Top 365 Films – #075 – The Raid 2: Berandal (2014)

Top 365 Films - The Raid 2: BerandalDIRECTED BY: Gareth Evans

STARRING: Iko Uwais, Oka Antara, Arifin Putra,  Alex Abbad, Tio Pakusodewo, Donny Alamsyah, Julie Estelle, Cecrep Arif Rahman, Very Tri Yulisman, Cok Simbara, Ryuhei Matsuda, Kenichi Endo, Kazuki Kitamura, Cok Simbara, Roy Marten and Yayan Ruhian

BUDGET: $4.5m

EARNED (Worldwide): $6.6m

AWARDS: None

 

SYNOPSIS

Only a short time after the first raid, Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his police force.

 

Berandal takes place a few hours of the first Raid film, with Rama now finding himself in a tight situation of consequence for the actions he’s caused from the first film, with Dunawar giving him an olive branch of going undercover for him and work his way up in the criminal underworld to get evidence of corrupt politicians and police officials and if he does so, his family will be protected. Rama is put into prison to get close to a fellow inmate, Uco, who happens to be the son of crime boss Bangun, and from there things begin to spiral out of Rama’s, now under the identity of Yuda, control and he wonders whether he’ll actually be able to get out from his mission.

 

The Raid 2: Berandal is ambitious in scope and scale, especially coming with the fight choreography, where as the first film took place in a tower building, this time we go from a prison, to a nightclub, to a car chase/indoor car fight, warehouse to kitchen at a restaurant, I literally can’t remember anymore there’s just that many throughout this two and a half hour film. The initial fight scene in the prison toilets pretty much sets up for what to expect in this film in terms of the brutality and effect of every punch and kick and the scale of it in comparison to the first. While the original Raid film is preferred by some, I absolutely adore Berandal mainly due to the bigger scale, the bigger story and most definitely the bigger fight sequences that take place. Iko Uwais has a lot more acting wise to deal with here as Rama coming to grips with being undercover whilst also trying his best in particular moments to not lose sight of the man he is and go beyond the white and black line and does extremely well here, in my opinion.   Another actor that comes across well and given the same length of characterisation is Arifin Putra as Uco, a son of a crime boss that’s doing his best to please his father but yearns for more responsibility. The only bit of casting that could definitely confuse some people is Yayan Ruhian returning to this film but as a different character (he played Mad Dog in the first Raid film) and has a significant role in proceedings. Otherwise the general story was easy enough for me to follow throughout treating me like an idiot and it paced out the dialogue moments and fight sequences together.  A duo that will become iconic, probably one more so than the other is the duo of Hammer Girl and Batboy. Obviously Hammer Girl will be the more popular of the two, still quite possibly the most violent. As for the final fight seen? Think of a as a ballet performance, so well choreographed that it’s beautiful to watch, as well as violent, that you won’t witness anything like it, maybe never again. Every fight scene you will see from now on will be tame in comparison. of I could live five lifetimes I still won’t be able to learn the ability to do half the shit in this film.

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: Rama takes on the Assassin in the kitchen in the final act. Violent ballet at its finest.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Only a fool argues for the pride of a dead man.’ – Bangun

DID YOU KNOW?: All the punches and kicks to the body of the actors were real. Iko Uwais and the other fighters had to learn how to control their speed and strength so that it would look real on the camera. When they shot the fight scenes, shooting would have to halt Mid scene for about 20-30 minutes each time, for the make-up artist to create damage on their faces, etc, for continuity purposes.

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