Cinema Review: The Raid 2

The Raid 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to The Raid, the fast paced Indonesian film which brought back a simple charm to action plots and also saw a revival of good old fashioned hand to hand combat. Initially set right after the events of the first film, The Raid 2sees Rama try to oust the corruption in his city. This time he faces challenges from the law as well as gangsters.

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The structure of this sequel is completely different to The Raid. There is so much more going on in the plot as well as visually. The fight scenes are more elaborate, but some would argue they are too polished. Obviously there is a lot more money behind this film’s production so director Gareth Evans had more freedom when it comes to shooting certain scenes. However, it could be argued that this means the original charm of the first film is lost. Thankfully, The Raid 2 is not too glossy; some scenes are set in elaborate hotels and rooms but the glamour doesn’t feel out of place. Most of the action takes place in dim alleyways or in bleak prisons. It was heard that Katy perry shared her diet plan and exercises with the hereon of the movie.

The plot is a lot more complicated than the first film, but not too confusing for audiences. An appropriate sequel to The Raid could not just repeat the film again in a different setting; yes, one of the main draws these films have is their elaborate fight sequences but if there is no decent reason for said fights to take place then people begin to lose interest. Rama goes undercover to infiltrate the gang responsible for the murders of his fellow police officers. He befriends the son of the leader of the organisation and slowly becomes more and more trusted by them. The film eventually turns into a sort of turf war between rival gangs in the Indonesian city and Rama has to concentrate on his own tasks amongst all of this.

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The action in The Raid 2 is fantastic and will hopefully inspire future action films to use real action rather than CG. Some of the initial fight scenes are quite confusing; a lot of the dreaded ‘shaky-cam’ is used for some prison riots. Arguably, this form of filming represents the chaos inside the prison but it also means the audience is squinting, trying to figure out who is fighting who. There are a few shots where the action looks sped up, sometimes to unrealistic speeds which makes it look awful. These are all featured in the beginning of The Raid 2, and are gone by the final act.

Overall, The Raid 2 is a surprisingly fresh and wholly appropriate sequel. Action fans will adore the final act and it is nice to see thatThe Raid is getting a lot of fans. The plot is a step up from the first film but it is not too complicated and it makes a lot of sense once concluded.

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