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The Raid 2 (2014) good movie
Indonesia, 150 min, Rated 18A (ON) 16+ (QC)
Reviewed 04/14, © Stephen Bourne, moviequips.ca
www.ofrb.gov.on.ca | www.rcq.gouv.qc.ca

Gareth Evans - Directors/Screenplay
Matt Flannery and Dimas Imam Subhono - Cinematography


"Following immediately after the events of THE RAID, RAMA (Iko Uwais) is forced to reinvent himself as an undercover cop in order to provide protection for his wife and child. Working for the anti-corruption taskforce led by the one person he can trust, BUNAWAR, he is given a mission to engage himself as an enforcer for a local mob boss, BANGUN. Finding a way in through BANGUN's son UCO, RAMA must hunt for information linking BANGUN with police force corruption." - sonyclassics.com/theraid2


Indonesian martial arts master Iko Uwais reprises his role as unassuming yet deadly Jakarta elite police officer Rama from writer/director Gareth Evans' acclaimed, gore-splattered fight flick The Raid: Redemption (2011). This time around, Rama is left no choice but to relentlessly punch, elbow, knee and kick his way through more of that Southeast Asian capital city's apparently unlimited population of killers after he's enlisted as part of an undercover operation to knock out high level corruption within the force by infiltrating the powerful underworld empire of aged crime lord Bangun (played by Tio Pakusodewo). The Raid 2: Berandal also co-stars Arifin Putra, Alex Abbad, and Yayan Ruhian, as Bangun's impetuous adult son Uco, opportunistic local gangster Bejo, and machete-wielding assassin Prakoso, respectively.

More importantly, this much-anticipated subtitled sequel phenomenally showcases more of the break neck - and neck breaking - graceful brutality of Pencak Silat, Indonesia's traditional martial art.

Thought to be older than the earliest archeological evidence of its existence dated around the 6th century AD, Pencak Silat is comprised of hundreds of animal-inspired martial arts styles reflecting various specialized regional combat techniques that originated throughout the Republic of Indonesia's ancient equatorial archipelago of over 13,000 islands and beyond. For instance, some tribes observed how eagles or apes fought, while others watched how tigers or snakes attacked and defended themselves. Indonesia's colonisation by the Dutch beginning in the 17th century, and its subsequent WWII occupation by Japan forced this fierce indigenous martial art underground, resurfacing as a unifying national sport with the formation of the Pencak Silat Association of Indonesia in 1948. Pencak Silat joined the competitive, non-fatal ranks of the International Olympic Committee-supervised Southeast Asian Games in 1987.

Brit-born writer/director Gareth Evans' third feature, The Raid: Redemption - aka Serbuan maut (Indonesian for The Deadly Raid) - slammed onto the action movie scene as an immediate sleeper hit among hard core fans. Its fairly thin, subtitled story cast Indonesia's 2005 National Pencak Silat Champion Iko Uwais as Jakarta police rookie Rama, whose stoic intent to bring home his estranged criminal lieutenant brother Andi (Donny Alamsyah) led to Rama rockin' the house and racking up the body count fighting ruthless drug lord Tama Riyadi's (Ray Sahetapy) tenement horde of murderers. One-on-one. Relentlessly jaw-dropping, the brutal beauty of full-on, lethal Pencak Silat was the true star. The Raid: Redemption won the Audience and the Film Critics Awards for Best Film at the 2012 Dublin International Film Festival, and the Midnight Madness People's Choice Award at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

And, yeah. If you also saw Dredd (2012) with its suspiciously similar story premise, you know in your red-blooded action movie-lovin' heart that The Raid: Redemption made Dredd seem as pointless to the genre as, well, Judge Dredd (1995) was.

The Raid 2: Berandal picks up almost immediately after The Raid: Redemption ends. Evidence linking top brass in Jakarta's police force with the city's long-time underworld kingpin Bangun throws Rama into two years of prison hell as small time goon Yuda - and then deep undercover as the trusted right hand of Bangun's son Uco - in a dangerous scheme by anti-corruption squad elder Bunawar (Cok Simbara) to flush out high level cops linked to Indonesia's strongest crime family. Berandal is Indonesian for goon. Torn by blood and duty, bent on protecting his wife and newborn son from gangland revenge for his recent decimation of Riyadi's slum army, Rama soon ends up not knowing if he's fighting gangsters or cops as Uco's not-so secret lust for more control in his father's empire sparks a power struggle, threatens war with the Japanese mob and strengthens the deadly rise of Bejo and his loyal assassins. (Read more)

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