The Raid 2: Berandal steps up in scope and territory but doesn’t hold up to the novelty of its predecessor. A bulkier and slower set up then the first film, the sheer inventiveness of carnage will kill you enthralled but the intensity falls flat when the action stops.
Only hours after the first film, Rama (Iko Uwais) goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta, planning to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within the police force.
Gareth Evan’s follow up martial arts spectacular doesn’t disappoint with its heavily precise choreographed action. An early prison riot scene is startlingly harsh, as the roving camera hurtles between mud slathered combatants. The virtuosic camerawork mares well with the high energy plot and the over the top violence, a kitchen set showdown and a dizzying car chase sequence are among the best action set pieces seen in modern cinema.
While it’s a visual feast to experience, it has its flaws. I wanted to love this movie, but with a plot that’s a bit superfluous and a little on the long side, the pacing issues are really detrimental and the film just doesn’t possess the same charm from the original.
Running at 150 minutes, the jaw dropping action sequences are worth it in the end. Remaining stylish in a blur of insane brutality, The Raid films are unquestionably on a whole other level to anything else in the action genre.
6.5 / 10
“Only a fool argues for the pride of a dead man”