In 2011, Welsh-born writer-director Gareth Evans gave Hollywood action movies a swift kick between the legs with his dazzling assault on the senses, The Raid.
The film invited Indonesia’s celebrated fight choreographers and stunt performers to create some of the most jaw-dropping skirmishes ever committed to celluloid.
The result was a 90-minute orgy of balletic martial arts moves, fractured limbs and gratuitous blood-letting, and this explosive sequel unfolds in the immediate aftermath.
Fans of Evans’s hyperkinetic direction – cameras whirling around the cast at dizzying speed as they perform death-defying acrobatics – will be whooping with glee at the miasma of on-screen destruction and devastation.
A protracted fight-sequence, performed inside a car during a high-speed chase, is extraordinary. However, while the first film hung all of its brilliantly executed stunts on a gossamer-thin narrative, the sequel goes to the other extreme and punctuates its hack and slash with a convoluted tale of corruption that bloats the running time to an uncomfortable two-and-a-half hours.