The Raid 2 (2014) Movie Review
Release Date : April 11th, 2014 (Wide Release)
Genre : Action
Film Length : 150 Minutes
In 2011 a small film hit the US in limited release named “The Raid Redemption” which took critics and action junkies by storm. It featured little to no story almost and intense balls to the walls action. Now with Raid 2 hitting bigger, harder, and larger to a wider release does it hit the same marks as the first or like a lot of sequels does it fall short?
We might as well start off with the worst thing in Raid 2 and that is the story. Writer / Directer Gareth Evans attempted to make Raid 2 larger and on a grander scale than the first including the story. We went from having very little story dialog or a story for that matter to a complex character intertwining story. The Raid 2 starts and takes place 2 hours after the story from The Raid Redemption ends the main character Rama continuing with the events that had previously transpired. Rama then is sent into a prison to attempt to get close to a high ranking gang member. From there spews a trio of side stories involving a character from the first film, a gang war, a undercover mission, and family problems.
Now the problem with all this in the story is that for one thing it feels completely out of place. The dialog scenes often feel overly long and outdrawn. Some go one for way to long which also show why a action film like this is over 2 and a half hours long. By the half way point the story has started getting so overly complicated that you start to get lost with who is who and who is doing what. I’d have perferred that they kept the simplicity of the Raid 1 instead of trying to branch off into several character driven side stories for this one.
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room for Raid 2, the action scenes. This film will go as having some of / if not the best action scenes of 2014. Main actor / stunt coordinator Iko Uwais has clearly made himself a legend in this film. From large group prison mud brawls, to car chase shootouts, and ending with a nearly 45 minute continuous fight scene Raid 2 shows that action scenes can be real and exciting and not always a show off as to which movie studio has the most money to throw at CGI action. As it stands too The Raid 2 manages to not only get better with the action scenes as the film progresses but it also gets more violent with the final large fight scene being brutal in multiple senses of the word. These are fight scenes you watch, tell all your friends about, re-watch, and finally just watch them again on loop.
Surprisingly too the acting and writing isn’t all that bad. Iko Uwais reprises his role as Rama and still pulls it off nicely. It’s even better with the fact that he isn’t a huge built guy to begin with. Gareth Evans is able to create some humorous dialog even if some of the story scenes fall short. It should also be noted that Raid 2 gives us a few very memorable characters (though with some simplistic names as to not completely spoil what they have) named The Assassin, Baseball Bat Man, and Hammer Girl.
Overall even with a bad story that ends up being boring and overly complicated for the sake of being intricate it more than makes up for it with some of the best action scenes around. With how good Raid 1 was and how Raid 2 might have topped it action wise i can only say that Raid 3 (the final chapter in the series) will go down as one of the greatest action films ever. This is worth a watch and many more.