Hi, Bryan Here…
The only thing you need to know about ‘The Raid 2: Berandal‘ is that you need to run to the nearest theater that’s playing ‘The Raid 2: Berandal‘ and watch it. This is the sequel to 2011’s ‘The Raid: Redemption‘ by Gareth Evans, and is even better than its first literal non-stop hardcore action movie from only a few years ago. This time around, we have a 2.5 hour film full of some of the best action sequences and fight choreography ever put on film. In addition to that, we have one hell of story to go with it, which was mostly lacking from the first film, which I’m not complaining about at all.
The story is heavily borrowed from ‘Infernal Affairs‘, or as you might know it as ‘The Departed‘. And Evans does an exquisite job of mixing the intense fight scenes and story very well, and it never loses its pacing, nor does it go off on a tangent like so many martial arts films have done in the past. If you’ve been waiting for the ultimate action movie with incredible fight choreography, then you are in luck, for ‘The Raid 2: Berandal‘ is finally here. Now do you have to see the first film to see this sequel? Not necessarily, but it does help set the mood and the character, and also the fact that this sequel takes place only a couple of hours after the first film.
After the events of ‘The Raid: Redemption‘, we see our main character Rama (Iko Uwais), physically beaten to hell and is in the care of the head of the undercover bureau of investigations. This man tells Rama that he needs him to go deep undercover to take out a major crime syndicate and must get arrested and go to prison to get in with the son of one of the major crime lords. Rama is told he will only have to spend a few months in prison before he is released, which then we cut to many months later and he is still in prison. This brings us our first incredible fight scene inside a bathroom stall of the prison where it is Rama vs. dozens of prisoners.
The second fight scene come in the prison yard during a rain storm between prisoners and guards and lasts about fifteen minutes. It’s one of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen on the big screen as Evans doesn’t use quick cuts like Michael Bay would use, but rather lets his very skilled actors show off their exquisite martial arts skills in a few very long takes. It’s bloody, raw, and choreographed to perfection. Once Rama is out, he becomes close to one of the crime lords as he works his way into dealing with over crime syndicates in order to take them down. This is much like Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in ‘The Departed‘.
As the film goes on, the crime boss’s son Rama works is getting annoyed always playing second fiddle to his father and might conspiring with other gangs, which shows us that each gang is on the brink of complete all out war with Rama in the middle of everything. Through an impressive car chase and a few fight scenes later, we end up at the climax of the film where Rama has to battle ‘video game’ style a series of henchmen, a few boss battles that consist of a brother and sister team who don a baseball bat and deadly hammers, and one tough older man in a commercial kitchen setting. The results will leave you on the edge of your seat and sweating through your clothes.
Evans has made quite the epic masterpiece with this action vehicle that sets the bar very high for future action films. The acting is very good from everybody involved, and Uwais is just put through the ringer physically and emotionally through the entire movie. If you are a fan of action movies in the slightest, please run, don’t walk to your nearest theater to see ‘The Raid 2: Berandal‘!!
5 out of 5 Stars