Every year, religiously, somebody passes out at Sundance because of a visceral reaction they had to one of the movies screened there. The latest to earn that dubious honor? Gareth Evans’ sequel to The Raid: Redemption, entitled The Raid 2: Berandal.
According to The Wrap, a man who appeared to be in his early 30s fell ill during the Tuesday night premiere of The Raid 2: Berandal at the cavernous Eccles Theater in Park City, halting the screening midway through.
The man appeared to recover from whatever caused him to faint and after a while was able to walk out on his own power with the help of theater staff. Paramedics were apparently on their way to check him out all the same.
Midway through the film, the sequel to the intense and grisly martial arts action film The Raid, people in the center of the large venue started screaming to stop the movie and began shining their phones on the man. The movie kept playing for about two minutes before the lights came up and theater personnel were summoned. The man appeared “white as a sheet” but was saying he was okay after the episode.
Other people have had a far more positive reaction despite the carnage, including critics:
The one element of The Raid 2 that might divide audiences is that this just may be one of the most violent action movies ever made. The sheer amount of bloodletting makes Paul Verhoven’s early actioners look tame by comparison.[..] This is the most violent mainstream film since The Passion of the Christ. -Joblo
…this orgy of broken bones and vicious badassery makes its cult predecessor look like a peevish bitch-slap. -The Hollywood Reporter
The Sundance cut of ‘The Raid 2‘ is 148 minutes. I think I saw 138. Ten minutes before the end I turned to a colleague and said “all right, enough of this,” and walked out. It is the first time I’ve ever left a film that I intended to review in my career… this unrated cut is so relentless, so absolutely brutal, that I just couldn’t take anymore. -Jordan Hoffman, ScreenCrush
…doesn’t really get the adrenaline pumping until the film’s second half. Once the carnage kicks in, Evans’ action chops prove as robust and hyperkinetic as ever, delivering deep, bone-crunching pleasure for hardcore action buffs. -Variety
“The Raid 2″ is remarkable filmcraft, first and foremost, and it tells a solid, compelling cop story in a way that left me physically shaking. I cannot wait to see it again, and I am genuinely concerned that the MPAA is going to savage the version we saw because of the profound level of graphic violence it contains. -Hitfix
“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. -The Playlist
Prepare to see every bone in a human body broken, and some evilly creative uses for common tools and sports equipment. -/Film
Hyperbole or fact? We’ll all find out come March 28, 2014.
Iko Uwais (The Raid), Julie Estelle (Macabre, Alex Abbad (Merantau), Marsha Timothy (The Forbidden Door), Mathias Muchus, Tio Pakusadewo, and Cecep Arif Rahman star.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) acquired the film for the United States, Spain, Latin America, and South Africa; and Sony Pictures Classics will once again release the film theatrically in the United States.
He thought it was over. After fighting his way out of a building filled with gangsters and madmen – a fight that left the bodies of police and gangsters alike piled in the halls – rookie Jakarta cop Rama thought it was done and he could resume a normal life. He couldn’t have been more wrong.
Formidable though they may have been, Rama’s opponents in that fateful building were nothing more than small fish swimming in a pond much larger than he ever dreamed possible. And his triumph over the small fry has attracted the attention of the predators farther up the food chain. His family at risk, Rama has only one choice to protect his infant son and wife: He must go undercover to enter the criminal underworld himself and climb through the hierarchy of competing forces until it leads him to the corrupt politicians and police pulling the strings at the top of the heap.
And so Rama begins a new odyssey of violence, 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.” In prison he must gain the confidence of Uco – the son of a prominent gang kingpin – 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.
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