Same Game. Same Rules. Bigger Maze.
The Raid showed us that being trapped in an apartment filled with some of the city's worst criminals is a living nightmare. [The Raid 2: Berendal](movie:573588) showed us that taking down the corruption of the city is just the same as being trapped in an apartment filled with some of the city's worst criminals.
With a bigger budget, Director Gareth Evans didn't hesitate to go bigger and bolder. After the incidents that takes place during the first film, the rookie SWAT member Rama (Iko Uwais) was offered a job to go undercover and infiltrate a local crime family who is connected tot he people who own the apartment from the first film.
The story isn't as simple and straight forward as the first film. The film had a relative amount of sub plots and thankfully MOST of them blended greatly together. The film had a good amount of suspense in it as well. The drama is actually relatable this time around, you do care for what characters do feel, at least the characters that the film wants you to care about.
Iko Uwais' Rama is just as badass as you remember him, it almost felt like not only he improved as a martial artist but as an actor as well. He did a decent job having the audience get invested with his character. Him and Evans made sympathize with the character when he's going through tough times, but they also made us cheer for him when he's getting the upper hand or when finally life sheds a light on him even for just a little while. But we really do cheer for him when he does what he does best, beat the living lights out of people, well bad people that is.
The second best actor of this film is undeniably Arifin Putra, who plays the character Uco. Here, he is the only son of a major crime lord and he's doing his best to impress his father of giving him the empire. Even though his goals are the opposite of Rama's, we all just want to give this guy a hug, even if he wouldn't appreciate it. Again, props to Evans and Arifin for making us easily connected to the character.
Now the fight scenes, oh boy. Those fight scenes are in no way sugar coated like some people thought it would be, for some reason. If there is ONE REASON we all went to see this movie, is because of the fight scenes. And those fight scenes are...
The prison fight scenes? Radical. The introduction of the assassins? Fearsome. The car-chase scene? Mind-blowing. Every fight scenes in between? Overwhelming. The final fight scene, which is what I call "The Raid" scene? Breathtaking. My words are not enough to praise these fight scenes, just see the movie yourself. Props to the film makers and the fight choreographers.
My only real gripe about this film is a specific sub plot that to me didn't matter at all. This one involves Yayan Ruhian's Prakoso, an assassin who wanders in the streets. His plot point didn't matter at all and the fact that he was played by the same guy who played Mad Dog from the first movie and that Mad Dog and Prakoso had no relation whatsoever, made this casting choice just seem odd and the character pointless. That and the fact that this movie ended, even though it's two-hours long. Though it did end perfectly.
It is very rare when an Indonesian martial arts film takes most of Hollywood's present action-flicks to shame. But The Raid 2 takes everything to the next level, it made The [The Expendables 3](movie:388705) look like a joke even though the latter film isn't even out yet.
Check out my full review on my blog by clicking HERE!