Original Title: The Raid 2: Berandal
Starring: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Tio Pakusodewo, Oka Antara, Alex Abbad
Directed By: Gareth Evans
Written By: Gareth Evans
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 2 hr 30 mins
In The Raid: Redemption, writer, director, editor, Gareth Evans scores with his simply structured and superbly choreographed action epic. In The Raid 2, the Everton* supporter hits the back of the net again, and proves he’s capable of more than just well shot action. All I can say is, I can’t wait for his hat-trick! Just keep ’em coming Gareth, because you’re my shining light, my new John Woo!
Raid 2’s story starts shortly after where the first movie ended, and quickly dives into a much more involved plot. We’ve got mob family issues, a secret police force hunting corrupt cops, and a third-party trying to start a war. At first it takes you by surprise, especially if you’re expecting more of the same straight forward action delivered in the first film. But the story grows on you, and there’s a lot more at stake in this sequel.
Matt Flannery and Dimas Imam Subhono, who photographed the first film, certainly seem to have enjoyed the increased budget, broader story and more expansive locations. Because this is a really slick-looking film. And while it’s much longer than the first film to incorporate the more involved story, there’s still the same great action, and as the movie builds to a conclusion, the set pieces become more and more elaborate, violent and exciting.
What can I say, I’m now a big fan of Gareth Evans’ work. He’s a Jack of many trades, and master of them too. He writes, directs and edits, and has a really keen eye for action and how to present it to the audience. The Raid: Redemption was the best action film I’d seen in years, until The Raid 2 that is!
* Everton Football Club, England.
If you saw The Raid: Redemption, and expected more of the same from the sequel, get ready to be disappointed! This is much more plot driven, and is 49 minutes longer. Expect more dialog, and a more layered plot. It does have just as much great action as the first film, but it’s more spread out, an it takes a while to get to the all action finale. This movie is rated R because, well, it’s incredibly violent!
This film looks amazing, and will work best on a theater sized screen. At home, a HD viewing on a huge TV is the way to go. Watching this on anything portable would be silly!
I first thought the set piece involving all the martial arts action along with a car chase couldn’t be topped. But then I saw Cecep Arif Rahman and Iko Uwais fight in the kitchen, and I changed my mind!