Directed by: Gareth Evans
In the Indonesian martial art flick The Raid: Redemption we were treated to what was probably the best martial arts film that had hit the cinema in a decade, with its sequel, Director Gareth Evans and unbelievably upped the ante by a quantum level, giving us even more of what we had in the first film, a mega-level of superior martial arts action that completely blew us away.
This film starts off shortly after where the previous film left off, with Andi (Donny Alamsyah) — Rama’s brotherbeing hauled out of a car and being assassinated by a rising gangster named Bejo (Alex Abbad). Then Rama (Uwais) meets with Bunawar (Cok Simbara), the trustworthy cop Andi sent him to at the end of the previous film. After sending Rama’s fellow survivor Bowo to receive medical attention and executing corrupt cop Wahyu, the instigator of the first film’s botched raid, Bunawar invites Rama to join a small anti-corruption task force which seeks to expose police commissioner Reza’s backroom dealings with the Bangun and Goto gangs. While Rama initially declines, he ultimately assents after learning of his brother’s murder by Bejo and the imminent threat to his family.
As can be expected, this greatly upsets Rama who thought it was all over and that he could now resume a normal life. Unfortunately, he couldn’t have been more wrong. As it turns out, the crooks who occupied that building were nothing more than small fish swimming in a much larger pond that is far dirtier than he ever dreamed possible. And now his triumph over those small fries has attracted the attention of the predators farther up the food chain. With his family at risk, Rama has only one choice to protect his wife and infant son; he must go undercover and enter the criminal underworld himself. Tasked with crawling through the hierarchy of competing forces, Rama follows the trail until it leads him to the corrupt politicians and police pulling the strings at the top of the heap.
Thus Rama begins a new odyssey of violence on 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.” To establish this new identity, he is sent to prison where he must gain the confidence of Uco (Putra), who is the son of a prominent gang kingpin in order 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, which he does with a spectacular level of über-violence so intense that you really have not seen anything like this prior. So, yes, if you were a fan of the first film (and even if you never saw it), and are a martial arts fan, you will totally want to see this film.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.