Starring: Iko Uwais, Arifin Putra, Tio Pukasodewo, Oka Antara, Alex Abbad
Directed by: Gareth Evans
Synopsis: Only a short time after the first raid, Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his police force.
Hollywood take note, this is how you make a proper action movie. Thrilling stuff from beginning to end, and in my opinion, an improvement on the first Raid film. The story has been expanded and the characters get a bit more depth, but lets face it, this film lives or dies on it’s action and fight sequences, and they are pretty damned amazing I have to say.
Like the first film, The Raid 2, revolves around our hero Rama, played by Iko Uwais. This film is set literally just after the events of the first film, and see Rama being installed into a gang to try and bring them down and uncover the corruption within Jakarta.
First things first, if you are put off by dubbed movies then you might want to seek out a subtitled copy. If you don’t like subtitles, just watch a dubbed copy on mute and you will still get the full splendour of the fight scenes. I’m not putting down the dialogue or anything like that, but to say The Raid was a serious movie first and action movie second would be lying. The plot takes a backseat to the action which is mindblowing at times, and not just the fight scenes. There is a car chase which is equally riveting and tense and downright spectacular. The cinematography is great throughout, especially the snow scene after the nighclub fight.
A film like The Raid is clearly not going to work for everyone, as it is very much a genre picture. You either like martial arts movies or you don’t, and you either like foreign language movies or you don’t. Personally I think you should forget your prejudices and go along for the ride because this is how an action movie should be made. If only Hollywood could come up with some of the bold and imaginative ways to film fights and car chases as those featured in The Raid 2 (and on a far lesser budget may it be said) then it would be in a lot healthier a state, and we wouldn’t have to sit through boring hackneyed scenes we have seen a million times.
I’m not saying The Raid 2 is perfect, it’s not. There is some dubious acting and dialogue (not helped by the dubbing I’m sure) and the plot is fairly thin. But then, to say that would be to say people watch Porn for plot and acting as well. With the best will in the world, people watch The Raid and similar films to be entertained with mass carnage and body counts, and this succeds in every level in my view.