The Raid 2 (A.K.A. The Raid 2: Berandal - English: "Thug") is a 2014 Indonesian martial arts crime film written and directed by Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans; it is the sequel to the 2011 film The Raid: Redemption.
The film was released on 28 March 2014. It follows SWAT member Rama, the protagonist of the first film, as he is sent undercover to take down both corrupt police officials and the gangs of the criminal underworld. Like Evans' previous films, Merantau and The Raid: Redemption, the film's fight scenes once again showcase the brutal Indonesian fighting style of Pencak silat.
Iko Uwais reprises his role as Rama. The film also stars Arifin Putra, Julie Estelle, Alex Abbad, Tio Pakusadewo, Oka Antara, and Cecep A. Rahman. The film also features Japanese actors such as Ryuhei Matsuda, Kenichi Endo, and Kazuki Kitamura. The film is distributed by Sony Pictures Classics worldwide, Stage 6 Films in the United States, and Entertainment One in the United Kingdom.
After the disastrous raid on Tama's apartment building, Rama meets with Bunawar, a police officer that was assured honest by Andi. After sending Rama's fellow survivor Bowo to receive medical attention and executing Wahyu, Bunawar invites Rama to join a clandestine anti-corruption task force which seeks to expose police commissioner Reza's backroom dealings with the Bangun and Goto gangs. While Rama initially declines, he agrees to join them after learning of his brother's murder by Bejo and the imminent threat to his family.
Rama assaults the son of a politician who opposed Bangun's criminal family, earning imprisonment alongside Bangun's son Uco. Rama, under the alias Yuda, saves the mobster's life during a prison riot. Bangun subsequently hires Yuda when the latter's prison sentence ends two years later. As Yuda, Rama proves his value to the organization and earns the family's trust while rifts grow between him and the unreliable Bunawar, who withholds information from him. Meanwhile, Uco grows increasingly discontented with his father's lack of faith in his abilities and placidity towards the Japanese, desiring to take on a larger role in the mob's operations.
Bejo invites Uco to dinner, sharing rumours of a Japanese plot to turn Reza against the Bangun family and allowing Uco to personally kill his prison assailants. Uco subsequently hatches a plot with Bejo to start a gang war that would destroy the Japanese, letting Uco prove himself to his father while Bejo profits from the chaos. The pair use Bejo's personal assassins to frame the Japanese for killing Bangun's loyal henchman Prakoso and falsify a harsh retaliation by Bangun. When the families meet to reconcile, Bangun takes an apologetic stance that causes Uco to lash out against his father. Meanwhile, Reza's corrupt cops attack Yuda in reprisal, leaving him incapacitated as Bangun harshly beats Uco for his disobedience.
Bangun's adviser Eka calls for Yuda to rescue Uco from Bangun's office. While Yuda is in transit, Bejo, the Assassin, and Bejo's henchmen appear in the office. Uco kills his father and shoots Eka in the leg. Before Uco can finish the enforcer off, Yuda arrives, stalling Bejo's men to cover Eka's escape. After the Assassin subdues Yuda, Bejo commands his men to kill him offsite.
Goto, hearing of Bangun's death and Reza's betrayal which was organized by Bejo, declares war upon both Bejo's gang and Reza's corrupt policemen. After rescuing Rama in a highway chase scene, an injured Eka drives him to an abandoned slum, revealing that he knows of Rama's true identity and was also an undercover officer. Before leaving the vehicle to Rama, Eka directs him to "put them all down". Rama calls Bunawar, learning of the gang war's ignition. Frustrated by Bunawar's claims that Eka betrayed the police, Rama learns that Reza, his true target, is currently meeting with Bejo and Uco at the restaurant. After extracting a promise to keep his family safe, Rama breaches Bejo's restaurant warehouse and fights his way through dozens of Bejo's men.
While Uco and Bejo meet with Reza to discuss their terms, Uco discovers a bug Rama had previously planted in his wallet; he later notices that Bejo bears similar tattoos to the men who attacked him in prison. Upon realizing that Bejo originally tried to kill him to spark the war, Uco suspects Bejo and Reza of colluding against him. Meanwhile, Rama fights and defeats Bejo's personal retinue of killers - Hammer Girl, Baseball Bat Man, and the Assassin - before disrupting the meeting. Bejo throws a shotgun towards Reza and fires his own gun at Rama, but Uco instead kills Reza and mortally wounds Bejo. Uco drops the planted bug on Bejo before executing him with a point-blank shotgun blast, and turns his attention to shoot at Rama, who has taken cover.
Rama, however, overpowers Uco and stabs him with the Assassin's knife. Uco dies in Rama's hands and the heavily wounded and fatigued Rama leaves. Slowly returning to the exit of the warehouse, he encounters Goto's gang, led by Keiichi, Goto's son. A silent dialogue takes place between Keiichi and Rama, which is also overheard by Bunawar and he learns of the night's events. Keiichi gives Rama an approving smirk and is implied to make an offer to Rama to join the Japanese side, and the exchange between the two ends with Rama simply stating, "No...I'm done".
- Iko Uwais as Rama/Yuda, a rookie SWAT unit member turned undercover police officer.
- Arifin Putra as Uco, Bangun's only son.
- Tio Pakusadewo as Bangun, a respected mob boss who runs crime in Jakarta.
- Oka Antara as Eka, adviser and consigliere to the head of the biggest crime family in Jakarta.
- Alex Abbad as Bejo, a young, self-made gangster.
- Cecep Arif Rahman as "The Assassin", Bejo's top enforcer.
- Julie Estelle as Alicia a.k.a. "Hammer Girl", a ruthless hired assassin who is especially gifted with claw hammers.
- Very Tri Yulisman as "Baseball Bat Man", "Hammer Girl's" brother.
- Ryuhei Matsuda as Keiichi, Goto's son and successor.
- Kenichi Endo as Hideaki Goto, boss of the Goto family.
- Kazuki Kitamura as Ryuichi, Goto's translator and adviser.
- Yayan Ruhian as Prakoso, Bangun's most loyal and dedicated assassin.
- Template:Ill as Bunawar, the chief of Jakarta's anti-corruption task force.
- Roy Marten as Reza, a corrupt police commissioner.
- Template:Ill as Topan, a pornographer.
- Donny Alamsyah as Andi, Rama's brother.
- Tegar Satrya as Bowo, Rama's fellow SWAT member and survivor of the initial raid.
Following Merantau, director Gareth Evans and his producers began to work on a project called Berandal (which is Indonesian for "thugs"), a large-scale prison gang film intended to star not only Merantau actors Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, and Donny Alamsyah, but also an additional pair of international fight stars. A teaser trailer was shot, but the project proved to be more complex and time consuming than they had anticipated. After a year and a half, Evans and the producers found themselves with insufficient funds to produce Berandal, so they changed to a simpler, but different story with a smaller budget. They called the project Serbuan Maut (The Raid), which led to the creation of the first film.
While developing The Raid in script form, Evans considered the idea of creating a link between it and the initial project, Berandal. Following the release of The Raid, it was later confirmed that Berandal would serve as a sequel to The Raid. Evans also said that he wanted to include car chases in the sequel, as well as a third Raid film being "a lot further down the line".
With the title for the North American market announced as The Raid 2, the sequel has a "significantly larger" budget than its predecessor, and its production schedule took approximately 100 days. Pre-production began in September 2012 with filming in January 2013.
In December 2012, it was announced that Julie Estelle was cast as "Hammer Girl"; Evans also tweeted that internationally renowned silat practitioner Cecep Arif Rahman was also given a major part in the film. Marsha Timothy, Mathias Muchus, Tio Pakusadewo, and Alex Abbad, who worked with Evans in Merantau, were also cast in the film. Japanese actors Matsuda Ryuhei, Endo Kenichi, and Kitamura Kazuki also joined the cast.
Evans also revealed on his Twitter that Yayan Ruhian, who played Mad Dog in The Raid: Redemption, will return for the sequel as a new character called Prakoso, who is the machete-wielding chief assassin of Bangun. He claimed that he would not do a martial arts film without Ruhian being involved. Ruhian, who is a choreographer of the film, also trained Estelle in Pencak Silat.
The film's lead cinematographer Matt Flannery tweeted that at least three RED cameras were used in a test shoot of a chase scene. Gareth Evans mentioned on his Twitter that they were using RED Scarlet for 95% of the shoot, Epic for slow mo, and Go Pro 3 for quick cuts during the car chase.
Sony Pictures Classics purchased the film for North American, Latin American, and Spanish markets; Alliance/Momentum for the United Kingdom and Canada; Koch Media for German-speaking territories; Korea Screen for the Korean market; and HGC for China.
A teaser trailer was released at Twitchfilm on 6 November 2013. The Hollywood Reporter stated that the trailer "unleashes more action than most Hollywood blockbusters." A longer Indonesian trailer was released on 31 December 2013.
The film had its world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on 21 January 2014. It also screened at South by Southwest on 10 March 2014 and ARTE Indonesia Arts Festival on 14 March 2014.
The Raid 2 was banned in Malaysia. The film was scheduled to hit Malaysian screens on 28 March, but as of 1 April, it had not been shown anywhere in the country. There has been no official statement from the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia on why the film has not been screened.
The US release was given an R rating by the MPAA for "sequences of strong bloody violence throughout, sexuality and language", cutting a few frames of graphic violence. Director Evans stated the cuts are very minimal and similar to his original cut.
The Raid 2 has received positive reviews. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 79% "Certified Fresh" rating, with an average score of 7.4/10, based on reviews from 155 critics. The site's consensus states: "Although its high-energy plot and over-the-top violence may play better with genre aficionados, The Raid 2 definitely delivers more of everything audiences loved about its predecessor". The film has a score of 71/100 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews", based on 33 critics.
During its world premiere at Sundance, The Raid 2 received an overwhelming reaction. Mark Olsen of the Los Angeles Times reported that "The screening caused an explosion of excitement and enthusiasm for the film on social media."
On a 3-out-of-5 mixed review, Joey Magidson of the website Awards Circuit wrote that he "appreciate(s) the directing skills on display in The Raid 2, but at a certain point, all of the fighting and killing nearly got to be too much for me. I’m recommending the film, but not in the same way as the last one." He added that while it is "creative enough to be worth a recommendation, it lacks the originality of the first flick" and concluded that "The Raid 2 will delight genre fans, but might not impress to many others."
Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly said, "The Raid 2 will make you feel like Christmas came nine months early. Some action sequels don't know when to say when. But here's one where too much is just the right amount."
Simon Abrams of RogerEbert.com praised the film for its "involving plot"; calling the cast, especially Uwais, "charming" and dialogue "winningly precise" while noting that the sequel is "a great step up after the already-impressive The Raid: Redemption."
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, remarking, "Evans gives the audience a knowing wink by having Rama endure repeated batterings that would leave mere mortals in traction, not to mention some nasty blade wounds. Yet he keeps coming back, finding the stamina to snap more limbs and crush more skulls. Taking 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."
Rolling Stone journalist Peter Travers, wrote: "The Raid 2 lets its warriors rip for two and a half thrilling hours. With the precision of dance and the punch of a K.O. champion, Evans keeps the action coming like nobody's business."
Many have praised the film for matching the action sequences that made the first film so great, as well as improving upon the plot and the dialogue, which its predecessor was criticized for.
Amber Wilkinson of The Daily Telegraph commented, "Hyper-violent it may be but there is beauty in its brutality," and wrote, "To say a martial arts movie brings something fresh in terms of choreography may sound like fighting talk, but Gareth Evans's sequel to his 2011 film is endlessly inventive."
Matt Risley of Total Film gave the film five stars called it a "sumptuously shot, perfectly paced and flat-out exhilarating, The Raid 2 cements Evans as the best action director working today and may not be the best action, gangster, or even martial-arts movie ever made. But as a combination of all three, it's unparalleled in recent memory and offers a tantalising glimpse into a post-Bayhem action-movie world. Brutal, beautiful and brilliant" and also wrote, "The sheer imagination on show, both in the cinematography and choreography, guarantees each brawl is instantly iconic. Immaculately edited, each traumatic, tensely tactile fight would blur into chaos if not for Evans's pinpoint pacing something that refreshes all the more in the face of modern blockbusting's tendency to start big and just keep getting bigger, until burnout."
The film appeared on several critics' year-end lists.
- 7th – IMDb's Top 10 Films of 2014
- 10th Drew McWeeny of HitFix's Top 50 Films of 2014
- 10th – Den of Geeks's Top 10 Films of 2014
- 14th – Rob Hunter of Film School Rejects's 14 Best Foreign Language Films of 2014
- Best Surprise – Tom Stockman of We Are Movie Geeks's Top 10 Films of 2014
- 2nd - Peter Freeman of DC Outlook's Top 10 Movies of 2014
The Raid 2 has garnered a number of nominations and wins from both domestic and international awards.
On 19 December 2014, it won the award for Best Foreign Language Film from the Florida Film Critics Circle over Sweden's Force Majeure and Poland's Ida; a first for an Indonesian film. It also received two nominations at the 2014 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards for Best Stunts and Best Foreign Language Film; losing the former to Edge of Tomorrow and the latter to Polish film, Ida. Another nomination came from the 2014 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards on the Best Foreign Language Film category, which it lost to Ruben Östlund's Force Majeure from Sweden. For the 8th Houston Film Critics Society Awards, it also received a nomination in the foreign film category, along with Force Majeure (Sweden), Ida (Poland), Leviathan (Russia), and Two Days, One Night (Belgium).
The film received 10 nominations at the local 2014 Maya Awards, organized by online film community (Piala Maya; maya means online in Indonesian). On 20 December 2014, it won four of its ten nominations: Best Cinematography for Matt Flanery and Dimas Subono, Best Editing for Evans and Andi Novianto, Best Special Effects, and Best Supporting Actor for Arifin Putra. It was also nominated for Best Film, Best Original Score, Most Memorable Featured Appearance for Julie Estelle as 'The Hammer Girl' (all three lost to Cahaya dari Timur); Best Hair & Make-Up and Best Sound Mixing (both lost to Killers), as well as another nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category for Oka Antara (who lost to co-star Arifin Putra).
There were a number of scenes deleted from the final cut that made it to wide release. Some of these deleted scenes were published by Merantau Films on their YouTube page. These following scenes, however, are not equipped with proper sound editing and special effects.
- Gang War was released prior to the film's release and "served to escalate the gang war out onto the streets involving people outside of the closed off inter-gang politics." Evans commented of this particular deleted scene as "the hardest for [him] to cut" and explained that the reasons to cut the scene were "entirely down to pacing issues." No characters that appeared in the final cut were seen in this scene.
- Investigation contains "an extended version of the scene with Bunawar helping to clear Rama's name and remove him from the equation of what went down in The Raid: Redemption." Andi (Donny Alamsyah) is seen in this scene leading his men to hand-deliver the SWAT Team truck to Bunawar's office to "reinforce the relationship hinted at in The Raid: Redemption."
- A Funeral and Bowo was intended as "an extension of the funeral scene with an added explanation of what happened to Bowo; one of the surviving members of the SWAT Team in The Raid: Redemption."
- The Politician's Son depicts Rama (as Yuda) beating a politician's son at a night club which, in the final cut, was only mentioned as the reason for his imprisonment at the beginning of the film. Former MTV VJ Daniel Mananta was seen in this seen as someone introducing Yuda to a 'boss'.
- The Marketplace was deleted due to "pacing reasons"; containing a scene set at a local market in which Rama (still undercover) checked up on his wife and son from afar before leaving them unseen.
- Prakoso Getting Ready was a "small scene to show Prakoso's home and a different side to his character away from his role as executioner." On the reason for the deletion, it is said that "The concept was to show a fragility and a vulnerability in him, but [the filmmakers] felt this was already achieved by Yayan [Ruhian]'s performance in the scene with his ex-wife."
On 6 January 2014, Total Film reported that The Raid 3 will take place two hours before the end of The Raid 2. Also on 19 April 2014, during an interview with Metro, director Evans said that he is planning to take a break from martial arts movies for two or three years before filming it. The Raid 3 is planned for 2018 or 2019.
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