DVD Review: The Raid 2

I’d heard good things about The Raid: Redemption, but I never got around to watching it. Then The Raid 2 showed up for me to review. Thus is the life of a reviewer; sometimes you watch the sequel without having seen the original. That said, a good movie should stand on its own, even if it’s a sequel.

Not having seen the first film made the beginning a little confusing, but it was pretty easy to figure out what was going on and get into the story, which picks up right after the end of the first film.

Rama’s (Iko Uwais) family is in danger after what occurred in the previous installment, so he decides to bring down those corrupt within the police force. He agrees to go undercover and get himself arrested where he befriends a crime lord’s son. After spending two years in prison he gets out and gets to meet the crime boss and gets invited into the family.

From there he goes about trying to connect the corrupt cops to the crime family, all the while, the crime lord’s son is getting antsy and wants more responsibility.

It’s actually a very simple story as far as crime films go. If you’ve seen enough of them you can figure out what’s going to happen next every step of the way, which, for any other film, would be a huge problem. However, The Raid 2 has one thing over those other generic crime films: amazingly brutal, over-the-top action sequences. Clocking in at almost an hour and a half, well over half the film is these action sequences; each one more brutal and amazing then the last.

The other thing I noticed was that the action sequences are all very well shot. They highlight not only the brutality of the violence, but the skill of the fighting.

You definitely don’t watch The Raid 2 for the story, though the story isn’t terrible. It’s just, as already stated, very simple and predicable. You watch this film for the action and there is plenty of it. It’s action packed from beginning to end.

The film is presented in 2.40:1 widescreen and 5.1 Surround sound, Indonesian/Bahasa and Japanese with English subtitles. This is a great looking film with extremely well shot fight scenes.

You get Director Commentary, Q&A with Gareth Evans, Iko Uwais and Joe Trapanese: (44 min.) and The Next Chapter: Shooting a Sequel: (11 min.).

I was really impressed with the fight scenes in this movie, to the point where it completely overshadowed the simple story and happened in-between. If you’re okay with that, then you’ll probably enjoy the hell out of this movie.

Sony Pictures presents The Raid 2. Written and Directed by: Gareth Huw Evans. Starring: Iko Uwais. Running time: 150 minutes. Rating: R. Released: July 8, 2014.

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