With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

THE RAID 2 available today on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
and Sony Pictures Classics presents
The Raid 2 (a.k.a. The Raid 2: Berandal)
Written & Directed By Gareth Huw Evans
Indonesia/USA, 2013, 150 minutes

The Raid 2, Gareth Evans's sequel to his 2011 hit The Raid: Redemption, becomes available today, Tuesday, July 8 on Blu-ray™, DVD & Digital HD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. This review is based on the Blu-ray version.

The film begins about two hours after the end of The Raid: Redemption (2011). Rama (Iko Uwais), one of three police survivors of the ill-fated assault on the original film's apartment building, meets with Bunawar (Cok Simbara), the head of a small anti-corruption taskforce, and gives him evidence provided by his brother. However, Bunawar insists that the evidence is insufficient to lead to a successful prosecution of those involved in police corruption. To get sufficient evidence, and more importantly to save his wife, child and himself, Rama goes deep undercover, using the name Yuda. In prison he saves the life of Uco (Arifin Putra), the only child of Bangun (Tio Pakusodewo), a local kingpin who divides the city's criminal activities with the Goto family from Japan. When he is released from prison after two years, Rama begins to work for Bangun's organization.

Director Gareth Evans has doubled down and upped the ante in this sequel and his bets have payed off. The Raid Redemption was a great movie; The Raid 2 manages to improve upon it in every regard. The story is much richer. The main characters are much more fully drawn, and the acting is both improved and more to the fore. There are also some terrific new characters, such as Hammer Girl (Julie Estelle) and Bat Boy (Very Tri Yulisman). The film is opened up to a variety of environments and the color palette is broadened. The editing is more complex. All of this without any sacrifice in the action sequences which, if anything, are even better than those in the original, no mean feat. As was the case in The Raid: Redemption, action choreagraphy was jointly handled by Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian. (Ruhian, who played Mad Dog in the original, is here cast as Prakoso, Bangun's chief muscle.)

Both the Blu-ray and DVD include an English dub of the film as well as the original Indonesian language version, which also includes some Japanese, English and Arabic.

Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Features Include:
• “Gang War” Deleted Scene ($;37)
• Featurettes:
- “Ready for a Fight: On Location” (12:59)
- “Violent Ballet: Behind the Choreography” (19:03)

Blu-ray & DVD Bonus Features Include:
• English Dub in addition to the original language version of the film
• Director Commentary with Gareth Huw Evans
• Featurettes:
- “The Next Chapter: Shooting a Sequel” (10:47)
- “Cinefamily Foundation Q&A with Gareth Huw Evans, Iko Uwais & Joe Trapanese” (44:09)

The Raid 2 is rated R for sequences of strong, bloody violence throughout, sexuality and language, and it most definitely earns the rating.

AsianCineFest Rating: 5 out of 4 stars. That's right, 5 out of 4, at least for the Blu-ray release. With its extra, exclusive bonus features, The Raid 2 on Blu-ray is beyond incredible. If you don't yet own a Blu-ray player, The Raid 2 on Blu-ray is reason enough to buy one.

However, if for any reason you're not going to get the Blu-ray version, buy the DVD or get the Digital HD version. The Raid 2 is most definitely one to own and to come back to for many repeat viewings.