Sundance critics hail Gareth Evans and The Raid 2
Story by Jack Foley
GARETH Evans’ has been hailed an action genius as his sequel The Raid 2 has premiered at Sundance to rave reviews.
Bigger and more epic than The Raid, this once again follows Iko Uwais’ police officer Rama as he goes undercover in an anti-corruption task force in a bid to avenge the death of his brother and protect his wife and child.
It boasts a longer running time and some – if word is to be believed – even more astounding action than the original, with assassins armed with their own special tools (baseball bats, a pickaxe, some cool claw daggers and a pair of hammers) as well as fights in the mud and an extended car stunt sequence.
Leading the fanfare, The Hollywood Reporter stated: “There are tradeoffs with the switch to a more epic, ambitious canvas, but Gareth Evans’ action sequel in most ways that count is an even more masterful jolt of high-energy genre filmmaking.”
It concludes that the movie is “quite literally a kick” and pays special attention to the expertly choreographed fight scenes that take place “inside moving vehicles, a subway car, a noodle bar, warehouses, a porn factory, tight corridors and – in the most electrifying mano-a-mano clash – a gleaming nightclub kitchen and wine cellar, the fights are dynamite”.
Collider, meanwhile, wrote: “The Raid 2 subscribes to the sequel school of “Bigger Is Better”, and since the action in the first movie could already be described as “insane”, “more insane” isn’t a great description. Evans has far surpassed the original in terms of action, and his attempt to match the scope of the sequel’s story with the size of the set pieces is admirable, although it ultimately ends up becoming a distraction. However, that’s a minor complaint because while I can point out the story’s shortcomings, I can’t deny the film’s pure, visceral impact. It’s been over two hours since I saw The Raid 2, and my blood is still pumping and my nerves are still vibrating.” Read more
Indiewire was also impressed with the action but sounded a note of caution about the bloated running time on its blog, writing: “The Raid was 110 minutes of Oh-my-God action; The Raid 2 has at least 110 minutes of Oh-my-God action … and also has around 30 minutes of bloat and blubber weighing down what could have been a sleeker sequel.”
However, another review on the site brazenly declares “The Raid 2 is one of the great action films of recent memory”.
And JoBlo wrote: “In its own way, The Raid 2 is a masterpiece of its genre and – as impossible as it may seem – far superior to the original.” – Read more