Released date: 28 Mar 2014
Plot Summary: Having escaped from the infamous tower block in the first film, Rama (Uwais) is thrown back into the brutal environment of the Indonesian underworld via a dangerous undercover mission.
Of all the different types of films out there, it is arguably those belonging to the action-film genre that best lend themselves to sequels. Perhaps it is their penchant for high-concept plot structures that enable the filmmakers to so easily copy and paste action sequels, or maybe it’s the fact that they rarely require carefully-considered framing devices. Whatever the reason, it’s hard to deny that the annals of cinema are littered with carbon-copy action-sequels, with the only alteration from the originals being location. Thankfully, The Raid 2 does not fall under this description.
To be fair, Gareth Evans et al. have certainly changed up the location; long gone is the claustrophobic brilliance of the world’s most violent tower block. Instead we are treated to a wide variety of sprawling locations ranging from murky drug-dens to immaculate restaurant kitchens. These simple changes act as a perfect analogy for the film as a whole: the cramped world of high-concept has been replaced by something far bigger and braver. Everything about the sequel has been expanded and kicked up a gear. Where the original’s fairly basic plot took place over just one day, the sequel spans years and is labyrinthine in its structure.
Evans shows he’s capable of quite the plate-spinning act as he has meticulously controls the ever-revolving narrative, resulting in one of the most surprisingly complex action flicks in many years. Loyal fans of the original need not fear though; The Raid 2 is, in many ways, worlds apart from its predecessor, but it has undoubtedly retained all the key assets that made the first film such a revelation. I am of course here referring to the fight scenes. Just as The Raid reinvented the way we consume on-screen fisticuffs (for unfamiliar, international audiences anyway), the sequel picks up right where it left off. The fighting on display is once again raw and inventive, delivered at a blistering pace that results in footage that is almost hypnotizing it’s brutality.
And brutality is the keyword here too; the use of claw hammers in this film makes Oldboy seem like a B&Q advert. As you’d expect, the violence is the star attraction here, and it definitely does not disappoint. However, the biggest surprise of The Raid 2 is how well it tackles every other element of the plot. Everyone involved has pulled together in search of the resolute goal of making an ‘epic’, and they’ve all succeeded. The size and scale of the story has been multiplied tenfold, and done so to devastating effect. Even the runtime has ballooned, now nearly an hour longer that The Raid. Is it better than its forerunner? As always, only time will tell, but one thing remains for certain: The Raid 2is an undisputable master-class in high-octane violence. Bring spare adrenalin.
|Very Tri Yulisman||...||Baseball Bat Man|
|Martial Arts Crime Action|
|Walt Disney Pictures|