Jakarta cop Rama finds himself right back in the thick of it as he is forced to enter the criminal underworld himself and climb through the hierarchy of competing gangs until it leads him to the corrupt politicians and police who are pulling the strings at the top of the heap. And so Rama begins a new odyssey of violence.
First things first and when I reviewed "The Raid" I said that whilst visually impressive I had grown out of that sort of movie which didn't have a strong storyline behind the action and blood shed. Well it seems they came up with a stronger storyline for "The Raid 2" and accompanied it by even more graphic violence and blood shed. The thing is that whilst I usually prefer story driven action for some reason I really struggled with the storyline and getting into it as what is seems to be is Rama going undercover and working for one criminal family where the son is tired off his father's dominance and seeks to stir things up with another crime family.
The thing is that whilst there is more storyline in this sequel it is again a movie which really comes down to the combo of action and seriously graphic violence. Now there is no denying when it comes to the action it is ultra stylish with fluid camera work which feels physically as impossible as the action and nice use of editing so that it enhances the action rather than destroying it. Plus the team behind the choreography of the action and the stuntmen often falling face first into the floor do a fantastic job as do the effects team to enhance it all.
But then there is, as the bbfc list it, the strong bloody violence and this is where I find myself conflicted. On one hand the level of the graphic violence, the seeing throats get slit and skulls ripped open with a claw hammer is seriously disturbing. Yet combine this escalating gore with the choreography and the artistic cinematography which somehow makes blood flowing from a skull on to a snow covered floor look beautiful and it is hard not to be impressed. Even just the attention grabbing creativity of some of the violence leaves you in awe let alone the puzzling nature of how they pulled a lot of this off.
What this all boils down to is that like with "The Raid" I have in truth out grown the sort of graphic violence which drives "The Raid 2". But at the same time it is impossible to watch this and not be left not only shocked by the level of the graphic violence but in how they achieved such elaborate and creative action sequences which seems to break the laws of physics not only when it comes to the action but also the fluid nature of the camera work.