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on May 19, 2014
This is a review for the movie itself, (Blu-Ray review is at the end)

WARNING: After watching this movie, you will find that every other action movie you watch will be extremely boring in comparison. If you liked The Raid 1, then this one is basically 5x more intense! It features one of the greatest fight scenes I've ever seen in my life (I was literally shaking and on the edge of my seat while watching it), the greatest car chase scene I've ever witnessed, and probably some of the most violent and cringe-worthy moments all nicely packaged within this one great movie.

If you are a fan of Tarantino films, this film has many aspects that are very Tarantino-esque, especially when all hell breaks loose midway through the movie. I just hope the Blu-Ray has many extras as this is one of my most favorite films of all time.

NOTE: You DO NOT "need" to watch The Raid 1, to follow the storyline. This movie holds up perfectly well by itself.

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Blu Ray Review:
I thought the extras were nice but left more to be desired. I was hoping there would be more deleted scenes, but oh well. I don't mind the movie being 1-2 seconds shorter than the original when all that was stated being cut were literally frames from the gory kills. If at a later date, a collector's or special edition is released, I will gladly buy that one as well :) .. Also, believe it or not, F.Y.E. at my local mall has the blu-ray on sale for $17.99 as of this posting (cheapest i've seen anywhere) but it was sold out when I visited (which was release day), Best Buy & Amazon has it at $19.99, and Walmart has it for $22.. Hope this is helpful for you guys.
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on July 27, 2014
I watched this right after watching the Raid: Redemption. I was amazed at how the violence escalated even more and that this film is now one of my all time favorites. They don't make action films like this in America and those are watered down and soft compared to how these are made. Loaded with bullets, hand to hand combat, car chases and executions make for a very action packed and bloody film. If you are a fan of hardcore action films that take no prisoners than this one is for you!!
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on July 7, 2014
There has been quite an uproar regarding the fact that the U.S. is getting the R rated theatrical cut of "The Raid 2" rather than the unrated director's cut on blu-ray as some cuts had to be made to avoid an NC-17 rating by the MPAA. While normally I would also be protesting this decision by Sony, it has to be noted that the director & writer Gareth Evans stated he only had to cut a small amount of frames totalling only 4 seconds of footage. People who have seen both cuts have said that the trims are not noticeable at all. I'm not sure why Sony decided against an unrated cut but if something like 2 minutes had been cut out of the film instead, I would be furious. Considering the director was worried that the MPAA would have a heart attack watching the movie and butcher it, only 4 seconds of trims for the R rating should be considered a victory for the filmmakers. However, I would like to ask the MPAA how only 4 seconds of trims is the difference between an R rating and a NC-17 but whatever.....regardless, this is the most violent R rated film to date.

As for the the film itself, much like the original, The Raid 2 is an action fan's wet dream. Brutal, epic and jaw droppingly violent, it is that rare sequel that expands on but also improves on the original. Everything in this film is bigger and at 2 hours 30 minutes, it somehow manages to never drag and keeps escalating in terms of the action set pieces. The acting is rock solid and this film much like the original makes almost every other action film of the last decade look positively anemic and G rated by comparison. It's truly a pure shot of cinematic adrenaline!
The blu-ray is loaded with all kinds of cool extras and the picture and audio quality is off the charts. Like I mentioned, don't let the lack of an unrated cut keep you from watching this incredible action film!
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on July 7, 2014
This is a fantastic sequel to one of the coolest and bloodiest boldest action movies of recent years, the raid blew us away with its amazing hyper active fast paced fighting and good bloody gory carnage, the raid 2 does it again on higher level, its 150 minute running time swoops by with ease and great pace as the sequel plays out perfect with a better deeper story and much, much more amazing fighting and the bloodiest goriest action ever! The fight scenes in this are incredibly realistic and super fast, bone crunching and violent as hell, there is some incredible fights with guns, baseball bats, hammers, knives, machetes, all incredible painful and gory but beautifully done at the same time, the effects are top notch too, the fight scene towards the end of the film in the kitchen is one of the most amazing fights ever seen and is such a stand out moment in the film, there is a fantastically shot car chase action scene too which is clipped together incredibly well with great camera shots, its an amazing film overall and there's nothing bad to say, if this is your type of movie then its a total must see, easily one of the best films of the year and one of the best action movies for many years, believe the hype it raises the bar for what action in movies can be like if done by such quality filmmakers as these
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on July 22, 2014
Much better than the first...And that says alot. 2 and a half hours of non stop action. Probably be a decade before we see anything like it again. May be the best fighting film of all time.
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on June 27, 2014
I see a lot of people throwing fits about this being a "censored" R-rated version. As is, this movie is brutally intense. I don't think you'll miss whatever the "unrated" version may have. We purchased the Amazon Instant Video (HD) version of this picture and found it to be the best action film in years, if not all time. I saw "The Raid" in theaters and could not tear my eyes off of the brutal tooth and nails fighting as opposed to the wire fighting, almost frail martial arts films you normally see.

There is no wire dancing, there is no landing half a million punches on an opponent and them seeming unphased, there are no "love-taps." The characters in these movies are trying to kill one another, not prance around the screen to draw out a fight. Quite a few shots to the throat in Rama's first fight scene in this movie. I dare say "The Raid 2" is bigger and better than the original. While not as refreshing, it follows the intense formula of the first movie, throws a bigger budget, more expansive sets and actual character development into the mix.

Don't worry about those who are complaining about the lack of an Unrated version coming to the states. The unrated version may have a few extra bells and whistles but if you are boycotting this movie because of it's "R" rating you are doing yourself and the film a disservice. The final fight scene alone is worth the $15.00 instant video fee, let alone the whole movie. Do yourself a favor and see this movie.
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on June 26, 2014
Just to let people know: Read the Blu-ray review on highdefdigest(dot)com - the director of the movie himself says that he only had to cut a few frames (!!!!) to please the MPAA. So in the end 1-2 seconds are missing in this cut which no one will notice. If you like the movie, don't let that stop you from getting it on blu-ray! I honestly think, that there won't be an unrated cut in the States since it is not worth the effort - it's just a few seconds and that's it
55 comments24 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 27, 2015
In the eight years since I became a self-styled analyst of martial arts movies, I have watched and reviewed more karate and kickboxing flicks than many poor people will ever see in their lifetime. In addition to catching up on decades of spin kicks, I have kept fairly current on modern fare, delighting at seeing new innovators from around the world strive for creative leadership of the hand-to-hand action realm. Director Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais secured that title so soundly in 2011 with their benchmark picture The Raid: Redemption that I thought it would be some time before anyone even approached their effort, so imagine my surprise when they not only matched it with the sequel in just a few years, but actually topped it. I had not seen the movie before tonight, and as I write, I am so drained by the high instilled by my experience that this review will probably need to be written in at least two sittings. I used to think I had seen the best of what there is to see, but “The Raid 2” has shattered that notion and humbled me. I’ve been rocked – not only by killer action scenes, but by a movie so roundly excellent that, without hyperbole, I am at a loss to imagine how any other martial arts feature will top it.

The story: Immediately following the raid on the apartment building, Rama (Uwais) is coerced to go undercover and expose police corruption in the dealings of the fiercest crime conglomerates of Jakarta.

Where to start? Well, it might be best to point out the major way “The Raid 2” differs from its predecessor: the complexity of the story. “The Raid” was a fairly simple tale whose plot probably took Gareth Evans ten minutes to write out during lunch, but the first thing that the sequel does within its opening minutes is make it clear that its premise is going to be a very intricate business. Deeply layered characterizations, dynamic networks of relationships, and plot-veering twists are the norm of a screenplay so thrilling that the snobs among us will wonder why it was wasted on a “kung fu movie.” The answer is, of course, that Evans is demonstrating just how deep his talent for action filmmaking runs. I don’t like to fawn too much, but the work that Evans did here is a transcendent, bar-raising effort that catapults him to the top ranks of creative talent in any country’s film industry. His penchant for writing intriguing characters is at the cult level – never failing to nudge them over the top - while his ability to craft suspense through them is Oscar-worthy. Overall, the style of this feature feels more like Coppola than Tarantino, more Christopher Nolan than Prachya Pinkaew, and the film’s ability to justifiably take itself more seriously makes for more memorable viewing.

The brutal, innovative fight scenes of the first movie set a new standard for what martial arts stars must strive for, and the choreographers of the sequel met their own challenge determinedly. Not only does “The Raid 2” feature about four times as many full-length fights as its predecessor, it does them better. Iko Uwais is an absolute machine of the fighting arts, and he’s both complemented and challenged by an exclusive set of fighting costars and a fearless stunt crew. Yayan “Mad Dog” Ruhian returns in a juicy fighting role, and he’s joined by specialist talents like Cecep Rahman, Julie Estelle, and Very Yulisman – names which may not mean anything to you now, but who may join your list of favorites if you take the time to identify them. Together, they and many others craft relentlessly furious, inventive, and gory brawls that are bound to contain at least a couple new personal favorites for anyone watching. The long shots and gamely editing highlight more weapons-based brutality than any slasher movie, with Iko & Co. absolutely on fire with creative choreography in a variety of new settings. I was a little disappointed by the deficiency of one-on-one matches – or anything other than fights wherein one performer takes on at least a half-dozen opponents – but when these include the choreographic miracle of Iko fighting *fifteen* attackers in a toilet stall, I could forgive it.

The length of the movie and the fact that it takes its time building suspense may turn off viewers who like their action flicks a little snappier, but seeing as the action nevertheless comes frequently and in generous portions, I personally had no time to be bored.

While the original film was often described as the best martial arts movie ever, I believe the sequel has greater claim to that title. I have seen films whose fight scenes I collectively like better and movies whose story I found more appealing, but when considering the strength of the movie’s writing, acting, and production values as a cumulative package in addition its highlighted action content, “The Raid 2” stands above almost all others. Modern Hong Kong fare looks fancy and fragile next to this, Isaac Florentine’s work seems ironic, and even Thailand’s stars are running to catch up to Gareth and his team. Seagal and Van Damme look like arthritic old dogs in comparison to Uwais and his costars. The movie is a kick in the pants to the film world at large as to how to craft quality thrills, and martial arts fans around the world have ample reason to celebrate. See this.
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on July 15, 2014
A thrill ride that never stops. The many battle sequences are all expertly choreographed and quite astonishing. But it's much more than a marshall arts film. It has a complex plot and true character development. I've never enjoyed martial arts movies until I saw this film. This is a must see.
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on July 7, 2014
First off, some background. Read all the internet hype on the first Raid. Little plot, balls to the wall action. Loved the trailer. Don't get me wrong, I love a good story, but got it out of the Redbox with zero expectations. I was blown away. Nitpickers can nitpick away, but it was a solid, tight 90 minutes of action that gave me more plot than expected. I bought it on Blu-Ray within the week just for a friend to watch it.

I was immediately hooked. I hadn't been this excited since discovering the films of John Woo in high school. I was suddenly a hooked fanboy, a feeling I hadn't had since almost every asian director came to America and the films were lackluster. So that set the bar high knowing that Raid 2 was in production.

All the buzz, the hype. It's 2 1/2 hours long? I'm the type of movie goer who will sit in the theater as long as the director can tell me an interesting story. Most 2+ hour films are wanna be epics that could easily shave 45 min off the running time. Then the early buzz...the clips...the deleted gang war scene. Thats what they cut out of the film? That scene is better than most action scenes I've seen in decades.

Was this going to live up to my own hype? Tried hard to not get too worked up and prepared for disappointment...it happens.

This film blew me away, and Gareth Evans should be an action director for the ages. It was 2 1/2 hours. I wanted more. A large scale sprawling crime saga reminicent of Heat or The Dark Knight, but with the showcase of Pecak Silat at the core.

Again, the nitpickers are there. Mostly about a few unfleshed out characters, but to me it didn't matter. Cinematography, choreography, editing? This film was a thrilling spectacle at all times, especially to a former film student with a love of action films.

I saw this film with my friend and we will randomly say how solid it was. I cannot wait until it arrives tomorrow.
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