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Friday, 30 May 2014

The Raid 2 : Berandal

For those who missed out on my review of The Raid : Redemption (Serbuan Maut), here is a quick look at the 6 on 10 movie that released 2 years back – nearly to the date -  Raid was my first Indonesian movie and I loved the action.

The Raid 2 : Berandal, is my 2nd Indonesian movie and the action just climbed a few notches up the ladder.  Raid 2 is once again centered around Rama (Iko Uwais) who is a rookie cop in the Indonesian force – not as much a rookie but is considered one. He is just back from his previous assignment of taking down Don Tama.

He is approached by a high ranking official of the police force to run a covert operation.  He is required to go undercover to protect his family because the rot that he has uncovered with Don Tama only leads its way to much higher in the system – or so the official informs him.

Left with no choice, he agrees to go to jail to gain the trust of Uco (Arifin Putra) – the son of a noted Japanese gangster Goto (Ken'ichi Endô).  But once he does that, it takes over 2 years to get him out of jail – not what he had signed up for.  Slowly but surely he penetrates deeper into the organization to uncover their secrets.

If there is a complaint that I have about Raid 2, it would be that it is way too long.  148 minutes is considered long for even a Bollywood flick these days.  There was ample opportunity for Gareth Evans to have chopped a minimum of 28 minutes – I know I am calling for a significant cut but unfortunately that is true.

Having said that, the action sequences are simply superb.  Most of them have been set in the Indonesian martial art Pencak Silat.  They are fast paced and choreographed brilliantly.  The action from both the positive and negative characters are a sight for sore eyes – even if you aren’t much of an action fan.

The cinematography is also quite solid.  There are a few slow motion sequences that are shot extremely well.  However, at a point of time, it becomes a tad repetitive – probably one of the reasons I said that 28 minutes could have been chopped.  Either ways, watch this one over the weekend.  7 on 10.  Distinctly better than The Raid : Redemption.

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