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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

The Raid 2 (2014)


Man, I need to work-out more.

Taking place nearly right after the first one started, Rama (Iko Uwais) finds out that not only is his brother dead, but that he has no other choice but to be apart of this small, covert group of secret-agents that specialize in finding the crooked-cops and expose them for what they are. However, it all comes for a price, in which Rama has to now go undercover to work his way up-the-ladder where he’ll assist a head mobster’s son while he is in jail (Arifin Putra), in hopes that it will not only get Rama’s face and name known, but also give him a closer chance at finding his brother’s killer, who may almost be connected to the guys that Rama is trying to get in with. All sorts of twists and turns occur, which leaves Rama away from his family for more than two years, beaten-up, battered, and bruised, but with a new job where he is going to be the main enforcer of this heavy-duty gang, where he’ll still be undercover, taping and reporting everything that happens. Although, it does get hard for Rama to be able to differentiate how he feels, from what is the tru…aw, who am I kidding! They fight! A LOT. End. Of. Story.

The first Raid had a lot going for itself in the way that it was sort of this little movie that came completely out of nowhere and stunned just about every person who had seen it. there. It also helped too, that those said people who did see it and were blown away, couldn’t stop telling everyone around them about it; therefore, making the movie more and more famous by the whisper in hip, happenin’ coffee shops and dinner-parties. And while it took me quite some time to actually get a chance to see it, I had nothing else to do or say, except to just agree with everybody. I’m usually not one for conformity, but when it came to my feelings for that movie, I couldn’t help but join the crowd and move along.

"Hadouken!"

“Hadouken!”

Now, the problem here is this: Now that the cat is out of the bag with this movie, how will the sequels fair-off? Will they continue to keep to the same pattern in which there is barely any story at all, but plenty of kicking, punching, ripping and all sorts of fun, bloody violence like in the first movie? Or, will it go the familiar-route of most sequels and just be bigger, longer, wider, more bloated and just too much havoc and chaos going on to really give a crap about whatsoever?

Well, here’s the good thing about the Raid 2 – while it may follow the later-route in which it is bigger, longer, and more bloated, the action is never, ever too much for one person to handle. Actually, that’s a lie; it totally is. However, I mean that in a good sense because it’s exactly what you could expect from the creators behind this having more money to toy around with, but with so much more creativity and excitement thrown into the mix. Because even with the running-time being every bit of the two-and-a-half-hours that it is, for more than an hour of that, people get ripped-up, broken-down, destroyed, injured, killed, decapitated, and all sorts of messed-up, but it’s never, ever boring to watch.

In fact, that’s the key to making this movie work – always surprising the hell out of its audience. Hell, you’d think that by the year 2014, us moviegoers had seen it all with the Michael Bay’s and the Tarantino’s of the world, but once a gal walks through a subway car with two claw-hammers in her hands, then you know you haven’t. The first one had a bit of a problem with that, in the way most of the action-sequences did seem to repeat themselves just a tad bit, but here, there’s no problem with that whatsoever. It keeps on, keeping on and for that, it’s a fun time that you have to be apart of. I don’t care how squeamish you may or can be when it comes to the sight of somebody’s throat getting sliced-open, because this is the action-movie you need to see.

Not any of that Need for Speed or Sabotage crap. Or even whatever the hell it is that Michael Bay does, but as we all know, I don’t have much room to stand-in when it comes to the argument of whether or not his movies are in fact “good”.

So yeah, I’ll just let that one slide.

But like I was saying about this movie, it’s pretty awesome despite it’s nearly over two-and-a-half-hour run-time, which made me wonder why it had to be as such. It’s not to say that the story is bad by anything, in fact, it’s a pretty detailed one that kept me guessing for quite some time, even while the action wasn’t around and pumping up my blood-stream. There’s plenty of back-stabs, turns, twists and people committing acts of vengeance that made it seem like an old-school, Japanese-gangster movie, in which you never have any perfect idea as to who is on whose side, and for what reasons, until they’ve just shot somebody who you thought was their most trusted-confidante, in the back of the head, in total cold blood.

Now, could the story have been cut-down to size to ensure that this film wouldn’t feel long? Aw, hell yeah! In fact, if this movie was possibly a lean and mean two-hours, I feel like this would have been even better for me as is. However, the problem is that it does drag and once that final showdown comes around, there still was a small feeling that this movie had more than over-stayed its welcome. Once again, it was still fun and exciting to watch, but after about two-hours, I did begin to feel the five-hour energy-drink run its course.

In case you couldn't tell, you don't want to mess with them.

In case you couldn’t tell, you don’t want to mess with them.

Then again though, like I’ve been mentioning many a times throughout this whole review, none of that really got in the way of my enjoyment with this movie, especially once people started fighting as if they thought every fighting-sequence from the first was for a bunch of amateurs. I can’t really emphasize that idea enough, without even getting myself into a bit of a repetitive-jumble, but it’s the whole truth and nothing but. This movie is awesome and you’ll more than likely get excited just by somebody looking at another person in a way that makes it seem like they’re about to go at it right away. And once they do, it’s a better time than what most of you will have watching an action film this whole summer.

Well, until this soon-to-be-declared-masterpiece makes its way around.

Can’t help it, people. I guess I’m just too much of a Michael Bay fanboy.

Consensus: While it may be a lot longer, wider and packed with more subplots than the first, the Raid 2 has just about everything you’d expect to see with all sorts of fun, creative and exciting action-sequences that not only keep you glued to everything that is happening, but makes you long for the days of when one actually used to feel the pain occurring in whatever scene is on the screen. Then again, maybe that’s just me.

9 / 10 = Full Price!!

Final round. Fight!

Final round. Fight!

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderJobloComingSoon.net

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39 responses to “The Raid 2 (2014)

  1. ninvoid99 April 19, 2014 at 3:29 am

    Fuck Michael Bay. Gareth Evans is for real and he can kick Bay’s ass in a second.

  2. ThoughtsFromTheBooth April 19, 2014 at 3:43 am

    I couldn’t sit through it. I feel this may be the case of what happened when I saw zodiac in the theater. Hated it and then watched it a second time down the road. Zodiac is one of my favorite films. There’s still hope.

  3. Joseph@thecinemamonster April 19, 2014 at 5:37 am

    A 9 out of 10, the same score I gave it! You have excellent taste in movies, my good man ;).

  4. robbinsrealm April 19, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Dan, I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of the film, it deserves a full price rating.

  5. Jordan Rath April 19, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Great review, Dan! I too was blown away by this one and I was a moderate fan (at best) of the first one. But this sequel just was simply jaw-dropping. That prison brawl in the mud was incredible. Feel free to check out my review below:

    http://www.raths-reviews.com/2014/04/the-raid-2.html

    As far as Michael Bay is concerned…I guess I never knew why people were so hard on him? You know EXACTLY what you are getting into every time you step into a Bay film. So if you keep going back for seconds I feel like that means the person is either enjoying the films or is a masochist. I for one somewhat enjoy his mindless films. They are certainly their own brand of dumb! But they don’t come close to The Raid 2!

    • CMrok93 April 20, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      They’re totally dumb and hectic, but that’s what I like about them. Here, this the type of action movie in which you can tell everything that is happening right away, without much confusion added whatsoever. Which is what I liked so much about the first one.

  6. yyanchev April 19, 2014 at 7:04 am

    The last thing I saw from Michael Bay was “Pain and Gain” which was indeed kinda fun. But, all that being said, I cannot compare The Raid movies to Bay’s work. Evans’ movies (including “Merantau”) are true martial arts movies, which all have very nice plots. But the main advantage of Evans’ movies with Iko Uwais is the pacing of the energy. I’d like to point out also that The first and the second Raids are excellent in different ways, but also they share the same energy-filled combat scenes. Pencak Silat is indeed a very beautiful art form.
    Several days ago I wrote about the Second Raid here: http://yyanchev.com/2014/04/15/the-second-raid/

    • CMrok93 April 20, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      I can’t say that I like Bay’s movies more than these types of ones, but I still enjoy them nonetheless. Regardless, this movie is awesome and a bit better than the first.

  7. The Geek Mind April 19, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Great Review! Sorry to say though Michael Bay ain’t got nothing on Gareth Evans lol. Run time didn’t bother me but I’m sure that threw people off who thought they were going to get the same from the first Raid film. I loved that it went for the unexpected and the action scenes were incredible.

    • CMrok93 April 20, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      Yeah, this movie seemed to go on for quite some time, but it never really brought me down. It just made me want more and more action. Which is what I got!

  8. thycriticman April 19, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Glad that you loved it as well dude. I was tempted to give it a perfect score. Just fantastic from beginning to end. I am ecstatic about the third coming out in a few years and have high hopes that he saved the best ideas for last!

  9. Wendell April 20, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Damn, I gotta see this soon.

  10. devnicsmith April 20, 2014 at 8:27 am

    I just got home from seeing this! I don’t know how I feel about the first half… It felt so bloated. I honestly felt really disappointed until Hammer Girl showed up! It was awesome after that point!

  11. CouchKurisu April 20, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Loved it, although I agree about the running time. It was a mixture of hype AND exhaustion I felt as I left the screening. Nice review!

  12. jklmd2002 April 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I really enjoyed it. Don’t see it not staying in my Top 10. I liked the story maybe a bit more than you so it didn’t feel that long to me. Good review Dan!

  13. Three Rows Back April 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    What. A. Film. Action cinema at it’s very best. Excellent review Dan.

  14. Chris April 20, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Nice review, Dan. It’s running time may be a bit long, and the film can be pretty exhausting, but I felt this was an example of a GOOD kind of exhaustion. Awesome flick, this was. :)

    • CMrok93 April 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      Totally. It went on and on, but I don’t think I ever wanted it to end. Another hour may have been a bit too much to ask for, but I wouldn’t have been so upset with either.

  15. angie chui April 21, 2014 at 1:48 am

    I loved the first movie and I will definitely see this one. :D great review Dan, even if Iko Uwais seemed to gain a bit more weight in this sequel.

  16. CinemaClown April 21, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Desperately waiting for this one. Arguably my most anticipated film of this year & the rave reviews are now only testing my patience. Excellent review, Dan.

  17. shazza91321 April 22, 2014 at 1:21 am

    I want to see this one, I hope I can find out here in Sacramento!!

  18. sidekickreviews April 22, 2014 at 2:58 am

    Saw this the other day, some of best fights scenes around! The run time didn’t bother me as much but I could see how leaner could be better. Terrific review Dan.

  19. thomasjford April 22, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Can’t wait to see this, it sounds at least as good as the first one, which was great fun!

  20. The Focused Filmographer April 22, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    I just went to the score on this review because I really can’t wait to see it and have not read any reviews for it yet! I am glad you like it. I can’t wait!!

  21. Victor De Leon April 25, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Awesome review, Dan!!! Wow. I am so stoked for this movie. I loved the first. Sorry I took so long to get to your write up! I am trying to play catch up this weekend. Nice job brotha!

  22. Nostra June 26, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Finally got around to watching this and to be honest I was very disappointed with it. It was too long and the story disappointing. If the action wasn’t as awesome this wouldn’t get positive marks from me. Favorite bit was when the homeless guy did the one handed fight.

  23. Tim The Film Guy July 5, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Great review. Such a great expansive sequel and its a real shame more people didn’t see it. Still we liked it :D

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