"I'll just get my gear."

The Raid 2: Berendal Indonesian trailer

I didn’t post this right away because I didn’t want to watch it. I don’t need so much as a description of a still photo to sell me on a sequel to THE RAID, I’m fuckin there. So I thought maybe I shouldn’t risk giving anything away.

But who was a I fooling? I watched it and then I immediately watched it a couple more times. And later I watched it again. It implies a totally different movie, way bigger in scope, locations and variety of action, and hugely operatic. It looks like Tony Jaa meets John Woo meets Stanley Kubrick. Holy shit you guys. This seems unfair. I don’t know how a movie could live up to this.

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91 Responses to “The Raid 2: Berendal Indonesian trailer”

  1. I get to see this at The Sun Dance, and no less than Isaac Florentine himself asked me to e-mail him to tell him how it is. Couldn’t help but humble brag on that. I will of course tell the whole world but Isaac will get a personal e-mail.

  2. Kubrick didn’t own Handel’s “Sarabande,” but I feel like he’s letting Evans borrow it here.

    I like how there’s both an aluminum baseball bat and a wooden baseball bat in this movie.

  3. It looks very much like an expansion of the first one, in the way Leone expanded on A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS with FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE. Can’t wait to see Evans’ THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

  4. Fred— “humble brag” is an oxymoron if ever there was one. Still, please do us all a solid, and try to bend Florentine’s ear pertaining to the importance (bordering on necessity) of making Undisputed 4 a reality… thanks in advance.

    The Raid 2 seems poised to be hands down THE best action movie of 2014. March 28th can’t arrive soon enough.

    A quick search reveals that the first one grossed but $4.1 million in its U.S. theatrical release… and that took 16 weeks to accumulate. REALLY? Here’s hoping American audiences get with the FUCKING PROGRAM this time, and send it into box office stratosphere… where it belongs.

  5. “It’s an addiction, you know. For lust, for revenge.”

    That’s some outstanding trailerage, Griff. The final cut of this feature film might be terrible, but whatever; I’ve often dreamed of a Punisher as portrayed by a pink-wigged young female.
    I’m intrigued and I know nothing of this “Kite,” other than you & Samuel Jackson’s endorsements. Is there a manga I should read or an earlier movie/show worth watching?

  6. Kite was an extremely unpleasant anime porn feature. Strangely, it had a pretty good action movie hidden away in all the rape and child molestation. The American release cut all the sex down to one brief tit shot, and the result was a not-entirely-coherent cartoon action picture with cool gunfights and a weird undercurrent of disturbing perversion.

    The live-action remake looks like a clumsy mess.

  7. Kite is not an anime I’ve seen yet unfortunately, however my understanding is that the original version is flat out “hentai” which makes it pretty surprising that THAT’S an anime they decided to base a movie on

    as for the movie itself, it looks pretty cheap, which is disappointing, but it might be cool, I mean how often does a movie based on a hentai starring Samuel L Jackson come out?

  8. now I just realized that I made it sound like the hentai itself stars Samuel L Jackson, not the movie based on it, oh well…

  9. I didn’t like the anime Kite, but the live action film looks atrocious.

    The cheapness is something I could potentially get behind if the script is decent, but that elevator scene was quite bad, what with the (English accented?!?) old lady speaking up against the (obviously) Russian bad guy and then acting all whacky surprised he’d retaliate.

    Also I cannot abide what I call “fake drama”, i.e. the moment Kitegirl points the gun at the old lady and we’re meant to think there’s an actual will she won’t she shoot dilemma going on in her head, oh the tension! In all likelihood she has no narrative reason whatsoever to shoot or even point the gun at the old lady other than to create that cinematic moment of tension. Nail-biting stuff. This is almost as tense as that time Redbelt almost did that tournament so he could get his window fixed.

  10. one thing I’m wondering and I don’t know if this is because the original anime isn’t, but why is it not actually set in….ya know, Japan?

    why would you make a movie based on an anime and set in what looks like the set of ROBOT JOX instead of Japan?

  11. Can’t wait for America to rename this The Raid 2: Reloaded.

  12. This movie looks like “Heat With Kicking” and I can’t wait.

    Us action kids live in good times. All it takes is a little scratching under the surface of bland Hollywood shaky stuff and you find TONS of treasures being released. I just watched both NINJAs this weekend and good golly are they great! Shadow of a Tear especially. Gets right to the point and doesn’t let up.

  13. Looks amazing, and according to Evans, this trailer only shows us stuff from the first act. Gotta love seeing a baseball getting used like a sword. Am I the only one who thinks the Arifin Putra (the Mob Boss’ son) looks like a reincarnated Brandon Lee?

    Griff: Probably the same reason that THE LAST AIRBENDER had white leads, and the mooted AKIRA live action remake was meant to be taking place in America too?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jafd97yJFOI

  14. First things first: I’m gonna see this the very second I can. And the trailer does look awesome. I can’t wait to see the fight in and on the moving cars, which Evans said in a Q&A I attended was so complicated they initially couldn’t figure out how to do it without killing someone.

    But I have to confess that I’m not all that psyched about all this plot business. The genius of THE RAID was that its story was a brutally efficient delivery system for amazing action, with just enough breathing room to add the bare minimum of character development and drama. Opening it up into yet another undercover cop story with rival gangs and double crosses and all the plot contortions that entails seems to me like its missing the point. I’m not particularly interested in the world’s billionth Asian gangster epic.

    But I’m probably wrong. The team at work here is as skilled at suspense and tension as they are at bone-crunching action, so they’ll likely infuse what seems to me like a played-out storyline with real danger and dynamism. If they make the plot stuff as awesome as the fight stuff, we could have an honest-to-god masterpiece on our hands. Otherwise I’m sure I’ll be able to suffer through the story beats with a minimum of complaint to get to what will undoubtedly be the best action scenes of 2014.

  15. I *am* interested in the world’s billionth Asian gangster epic,
    and yeah the 148 minute runtime as well as Mr. Majestyk’s apparent firsthand exposure to words from everyone’s favorite Welshperson (Sorry, Catherine Zeta-Jones) suggest that THE RAID 2: {INSERT CLEVER JOKE TITLELECTRIC BOOGALOO HERE} will be, uh, too ambitious?, but I doubt that’s what Evans/Uwais/etc. are going to do here.

    Twould be funny if this became a VALHALLA RISING-/-DRIVE-/-ONLY GOD FORGIVES situation, whereby a filmmaker transitions from a huge surprise hit by reminding his newly expanded audience of his hardcore specialized genre roots and ends up alienating 90% of that new audience.

    Anyway, this could be a series of baseball bat battles & improvised refrigerated explosive devices and I’d be happy. Please take my money now, Indonesian martial artists.

    (Though I do miss Yaya Ruhian, winner of Mouth’s Best Supporting Actor of The Past Several Years Award)

  16. Fun fact about The Raid, the first fight scene doesn’t happen until around the 40 minute mark. I don’t know what that implies, just saying.

  17. Mouth, this movie is going to be 2 hours and 18 minutes?

  18. Oh so it’s also weird that the youngest sister from Secret Life of the American Teenager is headlining a movie even though she has no charisma what so ever.

  19. Berendal was the title of the prison film Evans and Iko was going to do before they did the Raid. I think there was some budget problem, and there was even a promo clip on Twitchfilm. They have pretty much combined that script with the idea of the Raid 2. I guess the prison thing is only act 1 stuff.

  20. Kubrick often waited 40 minutes before including the first fight scene, so that math checks out.

    Yes, Sternshein, plus a 10 minute intermission.

  21. Mouth: Ruhian is in there. He’s the guy with the long, bushy hair and the generally filthy appearance. You can see him rearranging legs in the trailer.

  22. Like, a pile of legs? How did I miss that part?

  23. No, he’s rearranging them while they’re still attached to a person. At 1:45 in the trailer.

  24. Griff, Kite was shot here in South Africa. I know the 1st AD. The original director, David R. Ellis (Final Destination 2, Snakes on a Plane, Shark Night) was found dead in his Joburg hotel room, which obviously stalled production. He was replaced by a local director, who was apparently yelled at a lot by Sam Jackson for being inexperienced in shooting scenes involving CGI, or some such shit. Honestly, that trailer makes it look better than I thought it would. Fingers crossed.

  25. Majestyk, I hear what you’re saying about the sudden presence of a more substantial plot in the sequel, but luckily so far it all comes across as a natural evolution of the story. Doesn’t seem forced to me.

    Also, I think that if the sequel was another situation-driven “predicament” movie, most of us would complain about it just being more of the same. The Raid 2 looks ambitious as fuck, and the fact that it’s based on a story that Evans has been working on for years gives me hope. I’m expecting something completely different from the first one. Like Cameron’s Aliens to Scott’s Alien, or The Chronicles of Riddick to the much leaner Pitch Black.

    Can’t believe this is being released in March already, though. Seems almost too fast. Must be that Eastern work ethic.

  26. Yeah, It’s less than I’m doubting Evans and crew’s ability to pull it off (the footage in the trailer all looks fantastic) and more that I’m expressing my disappointment with it being an undercover cop movie. I got tired of those somewhere around DONNIE BRASCO. It’s just not my favorite kind of generic action story. I actually wouldn’t care if they’d done another “predicament” movie and just opened it up to a wider arena, like DIE HARDER did with the airport. People complained that it was a rehash, but then they complained louder when the later sequels ditched the single setting premise altogether. So somebody is always going to complain that it’s too different or too samey.

    Still, I’m just happy to live in a world where this much elbow grease is going into an Indonesian kung fu sequel. However the movie comes out, I can’t wait to see it.

  27. Maybe in the third one they can combine the wider setting with the predicament structure.

    Here’s an idea: Rama wakes up on an operating table, surprised that he didn’t die after falling out of that helicopter at the end of The Raid 2, only to find that his heart has been replaced with a robot heart that requires regular jolts of electricity to keep ticking…

  28. Nabroleon Dynamite

    January 5th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    I let my homie hold my blu ray of The Raid in August…

    I gotta make a fucking phone call!!

  29. The Original... Paul

    January 5th, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    I’m not even going to watch the trailer. In case the film genuinely DOES live up to how good Vern says it is, I don’t want to have anything – literally, anything – spoiled for me. But the first one was great, so I’m hopeful for this one as well.

    Mouth – I’m not your favorite Welshman? I’m crushed.

    I’m sorry to do this yet again, but it will be the absolute last time. I’ve just finished the thing I’ve been doing in the forum over the past three weeks, which is a list of every single film I saw at the cinema in 2013, together with what I thought of it. That’s thirty-three films in total. I’ve also put a few comments on the year, the website, etc. If anybody’s interested enough to comment, debate, or add your own recommendations for films I might have missed, then for the last time the link is: http://www.outlawvern.com/forum/the-films-of-cinema/pauls-year-in-review-done-with-verns-blessing/page-2/#p1905. Thanks!

  30. Nabroleon— He’s had it since AUGUST, and still hasn’t returned it? What a total buster move.

    I had a similar experience with my Ip Man DVD (the first movie) about 3 years ago. Loaned it to a guy at work; didn’t know him that well, but he seemed like a decent dude, and I knew it was his kind of movie. Waited about a week, then asked him if he was done with it. He said he’d left it with a female coworker (someone I crossed paths with more frequently), so I went to her, and she feigned ignorance (methinks she nicked it). POOF!… gone, just like that. I haven’t loaned out any of my DVDs since then.

    Paul— I cannot, in good conscience, lie to you and say I read your entire mini-magnum opus in the forums, but I did gloss over it, and came across this gem of an insight regarding Trance:

    “Plus it stars James McAvoy, who I’ve long regarded as the male Rosamund Pike: whatever movie he’s in seems to get a little worse because he’s in it”.

    What a shining beacon of truth that statement is. THANK you for articulating what has annoyed me about McAvoy for quite some time, but couldn’t quite identify.

  31. Nabroleon Dynamite

    January 9th, 2014 at 9:54 am

    @AL. It was more my fault. I’ve been grinding hard at work, and I’m mad backed up on movies to watch, so it kinda slipped my mind.

    I got my shit back (and he had my uncut copy of A Serbian Film too) so it’s all good!!

    But I have been burnt before, so I feel your pain.

  32. The Original... Paul

    January 11th, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Larry – sorry I didn’t respond to this, and glad that at least one thing I wrote made an impact! Ironically, McAvoy is probably one of “Trance”‘s lesser problems – which should tell you just how bad the experience was for me overall. It’s not badly made (although I didn’t like the scoring of it at all), it’s just tension-free, dumb, and pointless.

  33. I am dancing on the sun tonight.

  34. Please elaborate, Fred. Is it as good as they say?

  35. So the Hemsworth brothers apparently will star in the Hollywood remake of THE RAID: REDEMPTION.

    Hey our generation’s MEN AT WORK finally!

  36. I could see Chris as either brother(probably best as the one in the gang), but Liam…he’s too adorable. Still, good news on the director RED HILL getting the gig behind the camera.

  37. I didn’t think much of RED HILL. Some good action filmatism here and there but as an overall package it came up short quite a bit. I also only know the one Hemsworth guy from THOR never seen him in anything else and the other one from EXPENDABLES 2 never seen him in anything else. So I can’t really gauge how they’d handle something like this based on my familiarity with their work. I’m personally waiting to see how EXPENDABL3S turns out before making a final call on Hughes as a director. If he does significantly better than both Stallone and especially West I’ll keep an eye out for THE RAID remake.

  38. I can see how you could do a good remake of The Raid if you take the same basic structure and don’t try to even come close to emulating the action beats in the film. It’s going to be hard to come close to excitement that the original film brought.

  39. I wasn’t sure whether to post this or not, but I caught a screening on Friday at the only cinema in Western Australia that is showing the film (after having to wait around for three hours due to a projector malfunction during the session that I was supposed to see – what is it with this movie and projector issues?) and I have to say that I enjoyed the first film significantly more than this one. This is just my first impression and I will definitely see it again because it is still an incredible achievement as an action film, but if I am being entirely honest the whole thing just left me feeling a little bit underwhelmed. I don’t want to talk about it too much until everyone has had a chance top see it for themselves, but I definitely know why I preferred The Ra1d to The 2aid and why I think the first one hit me much harder than the second.

    Really looking forward to Vern’s review of this especially now that I have seen it for myself, and I can’t wait to follow the discussion of it on here. I am definitely going to be in the minority on this one that’s for sure.

  40. Mixalot: I saw this on Friday too. I think I preferred the first one to the second as well, but I don’t want to get too much into it until there’s a review up. I think maybe Evan’s ambition outstripped him, but only by a little bit. It’s still a really impressive film in a whole bunch of ways. It’s also shockingly violent. So much so that I was uncomfortable with the way the audience was cheering it on.

  41. CrustaceanLove: Sounds like my thoughts on it are pretty much in line with yours, although strangely I didn’t find that the violence had as much of an impact on me as I was anticipating. What I did notice at my screening, however, was a *lot* of inappropriate laughter in some pretty upsetting scenes, which was pretty troubling to say the least.

    Like you I don’t want to get into any specifics until Vern’s review has dropped but I have a feeling that the discussion over this one is going to be pretty spectacular.

  42. Mixalot: Yeah, I guess that was more the issue for me. Some violence was meant to be fun and some meant to be disturbing and horrific, but the audience was laughing it up at both just the same. I don’t normally care too much about audiences reacting the “right” way to a movie, but here it troubled me a little bit.

  43. Expectations are a films worst enemy. I always try to not think about how it relates to a previous film I loved, but its hard not to. I

  44. To be honest, I already expected to prefer part 1 over part 2, just because it was such a lean, mean action/horror hybrid and part 2 is supposed to be a full blown gangster epic, including 2+hour runtime. Not that there is anything wrong with it. I can hold my pee for WAY longer than 90 minutes, but when in doubt, I prefer the quick adrenaline rush. But still, I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing it. (No German start date yet, but it has already been approved in its uncut version by our filmboard!!!)

  45. The assholes in charge over here will not show THE RAID 2 in cinema. This is why I refuse to support cinema because of such bullshit selective choices that goes into the repertoire.
    Unfortunatly a large part of it is explained by the small demographic that consists of swedes and THE RAID 2 is to niche, I guess. I hate my country….

  46. Well, THE RA1D didn’t exactly set the box office on fire here too, but Germany is a seriously niche cinema friendly country. Even our multiplexes usually have at least ONE theatre where they play all kinds of arthouse movies (Even if it’s often only Saturday or sunday mornings.)

  47. We do have an arthouse cinema where I live. But I don´t hold my hopes up. The only thing that might be a glimmer of hope is that they screened THE GRANDMASTER so hopefully THE RAID 2 might squeeze itself in with the bourgeois winedrinking crowd!

  48. Saw it. Very good, total striving for excellence, amazing action and brutality and plenty of it, but an over complicated narrative makes it hard to get into what’s really a very generic story. The relentless propulsion of the first film is missing. You should all still see it as soon as you can.

  49. Got to see a screening of this a couple of days ago. You guys are in for a serious treat. The runtime makes it a little flabby, but the action scenes are just stunning.

  50. I think I ended up loving it about equally to the first one. It doesn’t have that same laser focus on brutality or the same momentum (at least at first. I’d argue the last 45 minutes are equal to the original even then), but it makes up for it with a ton of other great things, most notably some seriously nice arty photography and some slightly more exaggerated colorful gimmicks than the first. More story, more characters, all surprisingly well-handled and memorable. I actually really loved the character of Uco, the guy who played him (Arifin Putra) does a fantastic job of being utterly hateable and yet somehow also kind of sympathetic in a tragic way. You can really tell how torn and insecure he is, with every terrible decision he makes. When (spoiler) the end finally comes for him, it’s almost a relief.

    Anyway, rock solid effort. If the story is a little flabby (not sure we needed all those scenes with Mad Dog) every bit of it is so filled with texture and awesomeness that I’d be really sad to lose any of it.

  51. Aha! Here’s where the Raid 2 discussion is happening!

    I have to agree that it was a bit too long, but there’s not much that I would want to cut. I loved the characters and I wouldn’t want to lose out on the time we spent with them. The only stuff that I adamantly feel should have been cut is most of the first 20 minutes of the movie. For several reasons.

    SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

    First of all, there is no need to connect this movie to The Raid. It’s barely connected as is. Rama’s brother is executed in the first scene in what seems like a set up for a revenge plotline that never comes about. The corrupt police captain is executed in the next scene by a non-corrupt(?) police guy. Then Rama’s Swat team buddy is taken into custody or taken for medical treatment or something and never seen again. The only character from the first movie we have left is Rama and he immediately goes undercover and nobody calls him Rama again. After that there is literally no connection to the first film except for a few mentions of how the bad guys in this movie are connected to the bad guys in the first one.

    Secondly, the movie drags at the start. That first half-hour was the only time I was getting a bit bored. Luckily it picks up after that and never lets up, but I think some people will get turned off by that first impression and not be able to get back into the film. It would have worked better if they just started with Rama in the bathroom stall and show a brief flashback montage setting up the fact that he’s going undercover in a jail to get close to a bad guy. Then the first scene is the brawl in the bathroom and the rest of the movie plays out basically the same. Hell, I think I could make this cut myself if I could get my hands on a copy of the movie.

    So it’s not as structurally tight as the first film, but I feel like it’s a perfectly worthy followup. The action scenes are all very impressive and I actually feel more invested in the action than I did with the first film because the characters are better fleshed out.

    You know what? As I write this, I think I’ve realized that I like this one better than the first film. Hmmmm. Gonna have to ponder this a bit more.

  52. RJ…. yeah, I’m kind of in the same boat. I loved it while watching it, and after a few days I find I loved it even more than I thought I did at the time. As oddly bloated as it feels, it’s all just so compelling that I would be really unhappy to lose anything. The first 20 minutes, though, are a bit exposition-heavy considering how utterly unimportant it turns out to be to try and link the first RAID to this one. But then, I was definitely never bored, I think thanks in a large part to Iko Uwais’s oddly commanding presence and Evan’s impressive, borderline stunning cinematography. Who know the guy could get his Kubrick on so hard and still make such a fucking brutal martial arts movie?

  53. I’m glad you mentioned the cinematography because I forgot to bring that up. I went in expecting the camerawork during the action scenes to be great (it was) but I wasn’t expecting the rest of the movie to look as good as it did. Great framing and lighting throughout. Right from the beginning I was impressed by the choices they made (I’m thinking specifically of that opening wide shot of the field that holds for what feels like over a minute, while a car drives up). Editing was also excellent.

  54. Now I feel like a dick, because I’ve practically forgotten I even saw the movie a week and a half later. The technical aspects of the movie are obviously top notch, but in a very abstract way. I admire the movie without ever really getting into it that much. Honestly, there were plenty of moments (even during the fights) when I found myself thinking about other shit. I had to keep reminding myself that I was really excited to see this movie and in any case I’d paid like 14.50 for the right to see it so is better pay attention. I guess maybe Paul’s right: action just isn’t as involving when you don’t care about what’s at stake. And I really, truly didn’t care who won in the end. It was just a technical exercise in virtuoso action filmmaking, not a story I felt involved in.

    I don’t dislike it or anything. Even the parts that bored me are constructed with some close to genius. But it never grabbed me. The first one made me feel like I was part of the action, but this one watched it from a distance.

    Oh well. Maybe it gets better the second time.

  55. You know what it is? It’s a band’s more ambitious and polished second album that you respect but don’t like half as much as the raw, unvarnished fury of their debut. RAID 1 is Appetite For Destruction, just a sleazy, rollicking meat and potatoes rocker. RAID 2 is Use Your Illusion, with all the symphonic flourishes and choirs of female backup singers and delusions of grandeur. Impressive as a production, no doubt, but which one are you singing along to in the car?

    (In this analogy I suppose Evans’ segment in VHS 2 is his GNR Lies, the gap-bridging EP with its foot in both worlds. Which is a good thing. GNR Lies is awesome.)

  56. Mr. M — well, that G ‘n R analogy is too powerful to argue with, especially in the Year Of Slash. I bow before your superior metaphorical skills. But I think you should give RAID 2 another chance sometime when you’re in the mood for something incredibly formalized, brutal and beautiful. To me, RAID 2 was the movie I think we were all hoping ONLY GOD FORGIVES would be: equal parts art movie and brutal genre film that insists on delivering the goods.*

    *For the record, I liked ONLY GOD FORGIVES, too. But that one was absolutely determined to deny you every possible genre satisfaction, whereas THE RAID is only too happy to give you all of them and much more, while still being as deliberate and gorgeous as it wants to be.

  57. I’m definitely not done with RAID 2 yet. I plan on giving it every chance to change my mind. Expect it to be features prominently in MAKESTYK MAKES AMENDS 2015.

    Also, to continue the GNR analogy, Evans’ next film will have to be an out of left field remake (The Spaghetti Incident) followed many years later by an immediately dated, overproduced flop made without any original personnel that has it’s moments but is overall kind of embarrassing (Chinese Democracy).

  58. I should also say that some of my favorite GNR songs are off Use Your Illusion. But it’s not possible to listen to the whole double all the way through in one sitting without drifting off and thinking about how you’re gonna make it to the bar after work and still pick up your laundry before the Korean place closes.

  59. Saw it today. I know what you guys means. It’s a movie I APPRECIATE more than I really LOVE right now, even though there is a lot TO admire. And even if it’s quality is very high, it doesn’t have that same sort instant rewatchability as the original, due to it being much more substantial and big. It’s like reading a book. Once you absorb it, you’re kinda done with it for a while. I like all the characters and story elements introduced, and the perfomances are great, though it feels like they forget Rama’s even in the movie for a good portion of it, and I was getting a little impatient waiting for the action scenes at point. The third act makes up for that though in spades, even if the ending leaves me hanging and confused as to whether I should take it for what it is or be thinking it’s a cliffhanger for the next installment.

  60. “I know what you guys means. ”
    I assure you I wasn’t going for a stereotypical new yorker here.

  61. See, I don’t like all the story elements and characters. It’s a movie of fripperies, all fancy and ornate, but with a core as generic and unconsidered as the slightest of DTV knockoffs. What did any of its pretensions amount to? It’s still just a geek show for inventive stabbing. Would that it could have owned it instead of pretending it had one single thing to say.

  62. Loved it but after first viewing I still prefer the first. I really am looking forward to watching them back-to-back though, I think that the first 30 minutes of Raid 2 would act as a great decompression space after the relentless mayhem of The Raid.

    Let’s hope Gareth Evans never has a Spaghetti Incident.

  63. “It looks like Tony Jaa meets John Woo meets Stanley Kubrick”, Vern you have no idea how right you are by saying that.

  64. Majestyk- I did feel there was a bit of a disconnect with the crime family stuff, because Rama isn’t that heavily involved in it. He’s just there to be a random soldier, and he’s not even made to do anything that really compromises his principles that much. He’s just fighting criminals who would have killed him if he’d not defended himself, and he’s only really tested by the gangsters once, and after that, they aren’t at all suspicious of him.

  65. Yeah, I was thinking about that. The story would have played out basically the same way if Rama wasn’t there at all. About the only thing he did that affected the plot was he saved that douchebag’s life in prison. So things mightn’t actually have been better if he hadn’t gotten involved at all.

    I don’t know, guys. I don’t want to be this way but it’s just not a good story.

  66. I mean, sure SPOILER he kills everybody at the end, which is very proactive plot-wise, but so? The first movie made it seem like a Herculean effort to get our of one building full of criminals. This one, we’re told these are the assholes THOSE assholes answer to, and Rama walks in by himself unarmed and murders everyone in the building. A thrilling spectacle, sure, but couldn’t he have done that at any time and not bothered with this undercover bullshit at all? I just don’t see the point.

  67. Not only did I love this, I was WAY more into it than the original. All the breathing room made it a more effective ‘ride’ movie for me than the first one’s relentlessness, and I was absorbed by the story and characters a lot more. But like Mouth, I also never cease to be interested in asian gangster epics.

    If I have a couple gripes it’s that things were pulled together pretty lazily at the end there, and the place the movie goes to would’ve made better sense if Rama and Eka spent more time getting to know each other (but then it would’ve been a 3 hour movie, and also a remake of Park Hoon-jung’s NEW WORLD).

    Majestyk – “Now I feel like a dick, because I’ve practically forgotten I even saw the movie a week and a half later. The technical aspects of the movie are obviously top notch, but in a very abstract way. I admire the movie without ever really getting into it that much. Honestly, there were plenty of moments (even during the fights) when I found myself thinking about other shit.”

    The funny thing is this was pretty much my reaction to RAID 1. Whereas I was really involved in all the fights in this movie, going “daaamn,” cheering, even doing that thing where you lean your body left and right with the action, THE RAID was something I admired in a distant way – I appreciated the craft (loved the shot where the camera follows a guy dropping through the floor) and brutality but dispassionately so, whereas the variety of settings and tones in this kept it feeling fresh for me.

    Also I realized while watching this that 2014 is the Year of the Car Chase. There’s been awesome chases in movie after movie this year – 3 DAYS TO KILL, THE WINTER SOLDIER, NEED FOR SPEED, and now this which I’d have to say is the crown jewel of the bunch.

  68. I will admit the way the movie sprawls is a little senseless, upon reflection. But I like the gutsiness. And it made me realize that Iko Uwais is a pretty credible actor. I really like the guy.

  69. Vern review when?????

  70. I’m not quite sure where I stand on the sprawl of the movie yet, but I do know that everything from SPOILER Uko’s betrayal and on was incredible. That car chase was something else, and every fight in the restaurant was edge-of-your-seat stuff. My theatre applauded when the final henchman finally went down.

    Oh, and SPOILER ONCE MORE. I liked how that final henchman — the one with the short curved blades — killed (the actor that played) Mad Dog, and thus symbolically took his place as the new “final boss,” so to speak.

  71. I´ll be sure to catch THE RAID 2…when it hits dvd in one or two years time….

  72. Saw it twice and I definitely like it more then the first. The first one is a great action movie but I think how you feel about one or the other is just preference. Both are great action movies. If you just want to get to the point, the action, then the first one is for you. If you want more story, even if it’s convoluted, the the second one’s for you.This is a throwback to the type of action movie John Woo was making before he sold his soul to Hollywood. I can’t wait to see what direction they take it in the third one. Gareth Evans is definitely the next big action director. I just hope when Hollywood comes knocking he turns them down and keeps making movies like this instead.

  73. The more I think about it, the more I love this film. The kitchen fight is gobsmackingly well choreographed, shot and edited. The only downside is that Evans is going to take a couple of years break before making Raid 3.

  74. That fight kinda lost me. The excessive length had really worn me down by that point, and it just seemed like the fight went on and on and on. They’d cut each other so many times that it felt totally arbitrary to me when the bad guy finally went down. Why did those stab wounds kill him and the 40 previous ones didn’t? You could tell they were trying to outdo the climactic Mad Dog fight in the first one, but what made the Mad Dog fight amazing wasn’t the length of it, it was that Mad Dog was a real character. You liked him almost as much as you liked Rama, and his badass credentials were well established by that point because of how honorable he was in the earlier fight with the SWAT commander. The henchman in part two was just some dude that I’m supposed to take for granted is a real hardass because of his placement in the Boss Fight at the end of the level. The fuck even was that guy? Did he have any lines? Any personality at all? I can’t even keep track of who these assholes are and I’m supposed to give a shit if Rama defeats them or not. For me the best fight was with Bat Boy and Hammer Girl, because their gimmicks gave them character.

    Shit, it sounds like I hated this movie. I didn’t. If only every action movie I didn’t immediately connect with showed this much elbow grease in every facet of its production. And taken on their own, the fights, the movie’s reason to exist, are all extraordinary. They’re just stuck in a confusing, self-important movie that’s more wearying than thrilling. Maybe my expectations were just too high.

    You know, if just one person would agree with me, I’d happily shut the fuck up about this.

  75. Somebody in my theater fell asleep during the kitchen fight and started snoring loudly. So I guess somebody out there does agree.

    I thought it (that fight) was richly nuanced, had a gripping crescendo, and packed an emotional wallop. I white knuckled that shit.

    As somebody (Subtlety?) pointed out, the movie symbolically informs you that the guy is the final boss by virtue of him taking out Mad Dog/Koso. It’s symbolic because he doesn’t do it in a fair fight, but it should be understood what that moment meant in martial arts nomenclature. (Note that Yayan Ruhian is the most formidable opponent in both films as far as nobody ever besting him 1 v 1, Rama and bro BARELY can do it in a 2 v 1).

    And there’s no ambiguity about the point at which the fight is won. The final blow tears the guy’s throat out. Before that, the fight builds by clear increments. At first they can’t land any blows with the blades at all (stalemate). Then they manage to land a couple (attrition). Then Rama lands several in a row across his arm (the tide has turned). Then he goes in for the throat (coup de grace).

  76. I got that Whatshisface was gonna be the boss battle. That was well set up. But who is he and why do I care? Where was his “shower of fists” speech to tell me how badass he is? This guy pulls a bitch move on Not Mad Dog and I’m supposed to view him as a serious threat? A lot of the movie was like that for me. I’m assured things are for real super important but I never quite get why.

  77. I’m gonna shut up now because I really didn’t dislike the movie half as much as I’m coming across. If everyone here except Stu wasn’t calling it a masterpiece I probably wouldn’t have thought about it since I saw it. I just fight harder when challenged, and so I dig deeper and come up with more and more evidence to support my point that I wouldn’t even have thought about otherwise. That’s gonna leave a bad taste in my mouth for the next time I watch the movie, and I don’t want to hold a grudge against THE RAID 2, which is a singular piece of work that I’m hoping will grow on me now that I know what to expect.

  78. Mr. Majestyk – I can understand where you’re coming from, even if I disagree with you. Action films are like cakes. A cake is really just an icing delivery system, and the first Raid is pure icing. There was very little cake to have an opinion of. The Raid 2 has a lot more cake, so your feelings about the film will depend on if you like the cake or not. For myself, I had zero problems following the story. I was engaged in the characters, and the time flew by. If you had a hard time investing in the story, then I see why you had a less enjoyable experience with the fights.

  79. Just let the dust settle Mr M. This sounds like a candidate for MAJESTYK MAKES AMENDS 2015.

    I missed this during its brief theatrical run so I have to wait a few months for bluray. But I’ve watched THE RAID a few times now and it was awesome from Day#1.

    So far the majority of < complaints here have centred around the convoluted story, which sounds like Evans maybe listened too much to critics who said THE RAID was lacking in back stories. And he might have fumbled that aspect of it with part 2. Who knows?

    But a Welsh director who's first short film was about a Samurai waiting to be executed, who goes off to Asia and shows Hollywood how to crack heads, then stretches himself with a bit of a story in part 2, is all right in my book. I'll keep my expectations mid-range, but my anticipation is peaking.

  80. You wanna know how much trouble I had following the movie? For nearly the entire running time, I thought the guy who gets shotgunned in the first scene was Rama. I thought we were seeing a flash-forward to years later after he runs off to live on a beach and let his hair grow out. The whole time I’m sitting there wondering how we’re gonna wraparound back to that point. So imagine my surprise when everybody who was in that first scene meets a grisly end before that happens. That’s when I figure out that, wait a minute, I guess that was just some random dude who looked like Rama in that scene? Kinda weird, but okay. I guess it established the new villain or whatever. Then I find out from somebody on here that that guy was Rama’s brother and he didn’t just get killed offscreen in a throwaway line of exposition like I’d thought. I didn’t even recognize him.

    I also thought that Mob Boss Jr. and his right-hand man were the same guy for a good chunk of the movie, so I missed a lot of the development of the relationship between the latter and Rama (like when the right-hand man tells Rama to be ready in the morning and then praises his performance to Mob Boss Sr., so you know he’s a tough but fair taskmaster, the kind Rama looks up to) which made their brief but apparently significant team-up much less meaningful for me. I managed to put two and two together while watching the movie instead of after the fact, but it was still distracting to have to piece the plot together rather than just getting sucked into the story. And then after all that effort I didn’t really like the story that much. After all the posturing, it was just a Yakuza movie. And I kind of hate Yakuza movies.

    It occurs to me that I might have some trouble telling Indonesians apart. That’s actually kind of racist. Shit, fellas, disregard everything I said. It’s my fault, not the movie’s.

  81. I’m also apparently not going to shut up now. I apologize.

  82. “but what made the Mad Dog fight amazing wasn’t the length of it, it was that Mad Dog was a real character. You liked him almost as much as you liked Rama, and his badass credentials were well established by that point because of how honorable he was in the earlier fight with the SWAT commander.”
    Mad Dog wasn’t being honourable. He was just having fun. Evans states this rather definitively on his solo commentary on the UK Blu Ray. He certainly wasn’t being honourable when he had Andy strung up and helpless, beating the shit out of him. Fight Brotherhood Status Revoked.

  83. Either way, it was a cool moment for his character that made everybody like him.

  84. Not to disrupt the THE RAID 2 thread, but on the related topic of British directors making great movies in Asia, I recommend METRO MANILA from Brit guy Sean Ellis. Not action focused like RAID but a great crime story with the focus on drama. Kind of a Filipino HEAT.

  85. I agree with Majestyk on the final battle. I didn’t find it as much of a slog as he did – I thought it was very successful at telling a story and creating an ebb and flow – but it didn’t have nearly the same emotional impact as Mad Dog’s fight in the first film. When Mad Dog says that firing a gun is like “ordering takeout” you get an immediate sense of who he is. And of course I’m going to side with the little dude who is supremely confident about taking on two expert fighters simultaneously; we have a natural inclination to root for underdog, Mad or otherwise. You should have heard the audience in the cinema cheer every time Mad Dog got back up off the floor. It was crazy.

    All we know about The Assassin (somehow they found an even more generic name than Mad Dog) is that he loves stabbing defenseless guys in the head. I get how he’s symbolically taking Koso/Mad Dog’s place as final boss, but I have to admit that I wasn’t as emotionally affected by Koso’s death as I feel I was supposed to be. That whole scene was gorgeous, but it felt strangely inert. It’s shot like it’s supposed to be the epic turning point of the film, but Koso’s whole subplot feels like it was squeezed into the margins. Like they were coasting residual love for Mad Dog.

  86. (SPOILERS)

    Having had someone point it out to me, I now have to openly appreciate one of the movie’s biggest virtues: for a 150 minute film, it has a surprising degree of character economy. Rama’s entire arc is basically delivered via glances and imagery, and the ‘clean war’ theme is dramatized rather than being labored over in dialogue scenes. He delivers no speeches about the monster within or the blurring line between cop and criminal, rather we see his inner conflict externalized – like when he spares the pornographer’s life only to later witness his corpse being tossed into a catfish pond (in a scene that reminded me a lot of THE ACT OF KILLING – I wonder if Evans got a chance to see that before making this).

    Or take how the brother & sister become sympathetic not through scenes where they talk to each other about their past, but via subtle character beats during their action scenes (the eyepatch coming off, the near-miss with the hammer, the playful menace of asking for the ball to be returned vs. the rage and grief after his sister dies – these are kids from outside normal society, getting in way over their head vs Rama and dying sad and horrible deaths.) The Assassin (admittedly he’s no Mad Dog, but by the end of the film Rama basically is Mad Dog) gets notes of underplayed sadism and has some great facial expressions that helped ‘make’ the final fight for me.

    Even Ruhian’s guy, we also get a good handle on him via how he fights. When he has a target, he’ll maim and injure on his way there but he saves the kill shot for the guy he’s after. He too lives on the fringes of society and seems to have his own badass hobo assassin code, but at the same time (as we learn from his wife) he’s kidding himself too – no clean wars.

    (I also like that Rama starts a muscle guy and stays that way, he never really becomes an inner circle guy. I wish they’d done a little more with that though, I could’ve really used a “who is this guy… I thought he was just a common footsoldier” line from Bejo.)

    I dunno man. I think I loved this movie.

    After all the posturing, it was just a Yakuza movie. And I kind of hate Yakuza movies.

    I’ve been noticing the “just another Yakuza movie” criticism from a fair number of its detractors. So I think how you feel about meat-and-potatoes ‘kuza movies probably will dictate how you receive this, and that’s fair enough. Everyone has their wheelhouse. Me personally, I love ’em. I also have the feeling that this slots in somewhat with the deconstructionist vein of asian gangster movies but I haven’t really explored that thought yet.

  87. After seeing THE ACT OF KILLING, about the mass-killings of over 1 million so-called communists in 1965-66, I’m having trouble watching movies from Indonesia these days without thinking about the fact that the killers from the organization Pancasila Youth where never punished for their crimes. And worse they are still hailed as heroes. It’s hard not to question what take the characters in THE RAID movies have on this?

  88. I did like that Rama’s struggle with the cop/criminal dichotomy was done entirely with facial expressions. I’m completely bored with undercover cop stories by this point (they’re worse than yakuza movies) so it was nice of the movie to respect my intelligence enough to know that I’ve seen these themes played out a thousand times before and I don’t need them belabored with speeches and mirror-punching. I also liked that Mob Boss Jr remained a total dick and Rama never had to feel guilty about betraying him. That’s a cliche I was happy not to revisit.

  89. I saw Raid 2. I enjoyed some parts of it. As everyone has been saying, it’s definitely a different movie than Raid 1. It’s a Chronicles of Riddick/Pitch Black situation in a way.

    I’m sorry to say that I started laughing during the mook fights (not loudly, I don’t want to ruin the movie for other people in the theater, but I was definitely snickering). The repetition of Rama just completely mauling guys in two/three hits (and the incredible punishment that those brave stuntmen took!) made it seem sort of grimly comedic. Hit to the balls! Hit to the throat! Head smashed into the fucking wall! Next guy: arm broken, leg broken, elbow to the temple bounces head off the floor! Holy shit the first 50 times, then a sort of bemused anticipation at what horrible punishment these poor bastards were going to get for their Rendezvous with Rama(‘s fist).

    The plot stuff – I didn’t care too much and sort of disconnected. I guess I’m pretty stupid because I didn’t understand why a lot of people were behaving the way they were. I didn’t understand why a gang of cops ran up to Rama in the middle of the street and tried to murder him, or what the hand tattoos meant, or why Bejo had to kill Rama’s brother at the beginning of the film. This really bothered me, in fact – Rama reconnecting with this brother was literally 90% of The Raid’s plot and this movie retroactively pissed on it and made it meaningless within the first 5 minutes. Didn’t anyone learn their lesson from Alien 3?

    Give Gareth Evans the Bourne series because I would shit a brick at the prospect of marrying this sort of visceral action with espionage. This movie’s car chase is better than anything Greengrass ever shot and he had a lot more money and help. Anyway this movie is worth seeing and I enjoyed it, but it didn’t recapture the lightning in the bottle that was Raid 1. And that’s ok to me.

  90. Well, it’s pretty plotty, and definitely enough so that if you just 100% couldn’t give a shit about the plot it might end up feeling a bit dull. I dunno, though, I was pretty much enraptured throughout. I love a good crime movie saga, and even though this one is pretty boilerplate on paper, the actors and direction really made it come alive for me. I appreciate that they don’t necessarily spell everything out; much of the story is filled in with tiny character details.

    For example, The Assassin; he definitely gets set up as the boss fight, but unlike Mad Dog, they deliberately don’t really show us much about him prior to the end. He has a short fight with Rama so we can be certain he’ll be a worthy adversary for him, but the rest of the movie he spends executing people who are already helpless. Even in the fuckin’ dynamite split sequence where Bat Boy, Hammer Girl, and Assassin Man are all separately murdering different people, we don’t see him have an epic battle, just beating on this poor guy trying to get away.

    Why? Because this dipshit has no honor. He’s a sadist, who relishes the opportunity to inflict pain and suffering, and doesn’t have any true love of martial arts. He might be able to beat Mad Dog ver 2 in a fight, but instead he has a mob do all the dirty work for him so he can go in and finish the job. What an asshole. We had a grudging respect for Mad Dog in part I; this Assassin guy exists so we can hate his guts and enjoy watching Rama wipe that smirk off his smug face. But nobody needs to say any of this aloud; we know it because of the way the film shows him to us.

    HardlyWalken — “made it seem sort of grimly comedic.” I’m 99% sure that’s intentional. I think this movie is pitched at somewhere close to the new EVIL DEAD, taking itself seriously but also gleefully going over the top so hardcore that you’ve got to kind of laugh. The audience I saw it with was laughing and whooping and hollering and having a grand old time, absolutely entertained all the way through.

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