The Raid 2: Berandal (2014) Review

Why didn’t I see this film sooner! The Raid 2 is just excellent, not only a great action martial arts film but a really well made gangster movie. The story was really clever and expanded a lot from the first film, we go right into the underground of the city and into the two crime families who run it. The visuals and choreography are masterful! We have car chases, great martial arts battles, big gun fights and all for under $5M. Gareth Evans who is a Brit or Welsh to be more specific. I did not see that coming, regardless he did an excellent job and I hope he gets to do a third, or just a lot more films. I’ll go into much more detail below but for now bookmark this if you are waiting to see the film, leave any comments below, if you have seen the film then check out the spoiler sections and I will look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.

“You apologize! In their language, in our land! Where is your honor?”

The-Raid-2-banner

Plot:

His family at risk, Rama has only one choice to protect his infant son and wife: He must go undercover to enter the criminal underworld himself and climb through the hierarchy of competing forces until it leads him to the corrupt politicians and police pulling the strings at the top of the heap. And so Rama begins a new odyssey of violence, a journey that will force him to set aside his own life and history and take on a new identity as the violent offender “Yuda.” In prison he must gain the confidence of Uco – the son of a prominent gang kingpin – to join the gang himself, laying his own life on the line in a desperate all-or-nothing gambit to bring the whole rotten enterprise to an end.

Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended

Story: 90%     Acting: 90%     Characters: 95%     Dialogue: 85%

Action/Martial Arts: 100%     Style/Sound: 90%     Visuals: 90%

Total: 91%

The Raid 2 poster

The story of The Raid 2 is of a man who knows right and wrong like black and white but who gets thrown into a world where everyone sees grey. It’s far more intelligent than you’d expect and the characters get really interesting. Iko Uwais who plays the lead Rama is really talented both in his acting and his Martial Arts skills, I really hope he gets more work and I’ll be looking out for this talented fellow. We have other cast members I’ll talk about in the spoiler section.

The-Raid-2-car-chase

The visuals are very strong and there are some really stand out moments. The car chase in particular was masterfully filmed and so action packed, felt like a proper action blockbuster. The fight in the kitchen alone was one of the best martial arts fights I have ever seen a film. This film also boasted a lot of set locations, we have prisons, trains, fancy hotels, car chases through streets. I mean how can you get all that and more for less $5M? They even cut scenes. Here’s an excellent scene that was cut to save time, The films 150 minutes long.

SPOILERS!!!

Seriously guys turn away now to avoid spoilers. In the last scene Gareth Evans comes in view of the camera and says that none of this was scripted and that he just followed some criminals around Indonesia. I told you not to read this section. There is a lot to talk about here so I’ll keep it brief and talk more in the comments. There are few films were I especially miss characters who die or wish they could have survived, but this film had two! Yahan Ruhian who plays Prakoso the one with the machete, boy did they build up his background and he thought so well! Wish he saw his son at least once. And Oka Antara who plays Eka the secret undercover cop who couldn’t go back to the police and so is stuck in the criminal underworld, wow he really saved the day and had one of the best action scenes with that car chase to save Rama. Also what happened in the end, is that a cliff-hanger? Is he going to be killed? Does he just walk away? Where is the Raid 3?

The-Raid-2-machete-guy

Trailer:

The best reviews I found would be these:

“I commend Evans for trying something different with this sequel; it’s nothing if not ambitious. The film’s ambition might blunt the action sequences through ubiquity and a bloated, clichéd storyline, but it pays dividends in those heady final minutes which exceed anything found in The Raid. Recommended viewing; if for no other reason than you’re unlikely to see an action film this well filmed and choreographed again anytime soon.” Cc Pop Culture. Full Review

“If you’re ready to see hard-hitting cinema that goes for the throat without any apologies, you should watch these films. All other fans too fragile and timid and too used to sanitized, water-down filmmaking, the door’s over there.” Express Elevator To Hell. Full Review

“Topping one of the most jaw-dropping action films in years is an unenviable challenge, but Gareth Evans has done just that with this savage and scintillating follow-up. Evans has indicated a third and final chapter is on the way and for that we should count ourselves lucky – action movies simply do not come any better than this.” Three Rows Back. Full Review

“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.” It’s Latin For Cookies. Full Review

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Spoilers!

My favourite scene has to be the kitchen fight. The Kitchen fight was glorious! There should be an award for best fight scene of the year and so far that wins with ease.

The-Raid-2-kitchen-fight

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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films Mwahahahahaha!

43 responses to “The Raid 2: Berandal (2014) Review”

  1. Victor De Leon says :

    This flick totally ruled. Much like your review, Tim. I felt like I had ran a marathon after watching this one. Can’t wait to post my review in a few weeks when things settle down here. Excellent work young Sir ;)

  2. keith7198 says :

    This one is definitely one I need to catch up with. I thought the first one was fun but this one looks like it amps it up considerably.

  3. Writer Loves Movies says :

    Glad you like this one Tim. I thought it was great – the action was original and very surprising. The story was a little bit flimsier than the last one but it allowed for more creativity in the locations and action. Best action film of the year by a long way :-)

  4. Nostra says :

    I’d prefer the original as I personally wasn’t fan of the story, which didn’t work for me, it felt like something I had seen way too many times. The action though was fantastic :)

  5. lauren says :

    Great review! I loved the first movie so much so I was glad the sequel didn’t ruin it by being bad (although I maybe prefered the first one a bit more). The fight scenes were so good-they took my breath away on more than a couple of occassions. How does Iko Uwais do half the stuff he does? He’s amazing. I also liked Oka Antara who played Eka, his backstory seemed so interesting. Maybe there could be a prequel about his story?

  6. 55theintimidator55 says :

    I saw The Raid in Fye the other day and almost bought it. That clip you posted was incredible and makes me regret my decision.

  7. Cameron Richardson says :

    A local independent cinema showed a double-bill of both. Having previous not seen either it was one hell of a night at the cinema! Two brilliant films.

  8. bhatiayash60 says :

    Yep. Amazing movie. Great review, Tim. Gareth Evans is one filmmaker to watch out for.

  9. The Celtic Predator says :

    Glad to see you reviewed this, and honored to be a recommended review :D I hope R2 gets a lot of DVD sales, because from what I’ve researched that’s how the first Raid made most of its profit last time around. Sadly, the movie only made about $5.1 million on a $4 million budget (about the same as the first one), but I’m really impressed with the quality of the experience and how Evans managed to make a great sequel that was similar yet also so different than the original.

    Evans has also stated that he’s going to take a few years off from martial arts films and probably pursue projects in the UK and US (he deserves it!). However he also said that his current ideas for the Raid 3 will have the story branching off from the main Rama plot line, with R3 starting a few hours before R2 ends. My guess it will follow the Japanese Yakuza gang, as we didn’t see much of them in Berandal and they hinted that they were going to go to war with the police and Bangun’s empire, plus that final meeting between Rama and the Japanese thugs hints at some unknown conclusions :D

  10. sidekickreviews says :

    It’s pretty amazing this movie was made for under 5 mill. I liked how the movie took the time to set up the bad guys and girl. Good review! :)

  11. Three Rows Back says :

    Great write-up mate. Thanks for the mention; I’m delighted you loved this as much as I did. The kitchen fight is unbelievable!

  12. ruth says :

    I remember you love the first movie Tim, so I’m not surprised of the high rating for this. As you know, it’s not my cup of tea at all despite this being set in my hometown :)

  13. CMrok93 says :

    Good review Tim. I liked this a lot more than the first, although that’s still an awesome movie in its own right. This one just had more of a story that built upon itself and actually did some stuff I was not expecting in the least bit.

  14. Tyson Carter says :

    It’s a DAMN fine film. :)

  15. Tom says :

    Oh goody!!! I just can’t wait to check out these movies, man. Been reading/hearing so many fantastic things about it. Heard that you don’t really come for the acting (who does in an action movie, anyway??) but you come for the incredible choreography, the action-packed story and the brutality. Sign me up for all three son!!!!

  16. Consumed by Film says :

    Love the first one, really looking forward to catching this on Blu-ray! Great work Tim.

    Adam.

  17. Joseph@thecinemamonster says :

    Thrilled you’re so pleased with it! I loved it as well :).

  18. Ryan says :

    Hell yes, I’m so pumped to see this. Great review, man.

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