I was lucky enough to get to see an advanced screening of the Raid 2, follow up to the 2011 surprise hit. As a big fan of the original, its combination of innovative fight scenes and exciting camera movement I was excited to see how the sequel would live it to it. The story starts almost straight after the original ends, continuing the story of corruption in the police force.
Our hero from the 1st film Rama (Iko Uwaisis) is sent undercover with the Jakarta Mob to gather evidence on the corrupt police. With the acclaim the original Raid received for its action sequences this was always going to be a fight movie, and lets face it that’s why we are watching it. The first thing that struck me was how well the story followed on from the first film. We had a lot more threats developing than we had in the first movie, an increased budget and shooting schedule gave the film makers more freedom. It was also surprising how artistically the film was shot, feeling almost art house at times. However not too disappoint these are interspersed with some of the most impressive and exciting fights we have seen on film. The long running time of 150mins, slows the pace a little compared to the original, but when we start the 3rd act the momentum never lets up. Along with the exciting fights, its nice to see individual characters and different styles of dispensing bodies. Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian) returns from the original and plays an equally menacing role, although with a much softer side. Julie Estelle & Very Tri Yulisman play Hammer girl and Baseball Bat man, and have some fantastically brutal exchanges with Rama.
Definitely have watch out for the car chase sequence, some fantastic action and exciting angles, really makes use of fighting in tight spaces. Although all the action is spectacular in this movie, the real crown jewel is the final fight that took 6 weeks to film. Really a spectacular display of gritty martial arts, that mixes a departed style sub plot and plays as a mix of gore and horror.