant and gracefully composed action sequences make up for any of the film’s shortcomings.
First, it’s important to establish that we cannot place the blame in its entirety on Ramez Galal for his sadistic show. A big part of the blame should fall on us, the viewers, who eagerly wait for pranks and spike the show’s ratings, even reaching the point where café owners will blast these shows on large TVs to attract customers. It’s time to admit that there’s a sadist in all of us.
The premise of the show is a guest will come in to film an episode about the World Cup on a zodiac boat out at sea. The boat malfunctions, one of the presenters dives in to see what’s wrong, and the events quickly escalate to the boat sinking with the guest and a fake shark attack.
In the episode with Rania Mahmoud Yassin and Mohamed Riad, it’s interesting to point out that the boat didn’t sink entirely, and Rania kept a firm clutch on her sunglasses in a situation where any normal person would’ve let go of his/her belongings in exchange for safety. We ignored these points at first, but after several mentions on TV and by other viewers, we couldn’t help but wonder.
The show comes with a lot of legal issues this year, of which, a case that Athar El Hakim filed against Galal, banning her episode from airing, under the pretence that the prank extremely frightened her. The truth behind that is in question, after a video of her discussing her pay for the episode was leaked. Other legal issues concerning the show include damage to marine life from planting metal poles to support the hidden cameras.
Because nothing is black and white, it’s important to admit Galal’s sense of humour and experience, especially when it’s imitated by an artist like Mohamed Fouad in his show “Fo’sh Fil Mo’askar”, a stale and completely void of humour prank show.
We have to admit, we were impressed by the shark boat Galal uses to rescue the guests. He is a smart actor who was able to establish himself within Ramadan TV and create shows that people wait for year to year.