The Raid 2 begins just two hours after that fateful rainy day when Rama entered the ghettoish apartment block with the 20-man elite squad and came out bloody but alive having killed half of its residents almost singlehandedly in the smash hit The Raid: Redemption. As you might remember if you watched it, Rama’s brother Andi had asked him to meet the trustworthy cop Bunawar and not trust anyone else. Rather than giving him a medal and a hot meal, Bunawar, aware of things to come, asks him to go undercover and join the gang run by Bangun, one of the dons that control a majority of all the illegal dealings in the city. Sadist bastard!
What was so enjoyable about The Raid: Redemption was the complete irreverence with which director Gareth Evans made that film, giving it almost a video game treatment. In what was basically an upside down “Die Hard”, action started instantly, and if you walked in 10 minutes late, you would have missed a ‘climactic fight’, the entire movie was one big climactic fight after all. This time, sadly, he decides to waste almost 1.5 hrs creating a plot with dialogues and conversations that take it nowhere and makes it feel like food you eat on a fast compared to the first movie’s fast food spread. A major contributor to the downfall is also the insanely stupid dubbing job that feels as if it was handled by the guys who handle the dubbing of the tele brands commercials that run late night on TV. Hence when the climax finally starts post intermission, you celebrate the fact that they will finally quit yapping and you can sit back and enjoy what you paid the money for.
Iko Uwais’ Rama is as robust a cop as any. He is ably matched in the three fighters hired by the antagonist, Hammer Girl, Baseball Bat Man and the Assassin, each having his/her choice of weapon they specialize in. The sequences featuring them are some of the best fights one can ever see and will give any action lover a boner. Action choreographer Yayan Ruhian (who played the chief antagonist Mad Dog in the first movie) also returns playing a completely new character, but his fights are surplus to the plot and are not engaging enough either. Plus his return is not explicated and feels like a strategy to cash in on the Mad Dog’s popularity.
If you have not watched The Raid: Redemption, you might be blown away by this, but if you have, you will only come out mildly satisfied. They should just have done away with the first half and showed us the latter half twice. I would gladly pay to watch that any day.