The Raid 2 2014, 150 Minutes Directed by Gareth Evans If you saw The Raid then you will most likely expect The Raid 2 to be a retread of the first film in a new location. In the opening act it appears that they are setting the film up this way, yet the film shifts gears after the first act and morphs from an action film to a brilliant crime thriller with amazing fight sequences that is perhaps closer to film noir than a traditional fight film. Where the first film was an assault on the senses and kept you on the edge of your seat The Raid 2, is a more complex character film that is unlike any sequel in recent memory where the film series requires more intelligence to follow the plot threads. The plotting is so intense that the film will require a second viewing. A less patient viewer may see the narrative structure of the film to be problematic as there are characters who enter the film and a fight scene ensues whilst the audience may be feeling bewildered by these scenes they pay off in other ways. This film feels like it is attempting to redefine a genre and is perhaps closer to OldBoy in that film is about the morality of its characters and it does push the audience to keep up while never distancing itself from its target audience.
I would recommend seeing this in the cinema as it does feel like there is something new and that we are in the middle of a new film genre that is emerging in which The Raid 2 could very well become a classic film in the martial arts/film noir genre.
Other films of the martial arts-noir genre also include
SPL with Donnie Yen
and Chan Wook Park’s Vengeance Trilogy.