Movie: The Raid 2
My Rating: 3 stars
I didn’t think a movie could get much more violent and chaotic than The Raid: Redemption—a movie where a man literally punches his way out of a thirty-story building filled with floors and floors of the roughest gangsters in Indonesia. And, then director Gareth Evans came out with The Raid 2. Rama (Iko Uwais), the hero from the first film, is back. He’s an honest family man, and probably the only cop in Jakarta who isn’t on the take, or in the pocket of any gangs. He also happens to be a master of a very intricate and very deadly form of Indonesian martial arts. So, he’s the perfect guy to send on an undercover mission. Unfortunately, this is really deep cover. He’s sent to prison for three years with instructions to cozy up with Uco (Arifin Putra), the son of the most ruthless kingpin in the business. This is all a huge gamble, because there’s no guarantee that Uco will take kindly to Rama.
And, then there are all the prison brawls that happen just about every forty-five minutes each day. You can practically set your clock to them. Rama is going to have to keep his wits about him for every minute of those three years, because people are getting shanked left and right. And, this movie is going to show you all of it—all the shivs to the neck, broken bottles to the chest, and faces being raked down rough concrete walls. We get to see pretty much every method in which a person can be disfigured at the hands of another without resorting to guns. It’s a pretty exhaustive list, and quite impressive dedication to the subject. Although, I don’t know what kind of prison is allowing inmates to have access to all those glass bottles. It seems like a serious dereliction of fiduciary duty to me. Perhaps the prison management is happy to have the population thinned out a little bit.
But, Rama and Uco ultimately get out of prison, and believe it or not, that’s when the real dismemberment begins. It takes a serious campaign of terror and intimidation to be a credible gangster these days. And, you have to dispatch a lot of low-level business owners to send the right message. But, the situation starts to get a bit stickier when these “businessmen” try to branch out onto the turf of the Japanese and Chinese gangs. Those guys don’t mess around. In fact, I think they hire their muscle based on how proficient they are with exotic instruments of death. It’s brutal. And, it’s a fighting style that I haven’t seen before. It’s really cool.
The only problem is that this movie runs a little too long. It clocks in at two and a half hours, and that’s a lot of time to spend stabbing people in the chest with broken bottles. They could have easily cut out at least half hour or forty-five minutes of mood development. We didn’t need all those nightclub scenes. Although, nothing can beat this film’s finale. It’s worth slogging through the whole movie for it. That scene is really quite spectacular—and very cathartic. I definitely recommend this film to you guys. Of course, it’s unbelievably brutal and gory. So, be prepared for some pretty grisly action. But, then you knew that already. You guys are pretty smart.