Do you like action films? Yes! Do you like foreign films? No… If you answered “no” to the second question you should still probably see The Raid 2: Thugs. The Raid 2 is a follow up to 2012’s epic The Raid Redemption, an Indonesian film starring Iko Uwais. Iko Uwais is an international pencak silat style martial artist from Jakarta, India. To date he has only made three feature films; I have seen two of them. They are great.
The Raid 2‘s cast, though unknown to many American movie goers, will engage you from the moment they hit the screen. Some of my favorites were Julie Estelle (Hammer Girl), Tayan Ruhian (Prakoso), one of my favorites from Raid: Redemption; Arifin Putra (Uco); Oka Antara (Eka); and Alex Abbad (Bejo). Each plays an integral part in the the story and have a brutal no holds bar moment on the screen. They are a force to be reckoned with.
The movie begins in the aftermath of a police raid of a drug lord owned high rise in the ghettos of Jakarta. Iko’s character, Rama, was one of two people in his elite unit to survive the raid. In the aftermath, he is approached by a small undercover group attempting to weed out corruption in the police force and government with connections to local drug cartels. Rama reluctantly agrees to avenge the death of his brother and our story begins. Spoiler alert, the good guy wins…
If you watch a lot of action movies you probably know you’re not there for the story. Though, The Raid 2‘s story is not bad, it’s nothing new. It is a plot device to bring us from fight scene to fight scene. The fight scenes are where this movie shines. Be ready to feel every punch, kick, break and slice. There are several cringe worthy and “that did not just happen!” moments in this movie. The Expendables wouldn’t stand a chance. Move over Jet Li, the new school martial artists are here and they’re not going anywhere.
If I were to complain, The Raid 2 has a lot of moments where action seems to come to a slow crawl to push along the story. The story is not bad, but after the relentless onslaught of The Raid Redemption, some of the dialogue felt tiresome as I anticipated the next crazy fight. Not to mention the 2 1/2 hour playtime; the movie would not have suffered from 30 minutes of footage being cut. If you’re not a fan of shaky cam, just know there is a good deal of it to be found here so bring your motion sickness pills.
As far as crazy action, fight choreography, and intensity, The Raid 2 is one of the best action martial arts movies I’ve seen since The Raid: Redemption.
However, this is not your typical action movie. Some of the violence in this movie is brutal and gritty, don’t watch this if you cannot handle that. There was also one scene involving nudity and some “hidden” but very visually suggestive sex. I would not suggest this movie to many people, especially anyone who is not a fan of this genre. If you are, you will likely enjoy this movie but be warned there are parts that are hard to watch.
Have you seen The Raid Redemption?
Do you think you’ll see The Raid 2?
What issues do you have with violence in movies?
Can’t wait to hear what you think!