The Raid 2: Berandal – 2014

the raid 2Only 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.

Directed

Stars

What we think: Stop….pause….take a breath, you’ll need to catch it after witnessing one of the finest action films made for some time.

The follow up to The Raid packs an even harder punch, with our hero Rama (Iko Uwais) sent undercover to bring down a crime family and uncover yet more police corruption.

The first film was simplistic enough, a SWAT team enter a building and (without the use of an elevator) must navigate a way up to the top floor to bring down a powerful but mediocre drug lord. Praised for its gritty no holds barred fight sequences, and perfectly timed action it was nothing short of a hit.

Part 2 follows practically from where the last ended, Rama is hurried away to a secluded location and given the run down explaining that all his efforts were for nothing, but that he still has a big part to play. Although he doesn’t really have much of a choice in the matter.

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In order to keep his family safe he has to get close to the arrogant son of a mob boss, Ucok (Arifin Putra), and to do this must infiltrate a prison by committing a high profile crime that will get him noticed by the mafia top brass. What is only supposed to be a few months turns into a couple of years, giving Rama more than enough time to get right under the skin of Ucok.

The storyline isn’t really anything unique with shades of Infernal Affairs about it, police corruption, undercover cops and feuding mafia families, will probably seem all too familiar to some people, but director Gareth Evans lays it out in such a way that the similarities end right there.

The story delves deeper into a number of sub plots all of which  trail off on their own, but they don’t hamper the overall narrative or confuse things in a way which will make the film harder to follow, and at an ass numbing 150 minutes that might be easier said than done.

Then there is the inclusion of three of the badest characters you’re ever likely to see. Hammer Girl, whose special moves entail ripping people in two with claw hammers, Baseball Bat Man, you can probably guess his unique ability and then The Assassin, who armed with a pair of kerambits’ is a silent but very much a deadly force.

There’s returning actor Yayan Ruhian who played Mad Dog in the first film but who has reappeared here as an ass kicking hobo aiding one of the families, but ends up in the cross hairs of an instigated war were blood hasn’t been spilled in over ten years.

Evans cuts from the action with dramatic undertones, of which the performances are very good, its the gratuitous violence that Raid fans will have shelled out their money for. It’s winch inducing on another level, whether its getting an arm snapped in half, a pelvis dislocated or a hammer ripped through someone’s cheek you’ll probably find yourself twisting and turning in your seat.

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The choreography is mesmerising as Evans interlocks a Godfather like tale with action that doesn’t give you enough time to look away from the screen. From a mass prison yard scrap, an epic car chase where back seat driving takes on a whole different meaning and a jaw dropping kitchen fight finale, its a film that will live long in the action memory.

Leaving the confines of a tower block behind the action and story run riot through lush green marshes, back streets and bars to city streets. The editing is short and sharp like a punch to the head, moving gracefully enough that it doesn’t judder the explosive action or disjoint the scenes of real drama.

It’s thoroughly entertaining which has justified all the hype before hand, wonderfully shot and totally exhilarating throughout Evans will have his work cut out to make sure that The Raid 3 caps an action trilogy masterclass.

View the trailer…

Visit the IMDB page for The Raid 2

What did you think of The Raid 2, leave a comment and let us know.

 

 

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