Friday Night Movie Recommendation: The Raid 2

Friday Night Movie Recommendation: The Raid 2

Well, I promised something awesome for today and it doesn’t get much more awesome than this. When I wrote the review for The Raid: Redemption, there was a lot of confusion as to whether or not that was the original or the sequel. It’s definitely confusing that it’s titled that way. The Redemption insinuates there’s something we already know about that needs redeeming, which leads us to believe it’s the sequel. Regardless, The Raid: Redemption is the original; the sequel is simply titled The Raid 2 (sometimes it is called The Raid 2: Berandal). Β After the review of the original, I received a lot of requests for a review of this one, and I do what I can to make you guys happy. So, hold on to your butts (Jurassic Park reference), this movie is quite the ride.

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The Raid 2 picks up right after The Raid: Redemption ends. Rama (Iko Uwais) has been taken to an abandoned warehouse and is being told by the cops that he has to work with them to take down some more mob bosses before they come after him and his family. He initially declines, but when he finds out that his brother has been murdered by one of these gangsters, he decides to go undercover before anything can happen to anyone else in his family. He tells his wife he will only be gone for a couple months, gets his things together and heads out. He’s put into a prison so he can get close to one of the main mob boss’ son, who is in prison at the time. Once he is in there, he finds out that nothing is as it seems and he spends the next two years there. When he gets out, the police still demand that he work undercover and expose the corruption in the police force. With no other choice, Rama does everything he can to complete his task, not blow his cover, protect his family and stay alive.

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It may seem like that was a pretty lengthy plot synopsis but it’s only a fraction of the movie, which runs at about 2Β½ hours. This is a long time for an action movie, and if there’s anything negative to be said about this movie, it’s that there’s a bit of sensory overload happening towards the ending. You start to become desensitized to the violence, because there are just so many brutal moments. Β I saw it when it first came out but stayed up late last night to rewatch it so I would be able to write the review this morning before work. Although the run time is so long, it didn’t feel like 2 hours, it just felt like that was the amount of time that was needed to tell the whole, bloody story. I started to think, “Enough is enough! Leave the man alone!” towards the end but I never, not for an instant, wanted to look away.

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The story is so powerful and the action just blows me away. I cannot get over the talent and dedication that these actors have. One of the scenes in this movie that sticks with me the most is a scene where Rama is in prison and he is looking at an outline of a man that he has drawn on the wall in his cell. He gets up, obviously hurt from a fight the previous day that was about twenty against one, wraps his hands in bandages, advances towards the outline and proceeds to start honing his martial arts skills, punching the silhouette until his hands are bleeding and the wall starts to crumble in places. The pure dedication and determination demonstrated in this scene perfectly sets the mood for the rest of the film.

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The fight choreography, Indonesian fighting style Pencak silat, is once again incredible and unparalleled. I’ve seen a lot of brutal moments in movies, but there were so many in this film, it was hard to watch at times. In some Hollywood action films, the fight scenes are so obviously choreographed that it takes you out of the movie completely. The villains are just a means through which the hero can showcase his skills (I felt this way about John Wick). Rama has so many incredibly talented adversaries in this film, that I didn’t get that feeling at all.

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Director Gareth Evans, had quite the task on his hands to create a movie that was even remotely close to the innovation and awesome action sequences that The Raid: Redemption had. He delivered in spades. He developed a script that had even more depth, created characters with clear moral struggles and amped up the action (how is that even possible?). This is an incredible movie and it’s (dare I say?) even better than the original. Give it a watch and let me know your thoughts.

Here’s the trailer:

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37 thoughts on “Friday Night Movie Recommendation: The Raid 2

  1. I love these movies so much! I think there’s a strong argument to be made that The Raid 2 is better than the first. There’s just more of everything and a much more epic story. I just love how for once such complicated action is so clear to the audience. I’ve seen so many action movies where the director has no idea where to put the camera and it’s so hard to tell what’s going on. This was a really good review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review, Mel. These Raid films really know how to do action right. Take that Hollywood. These guys really fight. We get wideshots, head to toe framing, so we can watch the fight, rather than rapid MTV edits of extreme closeups.

    I totally agree with the comments here. The jailcell fight was a great way to kick things off. Daredevil on Netflix was definitely inspired for their choreography. The cramped quarters car fight was amazing. How’d the crew fit in a camera and move it around so well. It reminded me of a similar sequence in Children of Men.

    My fav fight was the muddy prisonyard with one Birdman-esque roaming camera shot uninterrupted by edits. So rad!

    John Wick and Keanu is as close as we get with American action including choreography by main actor. Keanu is 50yrs old, but is the only action hero who fights fullframed without close edit mag7c creating illusion.

    To be fair, Raid 2 went all Godfather and threw in way too much story and drama for the genre. It was like an Infernal Affairs version of original Raid.

    sorry for long comment, I wanted to touch and review & community

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I live the long comments! Daredevil does have some similar action moments. I really enjoyed the first season. I couldn’t agree more with the points you make about wideshots and framing. Nothing annoys me more than a film that thinks it can con us with fancy editing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good write up! Glad you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚

    I have to say the fight in the prison toilet at the beginning is just like my house since we have just the one bathroom with the three of us all wanting to use it at the same time! πŸ˜›

    Liked by 2 people

  4. #satanicbestie

    I’m off today and came by to see your post : ) I guess I’m just going to have to check these two things out. I don’t think I can put them off any longer : ) I hope you have a GREAT weekend!!

    #sataniclampsalways
    #ineedahaircut
    #creepsforever
    #squintieseternal

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, #satanicbestie! You’re the best πŸ™‚ I think you’ll like them. Lots of blood and guts! I’m going to visit my mom in BC this weekend! Very exciting. I hope you have an amazing weekend too!

      #satanicbestiesforever
      #creepsiesforever
      #sataniclampalways
      #crepes
      #existentialpigs
      #squinties

      Like

  5. Not sure if you know this already, but The Raid 3 has been announced, and someone on a message board says that right smack from the beginning is going to piss-off a lot of fans of the first 2 films…

    And what they suspect to happen is that part 3 will pick-up where part 2 left off in the warehouse where Rama is confronted by the other mafia family…and he says he is “done”….and then they fill him full of bullets.

    I hope this guy’s feeling is wrong, but it makes sense. How much longer can Rama keep evading death?

    If they kill Rama off I am not even sure I’d want to watch part 3. We (the audience) have been thru too much with him now. You can’t continue the series without him.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Did you like John Wick? The difference between the villains in John Wick and The Raid is that most of the Russian mafia guys weren’t trained to fight w/ their hands; most of them just fired guns. A lot of the guys in The Raid fired guns, as well, but many of them were also trained in martial-arts, which is why the criminals in The Raid seemed to be so much more difficult to take down. The criminals in Jonn Wick left me with the impression that most of them were arrogant and wealthy and didn’t have the discipline to fight any other way than with guns.

    Notice when they break into John Wick’s home at the beginning, and they jump him from behind?

    But then notice in The Raid when the guy held the SWAT captain at gunpoint and then tossed the gun and fought him in a fair hand-to-hand combat?

    Big difference in these groups of criminals.

    The reason John Wick took them down so easily is b/c they’re a bunch of wussies with guns. And who is going to kill a freakin’ puppy? They deserved everything they got. I loved John Wick! πŸ™‚

    *Also, did you see “I Saw The Devil”? It’s an Asian action/thriller.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great comment… maybe we can have a Wick vs Rama fight to settle that debate. I loved both, Btw.

      I Saw the Devil is an amazingly dark and brutal revenge flick. I loved this Korean film. A cop gets personal revenge on a serial killer baddie by catching, torturing, and releasing him over and over. Strong concept, brilliantly executed. This recommendation is right on!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, you got up early before work to write this review? You’re as dedicated to your craft as Rama! πŸ™‚

    I kept hearing how much better the action was in part 2 than part 1, but I thought the action was about the same. I heard how phenomenal the final 45 minutes of part 2 was, but the fighting got redundant after a while. The fight w/ the assassin in the kitchen was far too long b/c there was no way that dude would have kept going. Rama finished him off…and then…wait there’s MORE! lol.

    It wasn’t enough to taint the movie, though; it was still good.

    The only problem I had with the movie was the hammer-girl. That subway scene where she was killing the guys with a hammer was ridiculous; hammers do not pierce thru the skin and go in-and-out so quickly and effortlessly. If she hit a dude with a hammer it would take time to get wedged in the body and take time to pull it out, so by the time she stuck a hammer in some dude, another guy would have ample time to attack her as she was trying to un-wedge it. It was explained in Kill Bill how Uma Thurman could slice her sword her thru everybody b/c the sword was made of the strongest steel in the world, etc. and even her sequences were over-the-top. So, the hammer-girl was the one part that really did take me out of the movie; and the baseball-bat guy was laughable, as well.

    Other than that, I liked the movie. I admit the first act was confusing to me b/c I thought the flashbacks were simply the next scenes and so it threw me off at first; when the movie ended I went back and watched the first act over and then it made sense.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wish it had the discipline to be as dedicated as Rama!
      Yeah, there were some ridiculous moments but I still like the extravagance of some of those scenes. I personally was so caught in the the action and adrenaline of the movie that those scenes didn’t bother me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Did you like John Wick? I loved it! I think the reason John Wick had such an easier time killing those guys in that world is b/c he was dealing with a bunch of rich, arrogant candy-asses that had no hand-to-hand combat skills and relied on guns; where as in “The Raid” world, the guys were all trained in martial arts and were much better fighters, therefore were much more difficult to kill.

        Notice how the guys in John Wick broke into his house in the middle of the night and jumped him from behind; then notice in “The Raid” guys will lock eyes, drop their weapons and fight using their martial arts training.

        Different brand of criminals.

        I loved John Wick. I could see how it may have been partially inspired by The Raid.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I appreciated John Wick but I wouldn’t say that I liked it. Even though the adversaries didn’t have as much fighting experience as the ones in The Raid, it felt like they all took turns walking up to Wick so he could show off how good his own skills were. They were just the means for him to showcase himself.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s a pretty brutal asian film about a detective going after a serial killer who murdered his wife. It’s good. But as Isaacs warns on his mini review of it, it’s pretty gruesome. Isaacs rates it 4 top hats. I would rate the same.

        And fellow blogger Tyson Carter also loves it. Not sure if you knew Tyson. I am thinking he stopped blogging shortly before you came around. He’s a big horror fan like Isaacs and I, and when the 3 of us actually agreed on a film you know it’s good. πŸ™‚ So, if you can handle a little brutality, it’s a film I’d recommend for you. (hopefully Tyson will start blogging more soon so you can meet him; he had a baby and went on a hiatus. I think it’s ERIC’s!)

        Like

      1. Oh yeah! such solid action in this film. I think my favourite part was when the camera chases a guy sideways as he smashes through a window and does a somersault of sorts, very innovative use of camera placements! Makes me want to watch it again! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

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