Much like its predecessor, The Raid 2 is a perpetual stunt demo of incredible choreography that puts all other action movies to shame. And like its predecessor, if you are looking for plot you aren’t going to find much here.
Being the soul survivor of the drug raid on a tyrant’s tower block, police officer Rama is recruited by a small internal affairs police unit hoping to hunt down crooked cops. But upon going undercover for one of the local mobs he finds himself caught in the middle of a massive turf war.
2012’s The Raid was a simple but effective affair, boasting some of the best fight choreography to date but being light on any real character outside of this. The sequel boasts a plethora of characters (who are mostly given significance by whichever weapon they happen to use: baseball bat, hammers, blades) which makes the proceedings more memorable but more importantly it has aGodfather-esque power struggle between mob syndicates. This is a very different movie in tone and theme.
The action is primarily hand-to-hand combat with a host of unique fight sequences to fill a runtime one hour longer than the original! No, it certainly doesn’t get tedious! If you enjoyed The Raid you will enjoy the hell out of this too, and if you haven’t seen The Raid I insist that you do and discover whether you should see its sequel too.
But for what it does with plotlines becomes quite simple and predictable, and some of the more traditional fight sequences are also cliched. For example, one of the film’s main battles is a highway car chase (don’t misunderstand, it beats The Matrix Reloaded car chase into the dirt) but I felt there were a lot of action cliches being thrown liberally around, like how villains with guns cannot shoot or hit the hero when it matters most. For a films with such incredible choreography, errors like that stood out all the more.
The film amazed and captivated me with the sheer lunacy and intensity of the fighting, but little more than that. All action films should take note of how these movies are shot. A sequence of testosterone and adrenaline fuelled battles one after another.