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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.


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 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 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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on August 23, 2015
The kitchen scene is...damnnnnnn! If you have a weak heart, this movie is not for you. The adrenaline is non-stop and REAL. You feel the punches, kicks, slams, stabs, smashes, obliterations. These guys are not stunting or frontin'...they are certified and their skill takes the movie into a different universe. I thought the first Raid was off the hook, but they just blew the beginning away. The storyline is not original, but it's strong and not it's all pure...the action is not diluted by melodrama. Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman are religious in their technique which adds a high level of authenticity to the choreography. I would have loved to watch these guys in action on the big screen. Fantastic stuff!
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on August 4, 2015
And I thought they couldn't top the first movie, this is 1 Brutal Movie! But was fun to watch. Just don't let any young kids watch this or else risk a hospital run for your kids or neighbors kids because they wanted to reenact movie scenes.
This is a gangster - dirty cop - triad war - brutal fights movie, do not expect anything like a Jackie Chan movie.
Same cop from original movie must infiltrate a gang to stop the selling of drugs and to find out who are the dirty cops that are on the mobs payroll.
It takes a lot of bone breaking, face smashing, legs and arms snapping backwards, and chest crushing, if this was done in 3D, I would be in the hospital by now, in Intensive Care Unit.
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on June 6, 2015
If you enjoyed the first movie you have to see this one. It's a non stop action ride. The fights are much more meticulous than the first one. I liked all the differences in fighting styles compared to the first. The lead character finds a way to be even more badass than in the first movie. So many of the fights will keep you at the edge of your seat. Make sure to watch the first movie if you are interested though. The plot won't make a ton of sense without the first.
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on July 29, 2014
Hands down awesome FREAKING ACTION!!! I did not think they could follow up after Part one The Raid, but they did with serious martial arts and acting was top, you could feel the intensity and emotions from the main character and understand the stress level he had staying undercover. I would like to warn those that there is a pornographic scene that is just completely uncalled for and in-appropriate, I am quite befuddled as to why it was even added considering that this is an Indonesian movie with Muslim actors/actresses, why the director add that scene, so one star taking off for that. It is about a minute long, if you can skip over that scene, then the rest of the movie is well done! Looking forward to part 3 being made and released!
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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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