The Raid 2
Director: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Pierre Gruno. Oka Antara, Tio Pakusadewo, Alex Abbab, Cecep Arif Rahman, Julie Estelle, Very Tri Yulisman, Ryûhei Matsuda, Ken'ichi Endô, Kazuki Kitamura.
The highly anticipated sequel to the already cult classic, The Raid is nothing short of a perfect sequel. Seeing that having a larger budget allows Evans to take the story where he wanted to go with the first. No longer confined to a single tower block he takes it to the streets, quite literally.
It's starts immediate where The Raid finishes continuing the story, tying off a couple of loose ends and heads directly into undercover territory. Rama, our surviving protagonist gets sent to prison in attempt to unfold the criminal underworld. Again, it's been done before but not quite like this, not in this style.
Evans wanted to make the first film in a prison setting and this one fulfils his ambition. Giving us probably one of the best prison fight sequences since Jackie Chan's Island of Fire. Like much of the rest of the film, and as expected; it's fluid non-stop action with so much happening but Evans manages to keep focus and not make a visual mess using incredible angles and shots.
His use of rolling cameras and long takes are both daring and impressive. It really puts you into the fight like being a fly caught up in the commotion. This is especially noticeable during the in-car fight and car chase. Instantly reminding me of John Woo; and during the prison brawl, there's a long take that scoots around the whole set trying to take in as much of the action as possible.
There's some interesting characters brought in, and a welcomed familiar face from the first. The siblings, baseball bat-man and his sister, hammer girl. Uco, the man Rama attempted to get close to is good and has an uncanny likeness to Brandon Lee. If there's ever a film made about him, Arifin Putra should definitely take the role.
But it's Cecep Arif Rahman's assassin that steals the show. Having that looming, sinister and silent presence. The ultimate showdown being a bloody and almost exhausting 6 minutes of absolute glorious martial art cinema. Again, with Trapanese heightening score and Evans great use of shots the film is worth watching just for that epic finale.
The action is there, less of the firepower and more of the face-to-foot style with the added extra of cars, bikes and gangsters. The opening actually reminded me of a scene from Scorsese's Casino. It's actually more artistic this time round, almost poetic, especially the conclusion of the nightclub scenes; making it bloody beautiful.
It's definitely another good example of a sequel being better than it's previous. It's more polished, crafted however maybe a little more fleshed out which makes it drag slightly. But apart from that, fans of the first, and fans of the martial art genre should not be disappointed. It's again, of the best martial art films ever made.
Running Time: 8
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 10
The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for being a perfect sequel and again, getting to the top of it's genre, especially with that final epic battle.
#GarethEvans #IkoUwais #YayanRuhian #PierreGruno #JosephTrapanese #ArifinPutra #OkaAntara #TioPakusadewo #AlexAbbab #CecepArifRahman #JulieEstelle #VeryTriYulisman #RyûheiMatsuda #KenichiEndô #KazukiKitamara