Howdy ladies and gents, time for a new film review and today I’m going to be reviewing a film I’ve been hyped about for a while now, The Raid 2: Berandal. Now The Raid: Redemption was a lot of fun, it was action and violence in tight spaces and I really liked it, though not as much as I thought I would. But when I saw the trailer for the sequel which critics said in early screenings was better than the original, I knew I had to see it. So after checking it out today how does it fare? Well read on and find out.
The plot for this film can be described as the following:
“Approximately two hours after the first film ends, Rama goes undercover and infiltrates the ranks of a ruthless Jakarta crime syndicate in order to protect his family and to uncover the corruption in his own police force.”
The story in this film basically takes the plot and themes from the last film and expands upon it in every way making this film feel more fleshed out and immersive than before. The first film was kind of light on story so I’m glad to see that there is so a lot more going on in this film. The Raid 2 takes us deeper into the seedy underground of corruption in the criminal underworld, it is here in the story where the film deals with issues like family issues, gang turf wars and dodgy law enforcement among other things. All of these issues are brought to the table in a very good and interesting way, it makes for a more relevant story that you care about. My only issue is that there is a lot going on sometimes and there were a good few details I missed because I couldn’t read the subtitles fast enough since I’m not a very fast reader in general.
As for the cast there all really good and on a higher degree to the acting than in the last film. Iko Uwais as Rama is really good, besides laying the smack down on loads of people in a kick ass manner, Rama has become a better character than before. In this film Rama has a lot to deal with, he has to go undercover and get close to the bad guys, but at the same time is constantly worrying about the safety of his family and has to deal with the moral and ethical decisions that come with his line of work. I just feel like Uwais is given better material to work with and finally became the central character I wanted him to be in the last film. Arifin Putra as Uco is awesome and great addition to this sequel. Uco is a man who is committed to his father and like to use his father’s status to help him get by, however he is always looking beyond his current position and wishes to ascend to become a high-ranking criminal. Putra is very engaging, charismatic and intense and I really loved his character’s personality and ambition even if he was a douche.
Tio Pakusadewo as Bangun is awesome, he is a man who is respected as the main crime boss in Jakarta and has Uca oversee certain aspects of his empire but doesn’t allow him to do more than small tasks because he fears for his son’s lust for power. Alex Abbad as Bejo is great, he’s this very cocky, ambitious gangster who has a great deal of people willing to do anything for him and he longs for more power and wishes to become top dog which means that he’ll have to ruffle some feathers in the criminal underworld in order to ascend. Julie Estelle as Alicia a.k.a “Hammer Girl”, damn, she was SO cool, she was the mute, but had a great presence and some wonderful moments to shine, I really hope to see Estelle in more films because she’s a badass and we need more female badasses in the world. Oka Antara as Eka and Ryuhei Matsuda as Keiichi were pretty cool and had cool parts to play in the film. And lastly Kenichi Endo as Goto and Kazuki Kitamura as Ryuichi are pretty good as well and add some interesting aspects to the story with their characters.
When it comes to the presentation, good gravy, this film has it down to a tee. The action in this film is insane, frigging insane! The gun fights and car chases are great, but what really sticks out is fight scenes. The fight choreography is SO well done, it is swift, tight, versatile, long in length, has hand-to-hand combat along with several forms weaponry too and it is so sexy to look at thanks to some really great cinematography. The way everything is shot has a gorgeous artistic look to it, like there was a great deal fo care put into the construction of each scene or sequence with some of these close shots, wide shots, rotating shots and quick cut edits, it was fabulous. And then of course there is the violence which is on full display here, this film is so brutal in it’s the display of people getting broken. People get cut, sliced, stabbed, twisted, snapped, broken, shot, etc. It is gruesome at times, however it is done in such a masterful way; you pretty much do one of three things:
- Cringe and go “OH!” and the violence.
- Say “Yeah” because the violence is so cool.
- Or laugh at the way some of these people get messed up because believe me some of it really is funny.
My only criticism of the action is that sometimes it doesn’t know when to call it quits, some of the fights go on for ages, longer than of the average person which makes some of these people come across as superhumans than regular ones.
In conclusion The Raid 2: Berandal is great. It’s just crazy, my god, so much carnage, so much violence and well-choreographed martial arts. I loved it! XD I urge everyone who is interested in watching films to give this film a watch, I haven’t felt so good about action and violence in a while.
Rating: 8.5 (Violent martial arts carnage at its finest people)
So what did you think of The Raid 2: Berandal? Have you seen it or are you gonna watch it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. 😀