‘The Raid 2’ picks up soon after the first ‘Raid’ movie with Jakarta cop Rama still bloodied and raw from his fight to survive in the first film.
Three years ago, ‘The Raid: Redemption’ introduced the world to the Indonesian martial art of silat through a tightly choreographed story of a police officer looking to take down a gangster-filled apartment building.
Welsh writer-director Gareth Evans ups the ante in his sequel set in Jakarta’s underworld, with a bigger setting, more intricate plot and even more action.
“The only thing really Indonesian about it is the martial arts discipline and then the language spoken, and some cultural elements. But the majority of it, it’s like this fusion of American gangster films with Japanese gangster films, fused with these crazy martial arts sequences and stunt sequences, and just trying to find like a perfect marriage of all these different high-octane stunt sequences, to build this climax where, I think, for the last 45 minutes of the film, there’s just this breathless barrage of mayhem and violence.”
Indonesian actor, stuntman, choreographer and martial artist Iko Uwais is back in the lead role.
Gareth Evans discovered him when filming a documentary about Southeast Asian martial arts in 2007.
Uwais says shooting martial art scenes is all about careful timing and choreography: “The fighting scene that I’m most proud of is the kitchen scene because it had… 192 shots! But there was good chemistry between the cameraman and myself, and the fighters, everybody had good chemistry so we moved well together.”
Featuring finely choreographed wall-to-wall action, ‘The Raid 2’ has opened on the independent movie scene to mostly positive reviews, with enthusiastic critics calling it "one of the great action films of recent memory", though the excessive violence may be a deterrent for some audiences.
‘The Raid 2’ is on worldwide release now.