Movie Review: The Raid 2
Director: Gareth Evans
Writers: Gareth Evans
Stars: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra
Synopsis: Only a short time after the first raid, Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his police force.
Gareth Evans once again brings us an action-packed martial arts action film, the directly follows up his 2011 film, The Raid: Redemption. The fight choreography is nothing short of spectacular once again as you feel every kick, punch and stabbing that happens quite frequently throughout The Raid 2. The action in many sequences is not for the faint of heart, where the violence is harrowing and intense. The last 30 minutes of this movie alone is worth the price of admission, as the final fight sequences are some of the best ever captured on film.
The story literally picks up right after the events of The Raid: Redemption, where we see Rama (Iko Uwais) taking Wahyu to another trustworthy cop, Bunawar (Cok Simbara), since the police force seems corrupted. At the same time, rising gangster Bejo (Alex Abbad) assassinates Rama’s brother and thus things are set in motion. In order to expose the police corruption, Bunawar knows they must infiltrate the Bangun gang, who is the core foundation paying off the police. Bunawar sends Rama into prison to infiltrate the gang and get on the inside, which lands Rama in prison for a year and half, much longer than he promised. When he’s released, Rama tails Bangun’s son Uco to get further on the inside and to eventually take them down. What made the first Raid so great, was the fact that it was simple. It was mostly, “here there’s a bad guy in this building, let’s go kill him,” and that was pretty much it. While the action, again, is great here, the script is way overly complicated, introduces many villains and a few subplots that were unnecessary. It’s almost as Evans felt he had to explain what was going on in the first Raid to give it more context and make this story seem more real. However, while well-intended, I found it too convoluted for a story like this. It’s the action we want, which made the film seem dry at times. Overall though, if you can follow, the action is worth it.
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Iko Uwais once again is fantastic as Rama, and not just in the big action moments, but makes us feel the humanistic side of him, as we see him struggle with just wanting to go home and be done with this. However, he’s forced into this situation and has to fight is way out, which Uwais showcases masterfully. Arifin Putra and Tio Pakusodewo, who run the Bangun family, have some really great moments together and helped keep the story moist when it felt dry at times. Yayan Ruhian, who was in The Raid: Redemption, plays a different character here because he’s too badass to not have in this film. Do I need to say more?
Much like the Americanized score from the first film, Joseph Trapanese gets the nod to score here again, alongside Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal. The score is subtle but add a great deal of intensity to the action sequences, which is obviously the big focus in a film like this. It’s not one you’ll remember per se, but it fits this film very well.
Forget the script and it’s over complicated plot, the action is awesome. It alone, as you could imagine, is easily worth the price of admission. There’s an action sequence toward the end between Rama and the villains Hammer Girl, Baseball Bat Man, and the Assassin, that is just jaw dropping, martial arts awesomeness. Go see this film.