The Raid 2 is an Indonesian action martial arts film directed by Gareth Evans. The plot takes place not long after the events of the first film, Rama (Iko Uwais), has to go undercover within the Jakarta underworld to try and protect his family. His brother is also killed at the start of the film, so Rama is on a side mission of vengeance; seeking out evil rising mobster Bejo (Alex Abbad).
The Raid 2 had a hard job to do, it had to live up to the scale and intensity of the first film, while also raising the stakes and taking everything to the next level. I have to say the film does both of those things. It shows us the wider underworld that was only slightly hinted at during the first film and we get to see some interesting new characters and players. Also, the fight scenes are on a whole new level as well, the prison fight sequence is brutal and relentless.
However, while it is doing all of these things it sacrifices the personal threat and tension from the first film. For those of you who haven’t seen it the first Raid film is all set within a tower block and there are a lot of fight sequences that take place within very tight areas, this makes the film feel very claustrophobic which adds to its overall greatness. The second film really leaves this element behind.
This film introduces some new character who I found to be cool. I don’t remember their names, but I refer to them as Baseball guy and Hammer Woman, they were both very gimmicky in their fight style, but I did really like the final showdown between them and Rama at the end, I thought it was on a par with the first film’s fight sequences.
Finally, I loved the ambiguous ending this film has, it ends with Rama stood in front of a wave of Japanese gangster foot soldiers with him saying he is done. Does he die will he survive we don’t know and with no plans to do a third film any time soon we might never know, but it is a neat way to end things.
Overall, a very solid follow up that does a number of impressive things that raise the stakes and surpass the first film. My only issue is that by doing that it loses some of the things that made the first film great. Both are definitely worth checking out.
The new characters.
The fight sequence between Rama and Baseball Guy and Hammer Woman.
It loses some of the tense claustrophobia of the first film.
Reviewed by Luke