The Raid 2, directed by Gareth Evans, is not a film you go see for plot. The follow-up to Evans’ 2011 cult hit, The Raid, The Raid 2 goes bigger, louder and harder in almost every single way. While the film does, to some degree, suffer from a case of sophomore slump, its action isn’t affected in the least.

Beginning a short while after the end of The Raid, our ass-kicking protagonist, Rama (Iko Uwais), is offered an opportunity to take on the real bad guys within his beloved, but corrupted, city. He takes it, after some convincing due to outsider actions, and begins his warpath against the underworld, which he has sworn to bring to its knees. From here, the plot follows convention, taking bits and pieces from the cacophony of undercover crime films already in existence. What sets The Raid 2 apart from the rest is how it utterly pummels its way to the climactic and cathartic end.

To say the film is excessive in its violence is an understatement, at best. Evans throws so many bodies on screen that the death count reaches genocidal proportions. But, this is all done with some of the most fantastic action choreography and cinematography that has ever been put to screen.

theraid2The bathroom fight scene early on is a exquisite example of Evans’ camera, which effortlessly floats through a melee while never becoming an obstacle around which the actors must work.

Attention must be brought to Evans’ editing skills. To even think about cutting such a film into the two and a half hour beast it is, numbs the mind. Evans displays great flourishes of style within his editing, illustrated by his painstakingly crafted set pieces.

The highway scene later on in the film is a breathtaking example of pin-point direction and laborious editing. Evans never gets lost within the world he has sculpted and his clearheaded nature pays off with a visually striking and enticing end product.

Ultimately, one probably won’t be going to The Raid 2 unless they’ve seen, and are a fan of, the first film. This review most likely did nothing but reaffirm the beliefs of the professed devoted.

By Rory O’Dwyer

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