The Raid 2 – A Ballet of Blood

Well, what can I say . . .
Gareth Evans (director) has done it again.
‘The Raid 2’ rocks!
Picking up from where we left Rama (Iko Uwais) in ‘The Raid’, this sequel forces our hero-cop even further into the bowels of the Jakartan criminal underworld. And, as the kill count rises, the true web of deceit and double-crosses is slowly revealed to us; dead flies and all.
In this regard, The Raid 2 is far more narratively ambitious than it’s predecessor and Evans obviously spent a great deal of time working through the intricacies of the system of gangs and clans. While he does have a tendency to bombard us with names, the drama is always compelling and far from superficial. In fact, by the time we reach the finale, there’s a huge amount riding on every switch of allegiance.
The result is a slow-burn, but undoubtedly epic, crime drama . . . and that’s without the Raid-y bits.

Picture ‘The Godfather’; take off the suits, fly to Indonesia and replace the guns with fists and you’ve got The Raid 2. Uwais leads the charge with a powerhouse performance displaying every ounce of his superhuman physicality. Evans matches the visceral thrills of the first film by the first fight and then continues to up the ante with increasingly complex set pieces.
One car chase, in particular, demonstrates Evans unparalleled directorial flare. He does things with a camera that I’ve never – and I repeat, never – seen anyone do. Matching Steve McQueen’s (the director, not the actor) remarkable eye for painterly visuals, Evans draws a heartbreaking beauty out of the carnage. His camera acts as our unflinching eye into this world of chaos.
Evans has done the virtually unimaginable and delivered a worthy sequel to the greatest action movie of our generation. But that begs the question; does The Raid 2 improve on that? Yes, you know, I think it does. In fact, I know I’m not the only one to say this, but The Raid 2 may well be the greatest action movie of all time.

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