The Raid 2 (aka Serbuan maut 2: Berandal) review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
I know I watched the first Raid film and if I remember correctly I liked it, as much as I would ever like an excruciatingly violent action film. The Raid 2 is a fairly standard sequel then, upping the ante significantly and marking the whole thing as basically a do-over of the original; with more incidents of violence and more – shall we say “creative” – violent acts the Raid 2 doesn’t have quite the same individuality that exuded from its predecessor and just feels like a rehash in an attempt to duplicate the success.
Set shortly after the bloody events of The Raid (2012) the sequel continues to follow the inexperienced but determined rookie Jakarta cop Rama (Iko Uwais), whose actions have gained him the attention of those even higher up the gangland food chain. Destroying the seemingly unparalleled organized crime unit in the first film in a cacophony of close shot, tight and elegantly bloody violence Rama is now forced to go undercover and climb his way up the criminal hierarchy in order to take down those at the very top: the corrupt politicians and police officials who pose a threat not only to his community but particularly to Rama’s own wife and infant son.
The story is really only there to provide an excuse for a lot of violence and ass-kicking; once again the cinematography is well managed, the use of extreme close ups during the fight scenes significantly increasing the tension, but ultimately, for me at least, it’s all just lost its edge. Where the first Raid film was set almost entirely in a single location, really driving you into the action, this time around the film just lacks the same ingenuity.
Those looking for a lot of violence and bloodshed are sure to be pleased with the Raid 2 personally however I felt it was rather mediocre.