The Raid 2 (2014)

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8.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 10/10

High energy action movie with a plot

Despite probably being a superior film, enjoy the first film better

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Raid 2

Studio:  PT. Merantua Films

Genre(s):  Martial Arts/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  January 21, 2014 (Sundance)/March 28, 2014 (Indonesia)

MPAA Rating:  R

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I’ve had a really crappy day…who wants to try me?

Rama (Iko Uwais) has survived the deadly raid of the underworld leader’s apartment complex, but learns that he is in deeper than he expected.  Contacted by Bunawar (Cok Simbara) to join a covert team going after the dirty cops, Rama learns that his brother Andi (Donny Alamsyah) has been killed and agrees to join the secret hunt.  Going to prison, Rama (under the name of Yuda) manages to ally himself with Uco (Arifin Putra), the son of the crime boss Bangun (Tio Pakusadewo).  Now, Rama is in deeper than ever as a gang war breaks out, and he must get evidence of the corruption to get free once and for all.

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Let’s make mud angels and then we can be besties!

Directed by Gareth Evans, The Raid 2 is titled The Raid 2:  Berandal in Indonsia which translates to Thug.  A follow-up to the surprise 2011 hit The Raid (called The Raid:  Redemption in the United States), The Raid 2 was actually conceived before The Raid but shelved for budget reason.  The Raid 2 was able to get the bigger budget due to the success of the first film and also was released to critical acclaim.

When The Raid 2 was released the buzz about the edgy action film The Raid was in full swing in the U.S.  The Raid 2 keeps the action going, but does loose some of the simplicity of the original film.

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Stop! Hammer-time!

What was great about The Raid is that it was kind of a Mad Max basic plot.  Cops enter a building, the criminals lock down the building, and all-out war breaks out.  Yes, there were subplots and corruption, but it was pretty simple.  The Raid 2 adds a lot of plot to the story and is essentially an action crime thriller loaded with fighting.

The Raid 2 is surprisingly complex.  You have Rama working to protect his family and avenge his brother by going under cover, and you have Uco turning against his father and trying to take over the crime syndicate.  There is a lot of wheeling and dealing and betrayals, and it can sometimes be a bit hard to follow.

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Come & play with us, Rama….for ever and ever and ever!

The movie continues to be all about the fighting which is awesome to behold.  With over-the-top battles occurring throughout the movie, you’d think it would get old, but the film continues to modify and change the fighting scenes enough that each fight has its own feel…plus, this film adds more characters to the mix.

Iko Uwais is a standout as the lead and a skilled fighter himself.  He evolves out of the cast of the first film as the star and is lead throughout this movie.  The movie puts the brother-sister characters of “Hammer Girl” (Julie Estelle) and “Baseball Bat Man” (Very Tri Yulisman) into to the mix.  It is a bit cartoony (think Kill Bill), but it is in tune with the film (Hammer Girl’s subway fight reminds me a lot of the hallway battle in Oldboy).  The previous film’s standout (and the fight choreographer) Yayan Ruhian does return in another smaller but significant role.

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I just wanted a can opener!

I like that The Raid 2 aspires to more, but I miss the simplicity of the first film.  With a run-time of two and a half hours, The Raid 2 has a more epic feel and is definitely worth seeking out…but if I had to choose between The Raid and The Raid 2, I’d pick The Raid…I have a feeling that it could come down to a Star Wars vs. Empire Strikes Back scenario (the nostalgia of the original versus the better plot of the second film), but I’ll stick with the first film.  The Raid 2 is scheduled to be followed by The Raid 3 (though Gareth Evans did report that he wanted a break between filming).

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Related Links:

The Raid (2011)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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