The Raid 2 : Brutal and Beautiful

Truthfully, The Raid 2 : Berandal is the most anticipated movie that I have been waiting for this year. I really have huge expectation toward this movie that starred by Iko Uwais and directed by British director, Gareth Evans. In 2011 I watched its predecessor, The Raid : Redemption. I thought It was astonishing movie but not the superior one. It was only took location at an old apartment with very linear and simplistic story, though it offered great martial art pencak silat choreography.

Rated 8.9 by voters in IMDB made me infatuated to watch The Raid 2 that would be released at Cinema on March 28th 2014. Actually I was afraid to set very high expectation since it can kills the enjoyment of watching the movie. Because of the Raid 2 I had unlocked my new achievement : watching movie at Cinema alone.

The Raid 2 : Berandal takes time 2 hours after the first sequel. Rama starred by Iko Uwais has given dreadful mission to unveil and wipe out thug Gangsters in the city by Bunawar (during a whole movie it isn’t mentioned in which city the movie takes place). There are 2 gangsters live peacefully, Japanese Gangster run by Goto Family and Local Gangster led by Bangun family.

the raid

Figures. the three biggest Gangsters : Bejo, Bangun and Goto Families ready to rock you

Bangun has an imprisoned son  who has been living in a jail for several years, named Ucok. Rama’s mission is to befriend Ucok and becomes his trusted man as an entrance to the gangster world. So that Rama’s identity is cleared out and he is given a new name, Yuda. He sent to the prison where Ucok jailed. After released from the prison, Yuda becomes Ucok’s right hand, help him and his father to exploit lower level criminals. Bejo, a new rising gangster star, appears in the surface between Goto and Bangun family and makes a dispute. He desires to rule the gangster world by tearing down Goto domination. He doesn’t works alone. He is helped by Ucok who want to get rid of his father and then lead Bangun Family with more powerful invasion and more territories. The movie tells story how Rama, disguised as Yuda, eradicates the Gangsters and traitor who runs  police department.

I couldn’t agree more that The Raid 2 is much better than its predecessor in every aspect. It is more cruel and mayhem, more story, better fighting choreography, better cinematography, more various characters, scenes and actions. The raid 2 : Berandal injects you with more adrenaline. It’s brutal, chaos though there is an enjoyment and beauty inside them. Its story is more complex than the first sequel. It feels like watching “The Departed” (nevertheless IMHO The departed still offers better story). As the second sequel, The Raid 2 Berandal has succeeded to fix the lack of story in first sequel. The dialog also more natural and smoother than before. I must confess that the team is ingenious in choosing the sets. It was incredibly beautiful when the snow was falling. Prakoso was dying with the blood shrouding his whole body.

It is also terrific set when Rama (disguise as Yuda) fights bunch of convicts in the middle of  muddy field. The fisticuffs which adorned by the rainfall makes more dramatic situation. The car chase scene is also the great one.  I am wondering how they took that scene with such a wild and terrific angle on the main road in Jakarta. As we know that It is near impossible you can drives your car speedy in Jakarta main road without hampered by traffic. It needs a huge effort of course to convince and get permission from the police. Beyond those all, my most favorite scene (perhaps it is one of the best fighting scene I have ever seen) is “kitchen fight scene”. It’s final scene when Rama scuffles with the Assassin. They both show magnificent and visceral martial art technique. It was violent, beautiful, classy and breathtaking at once. It is outstanding!

the raid

Figure. An astronomical outstanding final fight between the assassin and Rama (people called it ‘kitchen fight scene’)

I think the story in this movie can be developed and improved more. The actors performances are in average except for Ucok (acted by Arifin Putra). He may has saved the movie by performing strong character and sadistic son of Bangun. I believe Uko Uwais should be can more explore his acting performance in this movie as leading role. The Assassin, starred by Cecep Arif Rahman, never has a conversation, but it’s okay, he has built his character quite good. But again Ucok nailed it.

the raid

Figure. Hammer girl and Metal bat boy, comical characters who enrich the story

Is the Raid 2 Berandal a must watch movie? It’s depends on your taste and what you are expect. If you are looking for melancholic drama, complex and brilliant story, The raid 2 doesn’t suit you. If you loathe watching bones fracturing, human slaughtering and more brutal scenes, the Raid 2 doesn’t suit you. It offers you with beautiful prominent martial art, breathtaking and adrenaline pumping scenes.  This movie is classy and terrific. For me, it is a must-see-movie for you!

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