The Raid 2 Review
What’s It About? The fight isn’t over for rookie Jakarta cop Rama (Iko Uwais) as he realises he must go undercover and enter the criminal underworld by himself to weed out the corrupt politicians and police who are pulling the strings at the top of the chain. To gain the confidence of soon-to-be-boss of the biggest crime family in Indonesia, Uco (Arifin Putra), Rama takes on the identity of ex-prisoner and violent offender ‘Yuda’ and makes his way into the crime syndicate to bring corruption to an end the only way he knows how.
Verdict: The hype for this sequel couldn’t be any more intense. If you felt smashed to pieces by the first film in 2011, then be ready to be ripped to shreds once again. The good news is… it’s every bit as good as the first film, and if you thought Gareth Evans was directing in top speed for The Raid: Redemption then you haven’t seen anything yet. In The Raid 2 he knocks it up to an entirely new gear with the action and bigger, longer set pieces. The hand-to-hand choreography continues to be a work of beauty which at times feeling like watching a slow-moving dance that in a split second changes to something faster than the eye can handle. By the final 30 minutes the viewer you’ll feel battered on all sides by an onslaught of emotionally charged action scenes that go through weapons, and bodies, in the blink of an eye.
Outside of the ferocious action, there’s also a story based around Rama and his family which gives a more humanistic sense to why he’s doing what he has to do. However, whilst Evans appears to be able to direct action scenes in his sleep, the scenes with more dialogue heavy moments can be a little sluggish at times. But hey, these are small quibbles when you have action as heart-stopping brutal and, at times, breathlessly insane that you’ll need an oxygen mask to breath after it’s finished! Only a director outside of the Hollywood system could deliver such a piece of movie making as Gareth Evans has done with The Raid 2.
Final Words: The Raid universe has expanded, with a few dialogue-based scenes that slow the film down slightly. But make no mistake, The Raid 2 is a relentless assault on the senses that hammers hard and fast.
The Raid 2 is released in the UK on 11 April 2014.