Oh Gareth Evans!… It must take a special kind of madness to cook up action sequences like these. Breathless, yet breathtaking. Unwatchable ( for all the bone breaking, throat slitting gore), yet unmissable ( for its sheer brilliance). I was flinching in my seat, yet couldn't take my eyes off it.
It’s like a symphony of action, with the star (Iko Uwais) and hundreds of other performers moving in perfect harmony, at the command of the grand conductor - Gareth. And its sheer, brutal music. A kind which not everyone can digest, but those who can, can’t get enough of!
Well, if you have seen Raid 1, you will be surprised by the fact that this movie has a plot! Yep, it is almost double the length of its predecessor. Also, it is bigger in design and execution. While the first one is a no frills, all thrills action orgasm in a building, this is more like old fashion foreplay with some high octane bang. It has action sequences in cars, trains, pubs, roads, jails but the biggest impact comes when Iko is in confined spaces, like toilets, kitchens and hallways.
The story is of a typical gangster movie, where the hero has to go undercover to find moles in the system. Iko sacrifices his personal life and infiltrates the mafia. The drama plays out in typical clichéd fashion, but when it comes to the action – it’s peerless! Be it the no-holds-barred brawl in the jail, or the mind-numblingly fast man-to-man combat in the end. It has to be seen to be believed. Yes, the plot makes the story move very slowly, but the action is worth waiting for. It’s almost as if Gareth wants to finger you until you say “Please”, and then hit all the right spots to make you say “Yess, Yess!”
While Iko, Cecep, Julie fight like a dream, it’s Gareth Evans (the director) who is the real hero of the film. He paces the film beautifully, orchestrating every action sequence with precision. The background score is electric and keeps the tension going. Also, the camerawork enhances the fast, brutal art of Silat (Indonesian Martial Art) many-folds.
Here’s to Gareth. He must remain in Indonesia and should keep directing such gems with a rare visceral impact. Hollywoodisation of this will be really sad. It will definitely lose its raw appeal. It’s a must watch for action lovers, but beware – this is not for the fainthearted. Buy your tickets now if you want to experience this action porn, full of grunts, fists, thrusts and more, on the big screen.