Starring: Iko Uwais, Arifin Utra, Alex Abbad
Director: Gareth Evans
In 2011, Welsh-born writer-director Gareth Evans gave Hollywood action movies a swift kick between the legs with his dazzling assault on the senses, The Raid.
The film invited Indonesia’s celebrated fight choreographers and stunt performers to create some of the most jaw-dropping skirmishes ever committed to celluloid. The result was a 90-minute orgy of balletic martial arts moves, fractured limbs and gratuitous blood-letting.
This explosive sequel unfolds in the immediate aftermath of the first film. Fans of Gareth Evans’s hyperkinetic direction — cameras whirling around the cast at dizzying speed as they perform death-defying acrobatics — will be whooping with glee at the miasma of on-screen destruction and devastation in this sequel.
A protracted fight-sequence, performed inside a car during a high-speed chase, is extraordinary.
The Raid 2 punctuates its hack and slash with a convoluted tale of corruption that bloats the running time to two-and-a-half hours.
When we left rookie cop Rama (Iko Uwais), he had barely survived the ascent of a 15-storey Jakarta tower block and apprehended a traitor in the ranks.
His boss, Bunawar, sends him deep undercover in prison to befriend Uco (Arifin Putra), the son of local kingpin Bangun (Tio Pakusodewu).
The Raid 2 bludgeons us into exhausted submission with its action sequences.
The violence and sadism are unrelenting and the body count is astronomical. Evans’s attempts induce brain-ache.