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The lead actors Kai Lehtinen and Mari Rantasila have been known each other for a long time, since both studied at the Theatre Academy of Helsinki, also under its notorious rector Jouko Turkka. In 1989 Turkka directed the TV series "Seitsemän veljestä" where Lehtinen and Rantasila appeared together for the first time on television. See more »
More powerful, but less believable than the miniseries
In June of 2005, the Finnish embassy and the MHz channel arranged a special showing of the RAID sequel at the AFI Silver, just outside Washington DC. We stood in line surrounded by enthusiastic Finnish-Americans. Kai Lehtinen and Tapio Piirainen had flown in, signed autographs and posed for snapshots with fans.
The film delivered most of our favorite characters in another involved political conspiracy with economic consequences. Running gags from the series were continued in the film. It was hard to judge if the film was funnier than the series, or if the enthusiastic crowd made it seem more humorous.
The events in the series were fictional, but believable. Raid was still the talented and instinctive hero, and Uki, Tarja, Jansson and Sundman were still very believable characters; the actions they took were plausible enough to suspend disbelief. Sundman's relationship with a plump model was intriguing.
This film was more action-packed, but it was more difficult to believe that the climactic events could have occurred without serious repercussions for Raid and his cohort. And the film's villain wasn't as memorable as Hammar.
After the showing, Lehtinen laughed a lot while he and Piirainen fielded questions from the stage. Kai seemed very surprised and flattered to be a hit in America, but was grounded enough to brush off any talk of leaving Finland to pursue a Hollywood career.
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