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'The Raid 2' Ups The Ante and Expands With Glorious Results


Iko Uwais

After his lean, gritty Indonesian action thriller The Raid stormed the box office in 2012, Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans could have easily repeated that film's simple linear attack in the sequel. Instead, The Raid 2 is an epic gangster movie with added martial arts fighting.

The Raid 2The Raid 2 Is A Triumph For Gareth Evans

"The first one I saw as a survival horror film," Evans says. "This one is a crime thriller. The first one was about tension and suspense, and for the sequel I wanted to expand and tell this big sprawling crime saga about these families, father-son issues and all these different relationships."

Continue reading: 'The Raid 2' Ups The Ante and Expands With Glorious Results

'The Raid 2' Is Not As Good As The Original. But It's Damn Good.


Iko Uwais

Among the smorgasbord of movies on offer for cinemagoers this weekend is The Raid 2, Gareth Evans's sequel to the classic 2012 Indonesian martial-arts movie, Redemption. 

The Raid 2'The Raid 2' Branches Out From The Original

The first effort followed Special Forces rookie Rama (Iko Uwais) who is instructed to hang back during a covert mission to extract a brutal crime lord from a rundown fifteen-story apartment block. It was a high octane thrill fest with genuinely ground-breaking fight scenes, masterfully directed by the Welsh filmmaker.

Continue reading: 'The Raid 2' Is Not As Good As The Original. But It's Damn Good.

The Raid 2 Review


OK

After the linear kick of 2011's surprise Indonesian hit The Raid, Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans is back with an epic-style sequel that sags under the weight of its ambitions. Indulgent both in its storytelling and in each set-piece, this two-and-a-half hour thriller owes more to Hong Kong classic Infernal Affairs than to The Raid. But even as it wears us out, its expertly staged fight scenes keep us entertained.

Immediately after that original raid, young Jakarta cop Rama (Iko Uwais) is recruited by his boss (Cok Simbara) to infiltrate the local mafia. This requires Rama to go to prison for two years to protect fellow inmate Uco (Arifin Putra), earning the trust of Uco's father, the fearsome mob boss Bangun (Tio Pakusodewo). When they're released, Rama joins the family firm. But Uco is impatient to inherit the empire, and secretly plots with wildcard thug Bejo (Alex Abbad) to spark a turf war with the Japanese gangster Goto (Ken'ichi Endo).

Evans tells this story as a sprawling mass of talky plotting and outrageous fight scenes, as Rama works his way into the mob and then has to clean up the increasingly nasty mess. Each brawl is more frenzied than the one before it, and we can't help but laugh each time Rama turns a corner and confronts the next thug (or gang of them) in his way. Highlights include a frankly insane car chase, the climactic kitchen battle and two specialised baddies: a hammer-swinging deaf girl (Julie Estelle) and a skater-dude (Very Tri Yulisman) with a metal baseball bat.

Continue reading: The Raid 2 Review

The Raid Review


Good
This riotously entertaining Indonesian action-thriller is packed with cleverly staged carnage. There's very little in the way of characterisation or plot, although there's just enough of both to hold our interest.

Rookie cop Rama (Uwais) kisses his pregnant wife goodbye and heads out for an intense day at work. The team is raiding a run-down tower block to capture vicious mobster Tama (Sahetapy). Led by tough-guy Jaka (Taslim), they aren't remotely ready for what happens next, as Tama offers the building's residents free rent for life if they kill the cops before they reach the 15th floor.

Full-on war ensues, and soon there are only a handful of police officers left.

Continue reading: The Raid Review

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