Writer-director Gareth Evans previously treated us to 2011’s surprise hit The Raid, in which a rookie cop beat the living shit out of a high rise full of gangsters. And now that same rookie cop is back in The Raid 2 with Evans upping up the ante and the body count while elevating violence to an art form along the way. From a riot in a muddy prison yard to closed-quarter fights in a moving SUV and a kitchen restaurant, the fight scenes in this movie are nothing short of spectacular and will keep you glued to the edge of your seat while wincing the entire time.
You don’t necessarily need to have seen The Raid before going into its sequel, but it doesn’t hurt things. This time around Rama (Iko Uwais) takes on a ruthless crime syndicate by getting himself tossed in prison to get close to Uco (Arifin Putra), the son of the crime syndicate’s boss. From there on he works his way up the ladder, fighting mini-bosses along the way like at the end of a level in a video game, before confronting the biggest baddie of ‘em all, Bangun (Tio Pakusadewo).
Two and a half hours of this might seem like a lot, but Evans keeps up the pace by beautifully orchestrating yet another fight sequence and by throwing in memorable characters such as the deadly brother-sister duo, Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Man. Take a wild guess what their weapons of choice are? The story might come across as unnecessarily convoluted at times and it comes with so many double crosses, you may start to wonder how in the hell Rama still knows who to fight exactly (spoiler: he simply kicks the shit out of everyone he comes across). But hey, you’re probably not so much going to watch this movie for its layered story, as to see some perfectly staged action sequences. And there are more than enough of those to go round!