6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A film with nails on every part of its body. Solid, violent, over-the-top entertainment. For fans of Michael Mann or John Woo,
This review is from: The Raid 2 [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)
Yesterday, I happened to catch one of the finest and most bone-crunching, pain-and-injury dwelling action films since Rambo IV. That film is known as The Raid 2. Booooo!
Without going too long into what I will be saying, The Raid 2 is a fine accomplishment and a sequel to an already great and strongly-paced film. The sequel finds our hero and survivor from the last film, Rama (Iko Uwais), now becoming an undercover cop and a pawn for a wealthy yet corrupt crime syndicate in Jakarta. His aim and efforts are to witness their actions and clamp down on the illegal activities, bribery, and violence.
The Raid 2 is very much like a crime thriller-cum-action/martial arts film that often feels more like a Michael Mann film like "Heat" or John Woo's "Hard Boiled" or "The Killer" than something like "Ong-Bak" or even "Die Hard."
The action, which was noted on several sources, as being one of the most violent ever elaborated and choreographed on screen is tough-as-nails, hardcore, and very bloody. The 18-certificate the film received and a rumour that the film had to be trimmed slightly to get an R rating instead of an NC-17 just confirms the audience how much blood and guts you can expect. It makes Kill Bill: Vol. 1 look amateur. Tarantino, watch out.
Aside from "just" the action, the storyline has improved and is more refined to add more complexity about corruption and criminal business, the budget feels like $70 million but from research was made for about $4.5 million as Indonesia does not do labour unions and such, the 2 hour, 30 minute running time did not feel wasted but it did feel indulgent in a good way, the universe of The Raid feels a lot more expansive and gritty, and the film ends on a note that does not feel like a cliffhanger which was my main concern about the film.
The film's few downfalls or discrepancies might have to do with the strange usage of English in a few scenes, the realization that the version I saw in America was not entirely "uncut" but trimmed (but still, nonetheless, very violent, brutal, and bloody), and the expansive universe just did not have the same grip or "awe" factor that I had when I first saw the first film with no or little expectations.
For the uninitiated, this is a hard sell not just because it is foreign but because it ties previous information and twists genre tropes to create a more dense and dramatic crime action thriller. Still, for fans, this is a sure-fire treat for the eyes and for the gut. The Raid 2 is one of the most, in youth-speak, "ballsiest" action films to come around and given its history and international cooperation as an Indonesian production with some Japanese and the creation coming from a Welsh filmmaker, this is surely a case of intrigue and amazement.
The Raid 2, while not The Raid, is still a highly commendable effort and I URGE you to see this over-the-top and at-your-face 18 (and occasionally 15) actioner over 12A soft actioners like Captain America or even Hollywood nonsense like The Expendables.