Friday, November 21, 2014

The Raid 2


Directed by Gareth Evans.
2014. Rated R, 150 minutes.
Cast:
Iko Uwais
Arifin Putra
Tio Pakesadewo
Oka Antara
Alex Abbad
Julie Estelle
Yayan Ruhian
Ryuhei Matsuda
Kenichi Endo
Cok Simbara

Just a bit over a year ago, I stumbled across a little foreign action flick called The Raid: Redemption. I hadn't really heard much about it, but decided to give it a shot anyway. I popped in the DVD, pressed play, and was promptly blown away by what I saw. Apparently, everyone else was discovering this movie around the same time. As I was watching I texted one of my brothers and told him he should watch this. He actually had, a couple days before and ended his reply with a smiley face. This is a man who takes his machismo so seriously he never uses a smiley faces. Never. Ever. A few days later, another of my brothers called me, the one that never watches foreign movies and understand why I do, and asked me if I had seen it. I said I had and we talked for a while about how great it is. Of course, I also took to the internet and saw a plethora of reviews singing its praises. In case you missed it, by the way, I quickly added mine to the growing pile. Naturally, when I heard there was going to be a part two, I was more excited for this than any sequel since The Dark Knight.

When it starts, I see we pick up the story within a day or so of the end of the first movie. I still don't want to spoil the original, so suffice it to say that two key figures from that film are murdered to start this one. Our new bad guys take out one, and the good guys take out the other. The good guys also have our hero Rama (Uwais) tied to a chair and seem ready to off him, too. It turns out these people are part of a covert branch of the police department. They want him to go undercover in an effort to bust up a major crime ring. This assignment starts with him doing a stint in prison for a few months to help create his cover. Reluctantly, he accepts. He then finds out that he's actually got to commit a crime to get himself thrown in jail. Once there, he finds out he's going to be there a couple years and there's nothing that he can be done about it. In case you've forgotten one of the very few pieces of background info from the original, Rama's wife is expecting their first child. Oh well, he soldiers on.


Right away, we notice that the sequel spends more time on plot than its predecessor. Rama gets in close with the son of a crime boss who wants to take over his father's operation. Obviously, lots of drama there. We can also add in rival organizations trying to stir the pot. It's nothing earth-shatteringly original, but is done fairly well. The drawback is that it stretches the movie a bit too much. It's longer than it needs to be. Another issue is something that took me out of the movie several times. Yayan Ruhian, who plays my favorite bad guy from the first movie, shows up here as a sympathetic figure. It was just wierd to see him in another role in the sequel.

Of course, what is done exceptionally well is the same thing that made the first movie an international sensation: the fighting. Scenes depicting the combat scenes are long, creative, and brutal. It seems the number of things that can be done with and to the human body are infinite. And lots of them are cringe worthy. Or, applause worthy, if you're into that sort of thing. I did both. My wife didn't watch this one because she saw the first and it was too much for her. She actually loves action flicks, but could do without the blood and guts decorating the scenery. She was in our bedroom, adjacent to our living room, and complained several times I was making too much noise. Yes, I said "Ooh" and "Woah" lots of times. Eventually, she just shut the door. I couldn't help myself. This stuff just evokes a physical reaction. At least, it did in me.

In the action department, The Raid 2 delivers and then some. I was definitely looking for someone to let me practice some of the moves I picked up on them. Believe it or not, the wife wouldn't go for that, either. Nevertheless, I was actively involved in every fight scene. I'm not quite sure, but I may have gotten stabbed once or twice. You know, adrenaline pumping, didn't feel a thing. Between those scenes, the story gave the movie a bit of a bloated feel, but was still pretty solid. It all adds up to another amazing experience. It does leave me with a very important question, though. When is The Raid 3 coming out?

14 comments:

  1. If there is a Raid 3 happening? Sign me up! Raid 2 was fucking ass-kicking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a Raid 3 happening...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h81gCOsG54g

      Delete
    2. Yet we're going to wait for a few years.

      Delete
  2. I heard the director is taking some rest from The Raid, now he's focusing on some gangster movies while the actors preparing the remake version with Frank Grillo, before going back to The Raid 3.
    Glad you like it tho!

    Regards,
    P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard different stories. As long as it's coming, I'm cool. They actually already did an American remake, it was called "Dredd," lol. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  3. Great review. I think the story itself had some issues but like you said the action was a blast. I was literally speechless at some of the things they pulled off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the stunts in both movies - simply astonishing. And brutal, can't forget brutal. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  4. Couldn't agree more. I'm pretty sure my head was kicked into the corner of something sharp.

    These movies destroy my appreciation for a lot of American action flicks. I mean, have they seen The Raid? You gotta step it up.

    Great bit about the smiley, Dell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For better or worse, we'll all get to see an American facsimile with the Hollywood remake coming up. Thanks.

      Delete
  5. Great post, Dell. I also got really pumped up watching this :D Think I prefer it to the original, too, even with the bloated story.

    BTW, if you haven't seen it, this GIF of the car chase scene is amazing: http://i.imgur.com/v604GpS.gif

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Its easy get riled up watching this one. Hadn't seen that gif, cool!

      Delete
  6. Hi Wendell! This movie was actually filmed in my hometown Jakarta and starred Indonesian actors, so I'm thrilled to see it getting International attention. That said, it's far too brutal for my feeble nerves so I haven't seen any of The Raid films yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that's exciting! But yeah, The Raid movies are nothing, if not brutal.

      Delete