Quickie: The Raid 2

The Raid 2Following the events of the first raid, Rama (Iko Uwais) goes undercover to infiltrate a Jakarta crime syndicate.

Who’d have thought that an Indonesian martial arts film directed by a Welshman would be one of the biggest cult hits of the past few years? Gareth Evan’s The Raid has since been heralded as one of the greatest martial arts film of all time and a sequel was therefore inevitable.

The Raid 2 takes everything the original film did and turns it up to the extreme, which would usually be cause for concern, but Evans has such control over the material that it never gets out of hand and still retains pretty much everything that made the original so brilliant. The fight scenes are the film’s bread and butter and they are undeniably breathtaking. The choreography of each and very fight is almost balletic. Brutal, bloody ballet. With hammers.

One criticism levelled at the 2011 original was the lack of story. It was essentially just a series of increasingly impressive fight scenes with little connecting them. This was fine enough because the fight scenes were so good, but there’s do denying it was slightly short on narrative. Evans attempts to address that issue by shoving in some story but this is rather too convoluted in the first half of the film and almost completely abandoned in the second half, again favouring the fights over the story. It’s admirable that Evans attempts to focus more on story but it doesn’t quite work.

However, that should in no way take away from the fact that The Raid 2 is quite simply one of the best action films of recent years and one that fans of the genre will no doubt be talking about for years. Or at least until the next one comes out.

4 and a half pigeons

4.5/5 pigeons

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18 thoughts on “Quickie: The Raid 2

  1. keith7198 says:

    I liked it too but didn’t quite love it as much as most. The action is undeniably great and that’s where the money is at. I think the main story hits a few snags, but some of the action simply blew me away.

  2. Great review Chris. My top action flick of the year. The fight scenes are incredible but I agree that the story needed more work. Still, it shows Hollywood a thing or two!

  3. CMrok93 says:

    Such a fun time, especially when you take into consideration how great the first one was. Good review.

  4. Knew you’d love this mate! One of my faves of the year no doubt.

  5. Oh yeah! That’s the action packed stuff 😀

  6. ruth says:

    I’m thrilled that a film set in my country and stars Indo actors are so well-received internationally. If only it weren’t so violent tho. I don’t think I could handle the Raid films to be honest.

  7. Look forward to checking this one out, really enjoyed the first! Second attempt sounds even better. Top work mate.

    Adam.

  8. Tom says:

    Damn, I really need to start watching these films, don’t I? And I do love a good, intense action film. Sub-par storyline, or not. 🙂 Great review dude.

  9. Nostra says:

    Although it has some amazing sequences I didn’t love it as much as the original. Biggest reason was the story which just didn’t make sense a lot of times and took away from my overall enjoyment. Should have kept it as simple as the original film…

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