Review: The Raid 2 / Cert: 18 / Director: Gareth Evans / Screenplay: Gareth Evans / Starring: Iko Uwais, Arifin Putra, Tio Pakusodewo / Release Date: April 11th
The Raid 2 is a tour de force of story and action filmmaking by Welsh-born Evans that ranks up there with the works of masters such as John Woo, Seijin Suzuki and Beat Takeshi.
Opening two hours after The Raid ended, we find Rama (Uwais) and the two other survivors taking sanctuary in a safe house run by an undercover rogue detective with an agenda to rid the city of corrupt cops and their criminal conspirators. Reluctantly, Rama takes the assignment to pose as a prisoner named Yuda in order to get close to Uco (Putra), a crime boss’ son, and penetrate his father’s organisation, exposing the dirty cops. Told it’ll be a six month undercover job, Rama learns while in prison that a corrupt judge has sentenced him to serve out his cover crime's sentence in full… three years.
During an insane, muddy prison fight in the rain, Rama saves Uco’s life and is later indoctrinated into the gang after serving his sentence. It's here Rama enters a world of double and triple-crosses. Who is friend and who is foe, and how deep will Rama use his cover in order to get justice? As Rama learns, there’s no such thing as a clean war in this world.
Evans has created a plethora of memorable adversaries for our conflicted hero to face, including a homeless, caveman-like assassin, the Baseball Bat Man (who carries a bat and ball with the names of his victims on it), and Hammer Girl (a kickass, double-hammer-wielding killer). The cast, cinematography and sound are all to be commended; there’s no lack of expertly choreographed, bone-crunching fight sequences on offer; and the shoot-outs will impress even the most demanding of action fans. The Raid 2 is that rarest of sequels - one that miraculously manages to improve on its predecessor.
Expected Rating: 7 out of 10