I loved every second of The Raid 2. If you’ve seen The Raid: Redemption then you should have an idea of what to expect. If you haven’t seen Redemption then I suggest you stop what you’re doing immediately and remedy that because it’s one of those films that needs to be in your life. Why? Because this isn’t your average action/martial arts film, oh no. This is something quite different.
The Raid films are the brain child of Welsh director Gareth Evans, who discovered Pencak Silat (an umbrella term for various Indonesian fighting styles) when asked to make a documentary about Silat.
This is where he met Iko Uwais, then working as a driver for a phone company, but who is now the star of 3 Evans films. I’ve yet to see Merantau, the first film they made together but I’m a big fan of The Raid and its sequel.
I’m not really into martial arts films or modern action films for that matter but when I saw the trailer for The Raid: Redemption I knew I had to see it. I’d never seen anything like it.
The Raid: Redemption is the story of Rama (Iko Uwais) a rookie cop who, along with his squad raid a block of flats owned by a crime lord. This block is full of criminals from top to bottom and when they realise the cops have made it inside – all hell breaks loose.
So these cops have to fight their way to the top of the building and boy do they! The Raid is bloody and brutal but the fighting style is so fast that you barely have time to gasp before the next leg shattering hit.
The first film has a claustrophobic feel, it’s all dark corridors and small rooms but it lends itself well to the style of fighting. This is edge of your seat stuff.
The Raid 2: Berandal starts 2 hours after the first film ended. Rama is convinced by a special agent to go undercover to uncover corrupt cops. This includes Rama going to prison for what should only have been a few months but drags on for 2 years.
After his release from prison Rama is met by the father of a man he protected while in prison. The father is a highly influential business man and his son, who was in the same prison and was protected by Rama, is desperate to prove himself ready to take on more responsibility within the family business.
Rama is given a fancy apartment and is now in the employ of the family business. As Rama starts investigating the network of criminals is revealed and over the course of the film the various storylines all come together.
Beautifully shot from the get go, The Raid 2 goes at break neck speed and includes some of the most impressive fight scenes I’ve ever seen. It has more winces per second than the first film. Seriously, this is brutal stuff and can actually be quite gory as at times but the focus is never on the gore and you barely get a chance to react to some of the injuries, the editing is so tight.
Director Gareth Evans also edited the film and I’m so glad he did because he clearly had a vision of how this would all look. Quick cuts and clever camera angles aplenty. This really is a feast for the eyes. The Raid 2 is bright, sprawling and with Shakespearian levels of storyline including betrayal, usurpation, revenge, murder. There are echoes of Mafioso too, you can’t ignore the Godfather influence. But it’s all these things combined that make The raid 2 such an enjoyable watch.
The Raid: Redemption had a budget of $1 million The Raid 2: Berandal had a budget of $4 million and they spent that money well. They squeezed every cent out of that budget and it shows.
The Raid 3 , set to take place 2 hours before the end of the The Raid 2. I hope Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Boy come back. I hear rumours that Hammer Girl is definitely coming back but as a different character, such as what happened with Yayan Ruhian aka Mad Dog in the Raid: Redemption appeared in The Raid 2 as Prokoso, a new character.
I’ve heard Evans wants to take a break for a couple of years before working on The Raid 3, I for one can’t wait and would buy my ticket now if I could. Find it. Watch it. Love it.