Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Raid 2

Following events in The Raid, Rama's (Iko Uwais) brother is killed by Bejo (Alex Abbad), Rama swears he'll get revenge but first he must bring down all the corrupt officials in the police force. To do this he must go to prison, befriend Uco (Arifin Putra) to gain the trust of his father, Bangun (Tio Pakusadewo), a feared mob moss. This will allow Rama to investigate which cops have a working relationship with the most powerful gang in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta

The Raid was filmed with a brutal efficiency that rivalled Rama's efficiency in the dispatching of the endless henchman attempting to kill him. The Raid was a straightforward action movie, it contained a bare minimum of plot and character, yet excelled exceptionally in its choreography during the fight sequences. The Raid 2, however, attempts to build plot and character in the inflated running time of 150 minutes, because of this the sequel doesn't have the brutal efficiency of the first film. 

Gareth Evans, director of both Raid films, has an first class eye for choreography and direction of action sequences (a superb car chase is added into the mix of expertly choreographed fight sequences) but lacks the writing skills to turn his criminal revenge story involving backstabbing, dirty deals and gang warfare into something that doesn't recycle elements from previous gangster films of which have a similar storyline.

The fight scenes are what makes the film hugely exciting, the use of sound in empathising every braking of a bone, cracking of a skull and swish of knife adds to their extreme viciousness. Iko Uwais' central performance is very good as he looks set to become a rising star in the action/martial arts genre, he is well supported from a number of menacing psychotically violent characters, but the lacklustre story and overinflated running time results in a sequel that lacks the simple efficiency of the first film. 


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