Film review: The Raid 2

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.

Undated Film Still Handout from The Raid 2. Pictured: Alex Abbad. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Entertainment One. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.
Undated Film Still Handout from The Raid 2. Pictured: Alex Abbad. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Entertainment One. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

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.

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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.

Undated Film Still Handout from The Raid 2. Pictured: Alex Abbad. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Entertainment One. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

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.