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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

THE RAID 2

Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 150 minutes (Rated R), audio commentary, three featurettes, deleted scene, and Q&A with director, star, and composer

VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: Indonesian/ Bahasa 5.1 DT-HD MA, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (dubbed), Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish (Latin)

 

STUDIO: Sony Picture Classics/ Stage 6/ Menartau Films/ XYZ Films

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 3-28-2014 (limited)/ 4-11-2014 (wide release)

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE: 7-8-2014

Rama (Iko Uwais) is back as he agrees to go undercover in prison to gain the trust of Uco, who is the son of the leader of a major Jakarta crime syndicate.  Uco wants to ignite war between his father Bangun and the Japanese crime family headed by Goto.   Goto and Bangun have maintained a truce for the last 10 years, but a small time thug named Beju has convinced Uco it is time to take over and cause a war.   Rama is undercover to discover the scope of police corruption, but he may be over his head as everyone have their own plans.

 

THE RAID 2 is an intense and bloody action film with a bigger scope than THE RAID: REDEMPTION in what results in many great choreographed action sequences as good as the ones seen in the first film.  The editing is much better and you can easily follow the action sequences unlike the crappy action sequence editing and shooting style of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER,   The first no holds barred action sequence is in a muddy prison yard as two rival prison gangs attack each other and even attack the prison guards who are trying to put a stop to it.  Then you have a silent female assassin with two claw hammers who is awesome and deadly in her few scenes.  THE RAID 2 contains many stories including saying so much even about the minor characters (who may even have two to three scenes like the machete assassin).   The action sequences are incredible thanks to the director being hands on with many aspects of the film from editing to action choreography to writing the script.

 

THE RAID 2 maintains the strength of the action so brilliantly staged in the first film and the bigger budget allows for a few more action sequences like the ones you would see in other Asian crime films made in Hong Kong and South Korea, but this Indonesian action film can stand up against the best crime films from Hong Kong and South Korea.   It is a dynamite film that I think even Quentin Tarantino would appreciate this one.  I read Gareth Evans wants to do this as a trilogy, but I don’t know how he could do it given how the film ended and I said the same thing about how he could do a sequel to THE RAID.  So I will give him the benefit of the doubt and see if he can surprise me again.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Audio commentary with Director Gareth Evans as he tells anecdotes about the making of the film (as he hopes it doesn’t overlap with the other extras too much) and he starts off with telling how the first ten minutes came about to clear the slate and defy audience expectations in what the sequel would be like.

 

Gang War deleted scene (4 minutes) which is a great scene, but I don’t know how they would actually fit it in its narrative without slowing it down

THE NEXT CHAPER: SHOOTING A SEQUEL- one of the better ten minute making-of featurettes that covers many behind-the-scenes details along with interview with cast and crew

READY FOR A FIGHT: SHOOTING ON LOCATION (blu-ray exclusive)- which goes into the creative camera work and closing off some streets in Jakarta to shoot the car chase in addition to each location having its own color scheme

A VIOLENET BALLET: THE CHOREOGRAPHY (blu-ray exclusive)- a look at the fight sequences and how they had the scenes planned out in advance in addition to him discussing how the director used silat to full advantage in the action scenes and trusting the martial art trained actors to devise the choreography of some of the fight scenes

 

CINEFAMILY Q&A WITH GARETH EVANS (director/ writer), IKO UWAIS (star/ martial art choreography) AND JOE TRAPANESE (composer) (45 minutes) as they answer audience questions and talk about the experience of making both films in THE RAID series.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE RAID 2 is an amazing sequel that is the equal to the first film with a good selection of extras. My only nitpick of the release is the default audio track is the English language track and not the original Indonesian/ Bahasa  audio with subtitles.

 

This review is 4-12-2014 and 7-18-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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