Mania Grade: B+
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- Rated: R
- Starring: Iko Uwais, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara, Alex Abbad
- Written By: Gareth Evans
- Directed By: Gareth Evans
- Distributor: Anchor Bay Home Entertainment
- Original Year of Release: 2014
- Special Features: See Below
The Raid 2 Blu-ray Review
By Tim Janson
July 05, 2014
Iko Uwais in The Raid 2”
© Sony Home Entertainment 2014
The Raid: Redemption was one of my favorite martial arts films of the past decade. It was the film that likely introduced many of us to the Indonesian martial art style known as pencak silat and star Iko Uwais. Uwais reprises his role Indonesian cop Rama who barely survived a SWAT team raid on the high rise building of a ruthless gang lord. The Raid 2 picks up right where the first film left off. Rama is offered a position with a clandestine unit in the police department which targets corrupt cops including Commissioner Reza.
Rama goes undercover in a prison where he befriends Uco, the son of one of Jakarta’s most powerful organized crime bosses. Once out of prison Rama meets Uco’s father Bangun and is accepted into the family. Uco becomes frustrated at not having a more important role in the organization and his father’s reluctance to go to war with a rival Japanese organization. Uco hatches a plot with Bejo, a young, rising gang lord to start a war between his Uco’s family and the Japanese. The pair plans to take control of all organized crime once the dust settles from the war, eliminating Commissioner Reza in the process. Rama finds himself caught up in the web of plots, trying to keep his alias a secret while trying to stop the impending war.
The Raid 2 is a very different film from the first but also quite exceptional. The first film was limited to the claustrophobic floors and rooms of the rundown apartment building. That film was an endurance test as Rama had to battle through legions of thugs, floor by grueling floor. The Raid 2 is a more complex film and more wide open. If it has a fault it is that its plot is too think and laden with so many characters it’s hard to keep track of them all. You have three different crime families, to go along with the good cops, the bad cops, and other stray characters that walk in and out of the production, many adding little to the story.
But these are not films you watch for logical narratives. You watch them for the edge-of-your-seat action sequences and The Raid 2 doesn’t disappoint. Iko Uwais’ unique fighting style produces some of the best close combat fighting sequences you’ve ever seen. As in the first he particularly shines when confined to cramped spaces like the stall of men’s room as he has to fight off a score of inmates. There are few martial arts stars in the world the can match him for pure dynamic fighting sequences.
This time however Uwais is able to add foot chases and a truly unique car chase/shootout to the action repertoire. The Raid 2, again like the first, is off the charts in terms of its sheer brutality. Rama’s fight with the appropriately named “Baseball Bat Man” and “Hammer Girl” is particularly bloody. Rama may be the hero but he endures nearly as much punishment as he doles out. This is Director Gareth Evans’ third teaming with Uwais and they have developed perfect chemistry. While it may lack the first film’s straight forward and frenetic pace, The Raid 2 is a flawed but thrilling sequel.
Audio Commentary with Director Gareth Evans
The Next Chapter: Shooting a Sequel (10:47) Cast and crew interviews on doing the sequel with looks at the fight choreography and the fantastic car chase
The Cinefamily Q&A with Gareth Evan, Iko Uwais and Joe Trapanese (44:09) This is an after screening Q&A session with fans.
Gang War Deleted Scene (4:37) A particularly grisly scene that was deleted from the final cut.
Ready for a Fight: On Location (12:59) A look at the fight in the prison bathroom and the muddy courtyard.
A Violent Ballet: The Choreography (19:03) a more in depth look at the sequel and the fight choreography
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