Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 3:07 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

‘The Raid 2’: Sequel takes kicked-up action into the streets

A three-star movie review of “The Raid 2,” an epic-length assemblage of martial-arts fight scenes that are blazingly paced and unhinged in their intensity.




Special to The Seattle Times

Movie Review 3 stars

‘The Raid 2,’ with Iko Uwais, Arifin Putra. Written and directed by Gareth Evans. 148 minutes. Rated R for sequences of strong bloody violence throughout, sexuality and language. In Indonesian, with English subtitles. Several theaters.

advertising

For those of us who believe the prime directive of action pictures is that such movies ought to, by gawd, move , Gareth Evans is our new patron saint.

Evans, a Welshman who works in Indonesia, ascended to that rank with 2011’s “The Raid: Redemption,” an insanely kinetic actioner he wrote and directed in which an outgunned squad of Jakarta cops fight for their lives against an army of heavily armed gangsters holed up in a dark fortresslike apartment building.

For “The Raid 2,” Evans picks up right where “The Raid” left off, with the sole surviving cop, again played by masterful martial artist Iko Uwais, reluctantly agreeing to go deep undercover to infiltrate a gang of vicious criminals.

Evans, this time around, takes the action into the streets and environs of Jakarta. And what action it is: blazingly paced and unhinged in its intensity. There’s a prison-yard riot to end all riots; a mud-bowl brawl with seemingly hundreds of bodies writhing and walloping in the muck and mire; and, above all, a breathtakingly choreographed car chase/fight between Uwais’ cop, Rama, and a bunch of guys who want him dead.

The story is far more complex than “The Raid’s” bare-bones fight-for-survival plot. An uneasy truce between two criminal gangs is imperiled when Uco (Arifin Putra), the ambitious son of one of the gang lords, schemes to take his father’s place. Rama is Uco’s bodyguard and confidant.

Evans’ elaborate narrative gives the picture an epic feel, and it certainly has an epic length at 2½ hours. But whenever it seems to be overstaying its welcome, Evans drops in yet another take-no-prisoners fight scene to quicken audience pulses.

For what it is, “Raid 2” is really something else.

Soren Andersen: asoren7575@yahoo.com



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►