After successfully escaping from the Tama headquarters, Rama (Iko Uwais), with the orders of his brother, Andi (Donny Alamsyah), immediately meet Bunawar (Cok Simbara). He is an internal police anti-corruption leader who offers protection for Rama and his family. With the circumstance, he must join the division and disguise into Bangun’s corporation (Tio Pakusadewo) in order to find out the names of the corrupt police involved in his organization. Besides the group, the other is the Yakuza under the leadership of Goto (Kenichi Endo). A small mafia wants to be a criminal world leader and he is Bejo (Alex Abbad). Knowing this, Rama agreed to join.
Trapped in a circle jerk, “The Raid: Redemption” has finally saved Indonesia filmmaking. Being a hit in Indonesia, this film brings Indonesia’s name to the world film industry. Indeed, for a festive class film, Indonesia has many titles. After the success of the first film, names like Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, and Yayan Ruhian had tried Hollywood. And, of course, “The Raid 2”. Having run out of words after the credit, I also didn’t know that I could hear the word “f*ck” in Indonesian. And it was very strange, but funny at the same time, regardless of not many Indonesian films cursed a lot. Let alone swears, kiss in Indonesian filmmaking is still a very, very taboo thing.
Like the first film, “The Raid 2” just has one goal, which is to be able to make its audience excited. If the first film leaves a sense of claustrophobia, the sequel takes a wider range. Also, the movie used a plot about the mafia that seems rather complex. Apart from which, the film offers many new things. These things are then only to be destroyed, crushed, shot at, compared to, killed, cut down, and etc. With such broader scale, Evans not only gave us wall-to-wall fights but also on the streets. Because, how many decades have I never seen a chase scene between cars after Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark”?
When “The Raid: Redemption” provides a linear fast-paced plot, not really adjusting to the plot, the sequel provides enough space. “The Raid 2” allows us to get to know these characters more closely with each other, both the protagonist and the antagonist. There is a lot of interaction through dialogue, not just action and just hit each other. Two hours is enough for us to even I’m very satisfied with it. But, there are many new characters so the plot is very difficult to adjust. There is no “impact” exists from the plot itself so that it only impresses as a minor character without doing so much.
They even also used the same actor, Yayan Ruhian, so it’s really getting confused whether this is the same character or different. While we seem to know Mad Dog’s fate at the end of “The Raid: Redemption”, maybe this is just a different character. In addition, Evans uses a very wide range, maximum entertainment, madness everywhere, and bastards everywhere. The prison scene, the Hammer Girl, the Baseball Bat Guy, the kitchen scene, the car chase scene, these scenes have well-executed cinematography. The choreography, oh, God! Narrow room, spacious room, the actors really prepared everything. Cheers, happy, sweet, yet a thousand words aren’t enough.
The sequel is actually very difficult to direct but Gareth Evans provides a lot of material in this. I’m not trampling on these expectations. I was even surprised to see Nine Inch Nails songs on the end-credit. It’s hard to imagine an Indonesian movie sphere using American songs especially if it’s an industrial rock band. I was even surprised to hear Chino Moreno, the lead vocalist of Deftones, on the end-credit as well. Hell, there was even Mike Shinoda as the composer in the first movie.
“The Raid 2” is an entertaining movie, not about Oscar-worthy movie, or anything else, this is just a movie. It’s an action pack crime thriller that’s able to invite many international audiences. However, I hope Indonesian filmmakers are able to make films that can compete with American. And the other one, I want to see this series again whether it’s a sequel, prequel, spin-off, and etc.
4 out of 5 stars.