Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

3 out of 4 stars

Written by
Gareth Evans
Directed by
Gareth Evans
Starring
Iko Uwais and Arifin Putra
Classification
18A
Country
USA
Language
English
Year
2014

If The Raid 2: Berandal doesn't end up as the most violent movie to hit screens in 2014, it won't be for lack of trying. Gareth Evans's sequel to his surprise 2011 hit takes the original's basic formula – lots of people pounding on each other in close quarters – and simply stretches it over a much longer running time. In the time it takes undercover agent Rama (Iko Uwais) to elbow-smash his way through a packed rogue's gallery of villains, you could almost watch Gravity twice.

The sheer abundance of plot information is one way that The Raid 2 differs from its predecessor, which was a very simple story: Lone-wolf hero fights his way to the top of a massive deathtrap. If The Raid felt vertical, The Raid 2 is more horizontal, with subplots and minor characters sprawling out in every direction.

The other difference is that Rama has gone from an unlikely underdog to a franchise hero. We know exactly what kind of havoc his lithe, compact body is capable of wreaking, and so the tone shifts from dread to delirious anticipation. For the first hour or so, The Raid 2 is fabulously controlled, cleverly delaying the inevitable hand-to-hand combat scenes as long as possible before unleashing an amazing one-two combination: a bathroom brawl that sees Oldboy's hallway fight and raises it a couple dozen bodies, and a muddy prison-yard throw down that brings the guards – and their guns – into the equation.

Story continues below advertisement

It may seem odd to chide a movie for giving its audience too much of a good thing, and yet The Raid 2 is finally more exhausting than exhilarating. An early shot of Rama repeatedly striking a cement prison wall in frustration proves oddly emblematic. The movie is powerful and relentless, but for all its pounding, it doesn't really get anywhere.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies