Good, Bad & Ugly Review: The Raid 2 – Berandal

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 79% (Critics) / 84% (Audience)
Directed By: Gareth Evans
Written By: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Synopsis: Only a short time after the first raid, Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his police force. – (Source)

The Good:
The action scenes in this movie were amazing and probably the best fight choreography since the first THE RAID. The martial arts combat was hyper-kinetic and fast-paced and incredibly brutal but shot in such a way that there was a sort of elegance to it at the same time.
The expansion of the scope of the film also ended up working too. While the original was kept to one central location and basically assaulted the sense for 2 hours, the sequel plays out as a more action-packed version of THE DEPARTED with tons of martial arts thrown in for good measure.

The Bad:
The running time was a bit of a misstep. There were several scenes that could have been cut to reduce the length of the film and make it a much tighter finished product.
There were also some pretty flat characters in the movie that served no greater purpose than to do some sweet action scenes and die.

The Ugly:
More than once I began to wonder if there was some sort of gun shortage in Jakarta because there was ridiculous amount of instances where gangsters would fight with steak knives, cleavers, claw hammers and any other sharp household object they could get their hands on instead of just pulling out a gun.

Final Verdict: A more sprawling film that the original but still just as fast-paced, violent and action packed with high quality fight choreography that truly impressed. A bit too long and some characters were a bit flimsy but this was still a very enjoyable movie.

Grade: B

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