Brace yourselves for another round of stunningly ferocious combat as the unlikely duo of Welsh-born director Gareth Evans and Indonesian martial artist Iko Uwais return to the fray with a sequel to their brutally exciting 2011 action thriller The Raid.
At the end of that film, Uwais’ rookie Jakarta cop Rama emerged bloody but unbowed from an ill-fated police assault on a slum tenement packed from top to bottom with thugs and killers.
Picking up where they left off, the pair’s new outing barely allows Rama to pause for breath before sending him into another heart-stoppingly perilous venture – going undercover as a prison inmate in order to get in with a crime boss’s banged-up son (Arifin Putra).
He achieves most of his brownie points during an epic fight in the prison yard, a bludgeoning mud-soaked brawl in which he saves the underworld heir’s life. And, following his release, he insinuates his way into the heart of the family’s organisation with an immersive commitment that recalls Tony Leung’s cop mole in Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs.
The Raid 2 can’t match that film’s intricate plotting or electrifying suspense, nor is it anywhere near as claustrophobic as its own precursor, but the fight scenes are every bit as awesome.
The carnage is eye-gougingly savage – not for nothing does one of the hero’s most lethal adversaries go by the name Hammer Girl – but Evans choreographs the action so tightly and films it so fluidly that the mayhem is mesmerising.
Certificate 18. Runtime 150 mins. Director Gareth Huw Evans.