The Raid 2: Berandal, English Hollywood film Movie review, Johnson Thomas, Rating: * * * 1/2

Raid 2(English) Rating: *  *  * 1/2  A testosterone inducing top-of-the-genre fight movie, designed as an assaultive massacre of the senses, this orgy of mutilation, pulverizing action and violence gives nihilism new meaning. Definitely not meant for the feint hearted!
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English film review
Johnson Thomas
Film: Raid 2
Cast: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara, Tio Pakusadewo, Alex Abbad
Director: Gareth Evans

Rating: *  *  * ½

Synopsis: Gareth Evans returns to the director's chair along with his former leading man Iko Uwais for Raid 2, which follows officer Rama (Uwais) as he is tasked with bringing down a nefarious and powerful criminal by going undercover and befriending the gangster's son, who is currently behind bars. As is the case in genre flicks, there isn’t much of a story to tell. Just a whole lot of development. Raid 2 screened at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

“The Raid 2," has the cops and criminals doing incessant battle- in order to vanquish, they have to temporarily incapacitate, fracture a limb,connect a baseball bat to the cranium, make a bisecting slash to the external carotid artery, use the pointed end of the hammer to pierce through flesh while the other end is used to hammer them  down, make machete strikes across bodies and many more stylized methods. The partial/permanent disembowellings are all part of the deliberate plan to create a ritualistic orgy of blood and gore in a assemblage that’s never been seen before.  
The plot is simplistic yet impossible to follow. The plotting is such that you go from one action set-piece to another without really caring about who is in the right or wrong end of it. The hero of course lives on to fight another war, every time.  Rama(Iko Uwais), the hero of the first film, is compelled to go undercover to rout both corrupt cops and crime lords and their lethal henchmen.
At nearly two-and-a-half hours, this sensationally violent sequel goes at it in stages. The start is slow only when compared to what transpires thereafter. For most movies , what happens in the first 20 minutes in ‘raid 2’ would maybe have been the climactic portions. The level of violence increments after every 15 minutes and there’s very little time to think or assimilate. Most of the time you are left cringing in your seats. The carnage is that stridently striking.  

The hero after vanquishing one set of thugs moves on to another more skilled set and then yet another. The action is hyperkinetic and will get the action junkie’s adrenaline gushing in full flow.
None of this matters as much as the highlights- a machete-wielding contract killer, a pair of baddies who kill with baseball equipment and hammers, respectively  and all the sound and fury that is delivered with  a relentless straight face and gritted teeth. Gareth Evans tops it all off with a climactic sequence that's nearly  45 minutes worth of mayhem. This includes a very crunchy car-chase/shootout and a one-on-one battle that destroys a climate-controlled wine room in high style.
The action is superbly constructed , thanks to handheld camerawork from Matt Flannery and Dimas Imam Subhono. The locations are also quite apt- from brothels, subways, restaurants, offices, highways, and a sprawling marshy clay pit. The stunt action designed by Evans, Uwais and Ruhain has one line-up of baddies taking turns before another sets in. It’s the usual tactic to show the hero as all conquering but this works better in closed spaces. Evans edited the film with Andi Novianto and continuous flow of action is definitely a complement to their craft. This film is definitely not for the feint hearted!


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