The Raid 2 (2014) – Gareth Evans

Picking up shortly after the first film, The Raid 2 sees Rama (Iko Uwais) recruited into a secret, and small division of the police to go undercover in the hopes of securing tangible and undeniable proof of police corruption.

The only way for it to be believable is if Rama breaks the law, and can get close to a member of one of the ruling crime families, Uco (Arifin Putra), currently being held in prison. And that is the set-up for one explosive action set piece after another.

As Rama gets on Uco’s good side, he’s brought into the organization just as a gang war seems to be developing. Uco wants to take over from his father, and he’s being aided by Bejo (Alex Abbad), who is working to bring Uco’s family into conflict over the Japanese who also have territory in the city.

And who is going to be paying off the cops? And will Rama get the evidence he needs or will everything get torn down as the action sequences get bigger and bloodier?

Over the course of two and a half hours the story follows Rama who is determined to prove his case, but as tensions mount, war brews, and trust frays, there may be nothing left by blood on the floor.

The fight sequences are visceral, jaw-dropping, and the choreography for each is so well thought out, paced, performed, and edited that it ends up being a complete rush. The actors and stunt performers are trained to deliver full contact hits and kicks, but also have to know how to control their speed and strength to make for a safe set. It’s stunning.

There are fantastic sequences featuring Yayan Ruhian, and Julie Estelle, and the visual effects added to suggest how violent some of these clashes, and the injuries incurred during them can’t help but elicit physical reactions from the viewer. Each moment is planned, thought out, and captured perfectly on camera.

And for two and a half hours, the film flies by, there’s an engaging narrative that doesn’t lead the audience along by the nose, you’re expected to pay attention. But even if you’re just watching it for the fight sequences, this one is bound to entertain.

Both films are solid action movies and totally scratch the itch of brutal martial arts fights, weapons, and an engaging story with a character that is put through the grinder. He’s a good cop in a bad place, and getting to ride along with him is still a fantastic cinematic experience.

Every time I put this or the first film on I am totally reminded of how awesome they are. I’ll have to check them both out again real soon.


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