Raid 2, The (Blu-ray) (2014)
Audio Commentary-Writer / director Gareth Evans
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-The Next Chapter: Shooting a Sequel (10:46)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Ready for a Fight: On Location (12:59)
Deleted Scenes-Gang War (4:37)
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Cinefamily Q&A: Gareth Evans, Iko Uwais, Joseph Trapanese
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-A Violent Ballet: Behind the Choreography (19:02)
Trailer-Eastern Eye trailers x 4
|Year Of Production||2014|
|Running Time||149:50 (Case: 148)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Gareth Evans|
Very Tri Yulisman
Cecep Arif Rahman
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
Indonesian DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Audio Commentary Linear PCM 48/16 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† In The Raid a Police SWAT team including Rama (Iko Uwais) engaged in a massive battle in an abandoned apartment block in the slums of Jakarta with the members of a drug syndicate, causing many casualties on both sides and exposing corruption within the ranks of the police. But it seems that both the criminals and corrupt police caught in the raid were small fry within the ranks of organised crime, so reluctantly Rama agrees to go underground and infiltrate the gang led by ageing Indonesian crime boss Bangun (Tio Pakusodewp) to expose high level police corruption. For ten years Jakarta has been divided, in an uneasy truce, between the group led by Bangun and a Japanese group led by Hideaki Goto (Kenichi Endo), but now a breakaway group led by Bejo (Alex Abbad) is seeking to carve out a territory of their own, while Bangunís son Uco (Arifin Putra) has ambitions to take over his fatherís business.
†††† Uco is currently in prison. Rama contrives to be sent to goal where he saves Uco from an attack by his enemies. Two years later Rama is released; Uco introduces him to his father and Rama starts to work for Bangunís gang. But Uco is tired of having his ambitions thwarted by his father and joins with Bejo to manipulate a war between his father and the Japanese. Carnage ensues, with Rama caught squarely in the middle.
†††† I have been following with interest the partnership between Welsh writer / director Gareth Evans and Indonesian action star Iko Uwais, having reviewed their previous collaborations Merantau here, and The Raid here. Both were intense, exciting action films due in no small part to the fighting skills of Uwais utilising the Indonesian martial art called Silat. Both those films ran approximately 100 minutes of adrenaline fuelled action: at almost 150 minutes The Raid 2 is half as long again as the earlier films, which is not necessarily all a good thing.
†††† Evans has stated that the longer running time of The Raid 2 was needed to provide more character development; there are indeed more characters in this film although in reality no-one has much of a character arc. The plot of The Raid 2 is also more complex than The Raid, which is not hard given that that film was 90 minutes of non-stop action after the first 10 minutes of set up! The fights of The Raid 2 are certainly more varied than The Raid, but a number of them feel superfluous as they do not feature the principal characters and do not really advance the plot. The best example is an extended sequence in a nightclub featuring Yayan Ruhian; this is an exciting and energetic fight for sure, but I think it is in this film really only to show off the fighting skills of Ruhian, who was the filmís martial arts coordinator along with Iko Uwais. Other lengthy fights involving a hammer welding Julie Estelle or the baseball bat man (Very Tri Yulisman) do add variety, but also add to the running time without advancing the plot.
†††† That said, The Raid 2 does feature some fabulous, dynamic fight sequences done for real where the moves, kicks, punches and blocks are shown clearly without the cheat of in-close slick, quick intercutting that passes for action in many Western films these days. There are fights in confined spaces, in a car, in rooms and corridors that are intense, brutal and very bloody. When two Silat masters face off, such as the fight between Iko Uwais and Cecep Arif Rahman the action is reminiscent of fights in the heyday of Hong Kong martial arts cinema, albeit more bloody.
†††† Despite its extra length The Raid 2 is an extraordinary action film with fight sequences that are intense, brutal, bloody, using genuine martial artists to create testosterone fuelled mayhem.
††††The Raid 2 is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
†††† Other than a bit of softness this is a nice looking print. A number of sequences in the gaol have a dark colour palate but other scenes, such as in the club, feature vivid reds. Outdoor scenes have natural colours. There are occasional noticeable changes in the brightness level, but contrast is consistent. The fight sequences are excellent; there is no motion blur and the moves of the fighters are clear and crisp. Blacks and shadow detail are very good.
†††† Marks are not evident.
†††† English subtitles are provided in a clear, although rather small, yellow font which contained no obvious spelling or grammatical errors.
†††† Audio is an Indonesian DTS-MA HD 5.1 plus an English commentary, LPCM 2.0 at 1536 Kbps.
†††† The music for the original Indonesian release of The Raid was by Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal Tamin, who also scored Merantau. For the international version, a new score was composed by Mike Shinoda and Joseph Trapanese. For The Raid 2 the score is a collaboration between Joseph Trapanese, Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal Tamin, the latter two also doing the filmís sound design.
†††† The dialogue is clear, centred and easy to hear. The surrounds and rears are constantly in use for music, ambient sound such as rain and wind, car engines during the chase, gunshots, punches, kicks, grunts and bodies crashing into walls, glass shattering. The subwoofer provides good support to the music, especially during the club scene, as well as thumps and crashes.
†††† As noted above, the score is by Joseph Trapanese, Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal Tamin; it is very good, and adds Handel and Five Inch Nails for extra variety!
†††† Lip synchronisation was fine.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† Editor / writer / director Gareth Evans provides an engaging and informative commentary. He talks throughout the 150 minutes, covering topics such as his intentions, influences, casting, locations, the score, character and plot points, the fight scenes, editing and where sequences were deleted. An excellent commentary, well worth the time to listen.
†††† More an extended EPK with film footage, behind the scenes footage and interviews. Director Gareth Evans explains the plot, martial arts choreographer Yayan Ruhian talks about the fights, car stunts coordinator Bruce Law about the car chase and directors of photography Dimas Iman Subhono and Matt Flannery about filming this sequel. Contributions also from cast members Iko Uwais, Arifin Putra, Kenichi Endo, Oka Antara and Julie Estelle.
†††† Another extended EPK with film footage, behind the scenes footage and interviews. Covers locations, including the prison location, stunts, weapons, makeup, editing on location and the camera and lighting. Contributions from Gareth Evans, the producers, make up and special effects coordinator, the location manager, both cinematographers, composers and sound designers Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal and composer Joseph Trapanese.
††††Bloody shootout between two gangs in an abandoned building. Not really related to the plot.
†††† Gareth Evans, Iko Uwais and Joseph Trapanese sit on stage after a showing of the film. Given Iko Uwaisí limited English Gareth Evans does most of the talking with Joseph Trapanese adding some comments about the music. Topics include the scripting, preparing for and shooting some of the action scenes especially the car chase sequence, CG versus practical effects, injuries, mishaps and cultural differences. Some of the information is also in the commentary but this is informative and amusing and well worth a look.
††††An interesting piece that covers the action influences on the film including the Silat fighting style, intentions, preparation, rehearsals and on set footage. Extensive comments by Gareth Evans, Aram Tertzakian (producer) and Iko Uwais.
†††† Trailers for The Raid 2, The Protector 2, Drug War, Unbeatable and Beyond Outrage.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
†††† The Region A US Blu-ray has the same extras and just adds English and Spanish duds and Spanish subtitles. Buy local, unless you really donít like reading subtitles.
†††† The Raid 2 is an epic action film, with sequences that are intense, brutal and bloody. Iko Uwais continues to build his reputation as a fabulous action star. Fans of Merantau and The Raid, or anyone just looking for some exciting, genuine martial arts action, should not hesitate to see The Raid 2. You will not be disappointed.
†††† The video is good, the audio great. The extras are varied and interesting and are the same as available in Region A, resulting in an excellent Blu-ray package.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|