The Dark Knight of action movies! Overselling it there I think.
The Raid 2 continues the story of Rama and his nifty Silat skills as he goes undercover to root out corrupt police. The bigger budget shows immediately; as the film progresses we see plenty of inventive camera usage from the returning Evans as we visit many more locales. Following on from the first film by a matter of hours, it’s far more dramatic and layered from a storytelling point of view, but I’ve got to say I miss the confines of the apartment block in the first film. It was taught and focused, whereas here several threads play separately before coming together, which takes time.
Maybe the fact I turned it on in a mood to watch people get messed up went against what Evans was going for.
Maybe I just wanted more of the same (which we all know would have been silly), but at least the bit I came for – the fights – is top notch.
This is a team of professionals at their best. With various styles and weapons being used it’s a feast for the eyes, if you like eyes smashed in. Technically the fights are amazingly choreographed, but they have such a level of detail and love put into them that they never come across as ‘you strike here, I block, continue’.
In my review for the original I praised the soundtrack by Mike Shinoda. He isn’t present here, and although I miss him I’m not sure his pulsing tunes would have fitted the more expansive tale being told. Nevertheless I couldn’t remember any of the soundtrack. Make of that what you will.
The Raid 2 is a damn good film, even when punches aren’t being thrown. But when it finished I wasn’t amazed. It’s what I expected, and compared to the fresh exciting of the feeling of the original it doesn’t quite hit the same heights.