The Raid 2

It is possible that you saw 2012's The Raid: Redemption and were left feeling meh by this Indonesian explosion of martial-arts mayhem. Of course, if you don't get jazzed by The Raid and its sequel, The Raid 2, we are no longer talking. I mean, people, the visceral fighting heat that Welsh-born, Jakarta-based director Gareth Evans packs into these films singes the screen.

Here's a taste of the plot: Pencak silat master Iko Uwais is back as police officer Rama, now going undercover to infiltrate a Jakarta crime family run by boss Bangun (Tio Pakusadewo). It ain't easy. Rama gets himself thrown into prison to buddy up with fellow inmate Uco (Arifin Putra), the studly, sadistic son of Bangun. After release, Rama is cautiously welcomed into Uco's thug life.

If this sounds like the Hong Kong classic Infernal Affairs (Americanized by Martin Scorsese as The Departed), well, who's complaining? The Raid 2 lets its warriors rip for two and a half thrilling hours. With the precision of dance and the punch of a KO champion, Evans keeps the action coming like nobody's business. The wow factor is off the charts.

From The Archives Issue 1206: April 10, 2014
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