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The Raid 2

By RUTH BROWN
Poor Rama. The last time we saw the baby-faced Indonesian rookie cop in 2011’s excellent The Raid: Redemption, he had just fought his way up a 15-floor apartment building filled with violent criminals. All he wanted was to get back to his pregnant wife alive. But within the first few minutes of The Raid 2, Rama is forced to go undercover in a prison to infiltrate a powerful crime family. If he doesn’t, he’ll risk the lives of his young family. Things only get worse from there. Welsh-born, Indonesia-based filmmaker Gareth Evans had a similarly crappy choice to make with this sequel. One of the best things about Redemption was the unrelenting action—the stunts and gore that left viewers alternately grinning and wincing as star and fight choreographer Iko Uwais delivered a master class in the martial art of pencak silat. Evans could have followed a similar format here and pleased many fans, but instead, the filmmaker has attempted something much grander and more ambitious. The story is sprawling, and the formerly one-dimensional Rama gets a bit more personality. This adds up to a lot more downtime between fight scenes, sacrificing the brutal pace that made the first film so much fun. But it also gives Evans the opportunity to prove he is a filmmaker capable of far bigger things, and Uwais continues to impress with his jaw-dropping combat skills, as well as his delightful penchant for creative weaponry—this time around, claw hammers, baseballs, a hot plate and soy sauce bottles are all employed in the service of killing and maiming. If The Raid 2 is not quite as consistently compelling as its predecessor, it holds much more promise.
 
  • Genres: Action
  • Running Time: 148 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, April 11, 2014
  • Country: Indonesia
  • Language: Indonesian
  • MPAA Rating: R [ Language, Sexuality, Strong Bloody Violence ]
  • Critic's Score: B+
  • Starring: Iko Uwais [Rama], Yayan Ruhian [Prakoso], Arifin Putra [Uco], Oka Antara [Eka], Tio Pakusadewo [Bangun], Alex Abbad [Bejo], Julie Estelle [Hammer Girl], Cok Simbara [Bunawar], Cecep Rahman [The Assassin], Very Yulisman [Baseball Bat Man], Ryuhei Matsuda [Keiichi], Kenichi Endo [Goto]
  • Directed by: Gareth Evans [Director], Gareth Evans [Screenwriter], Ario Sagantoro [Producer], Nate Bolotin [Producer], Aram Tertzakian [Producer], Rangga Barack-Evans [Executive Producer], Irwan Mussry [Executive Producer], Nick Spicer [Executive Producer], Todd Brown [Executive Producer], Matt Flannery [Cinematographer], Dimas Subhono [Cinematographer], Gareth Evans [Film Editor], Andi Novianto [Film Editor], Joseph Trapanese [Original Music], Aria Prayogi [Original Music], Fajar Yuskemal [Original Music], Tomy Setyanto [Production Design], Rinaldi Aldie Harra [Costume Designer], Ikhsan Samiaji [Casting]
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