See This Film: The Raid 2



        Genre films interact with each other, building off of trends and techniques from similar releases of the past. This is clearly apparent in the recent trend adapting young adult literature with revolutionary storylines in an apocalyptic future. Without The Hunger Games, there would be no Divergent or the upcoming adaptation of The Maze. Films play off of each other, but there is always an original source that the trends can be traced back to, and The Raid 2 is a film which is destined to blaze trails in the action genre for years to come. Whether it is gunplay, martial arts, or chase scenes, The Raid 2 reaches for the stars and achieves many moments of utter brilliance.


        The original film, The Raid: Redemption, is already set for a Hollywood remake, but it would take years to achieve the accomplishments seen in this sequel of unbelievable increased scope. This is a film many years in the making, with a great deal of the awe-inspiring action choreographed long before the first film was even made. For the mere fact that this is a foreign film, I have doubts that it will be as financially successful as the countless action Blockbusters released in Hollywood, but I am even more certain that no film released anywhere in the world this year will come close to being as impressive as The Raid 2. This is a game changer.


        The Raid 2 begins shortly after the end of the first film, with Rama (Iko Uwais) surviving the brutal police raid only to discover that his mission has only just begun. The police force sends Rama undercover into prison to make connections with the thugs of Jakarta, so that he can take down the criminal organization. The scope in the narrative of this 2 ½ hour film is far more expansive than the story in the first film, which took place over the course of one night. Along with fights which took 18 months to choreograph and six months of training by the main actors, Welsh born filmmaker Gareth Evans has created an intricately designed storyline in the criminal underworld of Indonesia that is as effective as the action.  


        The undercover cop storyline helps to fill the gaps between action sequences in this epic film, but it will be the spectacle that leaves audiences breathless. The first film utilized the Indonesian traditional martial arts of Silat for the impressive hand-to-hand action sequences, and the Raid 2 does not disappoint on providing much more of the same, but this is only the beginning of what this sequel offers. As well as a final fight scene that took 6 weeks to orchestrate, The Raid 2 features some of the most creative violence seen outside of a horror film. A car chase sequence alone is more groundbreaking and awe-inspiring than anything to come out of Hollywood in years, and it is all done so realistically that one has to wonder about the health and safety of the actors performing these stunts.


        I could go on for much longer on the impressive range of action sequences within this film, from the prison brawl to the subway massacre with villains wielding hammers and a baseball bat. I could give more details about the manner in which the action was film, actors actually throwing punches at each other for sake of realism on screen. There is very little negative to say and I would rather avoid it entirely, if only because of the uphill battle subtitled films already face in the box office. Instead I will end with this simple statement: if you see one action film this year, it should be this one. Skip all of the comic book heroes and undercover cop films with Schwarzenegger until you have seen The Raid 2, even if you haven’t seen the first film yet.  


Entertainment Value: 10/10

Quality of Filmmaking: 9.5/10

Historical Significance: 9/10


No comments: