Raid 2, The: Berandal (2014)

Cover art:


The Raid 2: Berandal (2014)Starring Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle, Alex Abbad, Marsha Timothy, Mathias Muchus, Tio Pakusadewo, Cecep Arif Rahman

Directed by Gareth Evans

Prison fight scene. Bar fight scene. Alley fight scene. Street fight scene. Car crash fight scene. Kitchen fight scene.

That’s The Raid sequel for you. Seeing as it clocks in at 2-1/2 hours, it helps if you like fight scenes.

Though I did not see the first one, it’s my understanding this sequel is more – muchmuchmuch more! – of the same but with some extra plotting thrown in between the punches. Here’s the skinny: An Indonesian SWAT member, Rama (Iko Uwais), goes undercover in a harsh correctional facility and infiltrates the ranks of the cold-hearted Jakarta crime syndicate. In order to protect his wife and young son, and expose the corruption in his own police force, Rama goes even deeper than he ever could have planned. And, he gets into a lot of fights.

The fights are brutal, prolonged, bone-crushing, blood-letting, and crazily off the charts – most of the time, a cast of dozens are involved in the melee of the moment. Backs are broken, skulls are crushed, eyes gouged, throats cut, and legs snapped.

I can’t fault the flick on its acting, directing, cinematography, music, and certainly not its fight choreography. But for me, the action scenes offer little in the way of escalation (and therefore suspense, leading up to the big showdown) – they are all at a 10 on the Richter magnitude scale, from the first to the last. As for the conflicted, taciturn character, I’ve seen him before in so many hard-boiled undercover crime movies (particularly the Asian ones… in fact, Welsh director Gareth Evans stays quite true to Far- and Southeast Asian cinematic sensibilities).

While I can’t say I personally enjoyed The Raid: Berandal, I do appreciate it and I know it’ll please a lot of fans.

3 1/2 out of 5

Discuss The Raid: Berandal in the comments section below!

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  • FutureZombie

    I appreciate the view of a person that hasn’t seen the first film 40 times, but let’s be honest…. if you saw the first one do you even NEED a review to get you to the theater? I didn’t think so.

    Just sayin’

  • Rob

    I gotta agree with kiddcapone on this one. I’d go into more detail but I’d probably just be repeating what he said. I do hope we get another review in a few weeks by someone who’s actually seen the first film though.

    • Uncle Creepy

      Yep, one is coming!

      • FutureZombie

        Sir Creepy,
        In case you don’t hear it often, DreadCentral continues to be the best horror/sci-fi site on the internet. This from a guy who has Fango #1 framed on his wall.

        • Uncle Creepy

          Thanks so much, man. Yeah, we don’t often get to hear the good things often enough, but when they come they mean more than you could imagine.

          Even when people are negative they’re still speaking from a place of passion and I will never ever fault them for that. Ya take the good with the bad and just be happy that someone at least gives a fuck, ya know? LOL


  • kiddcapone

    I almost didn’t read this review because I loved The Raid so much I was afraid something could spoil the sequel before I have the pleasure of checking it out…

    Curiosity got the best of me and luckily, this review is so bad, I have nothing to worry about. Why someone who didn’t see the first film and clearly isn’t a fan of martial arts/fight/action films would watch The Raid 2 and then write an indifferent review is very confusing to me.

    This would be like someone who didn’t see Breakin’ writing a review for Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, then saying, dancing, dancing, more dancing, if you’re into breakdancing, you might like it, but I personally don’t care for it…

    • The Critic Man

      Everyone has a right to speak dude. The fact that it is not her cup of tea, yet she still gave it a good score means something positive about the film. A 3.5 out of 5 from someone who is not a fan, I’d call that a good thing.

      • kiddcapone

        Of course everyone has a right to speak; I just find it a little trifling that the first “official” review for a highly anticipated sequel is written by a person unfamiliar with the first film and completely disengaged to that particular genre.

        I’m not a super hero guy. So if I was the first person to watch the new Captain America flick, I’d sit back and let someone else write the review so my indifference didn’t show through in my critique. But hey, that’s me.

        • LifeMi

          This sounds like the same argument creepy tried and failed to make that fini couldn’t make a rational judgment on Pacific Rim because he never watched Godzilla. Just because its not her thing doesn’t mean Staci isn’t qualified to talk about it. A movie is a movie, man.

          • kiddcapone

            I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

            It’s apples and oranges. Pacific Rim wasn’t a sequel. Creepy’s argument was basically super fans of the genre might extract additional enjoyment from subtle homages that might otherwise go unnoticed by the casual viewer. The Raid 2 is a direct sequel picking up the where the last film left off and will be watched mainly by people who saw the first film.

            Why would anyone put any credence into the opinion of a person who doesn’t enjoy these type of films and don’t have a point of reference to compare the film? Are the fights better than the first film? Don’t know. Is it overall better or worse than the first Raid? Still don’t know.

            Hey, if this review was beneficial to you, awesome. I still have the same questions about the film I did before I wasted time reading this. All I know is there are a lot of fight scenes….and I kind of assumed that beforehand…

          • Uncle Creepy

            Don’t worry another review is coming from someone who’s seen the first film. Still getting the viewpoint of a person unfamiliar with it can be interesting too. No baggage or preconceived notions and she still gave it a good score. That speaks volumes.

          • kiddcapone

            I’m interested in hearing what you think about it. You’re one of the few that loved the first one as much as I did.

            I really hope it plays around here, I’ll be so pissed if Cinemark doesn’t get it.

          • MonsterMash

            You can count me in that group- that movie is the shit!

          • LifeMi

            The review is far too short and doesn’t go into enough detail; ill agree with you on that. That being said, I still say there’s nothing wrong with an objective view. Perhaps both her review and the other review that’s coming should’ve been released together.