There are very few movies that I’m looking forward to quite as much as The Raid 2: Berandal. Actually, scratch that. There are no movies I’m looking forward to as much as Gareth Evans’ sequel to his 2011 bone crunch-a-thon, The Raid: Redemption. We’ve already seen a couple of trailers for the film, as well as hearing how it just exploded heads with its awesomeness at Sundance, and now we get a few more bloody and muddy images to keep the buzz going.
He thought it was over. After fighting his way out of a building filled with gangsters and madmen – a fight that left the bodies of police and gangsters alike piled in the halls – rookie Jakarta cop Rama thought it was done and he could resume a normal life. He couldn’t have been more wrong.
Formidable though they may have been, Rama’s opponents in that fateful building were nothing more than small fish swimming in a pond much larger than he ever dreamed possible. And his triumph over the small fry has attracted the attention of the predators farther up the food chain. His family at risk, Rama has only one choice to protect his infant son and wife: He must go undercover to enter the criminal underworld himself and climb through the hierarchy of competing forces until it leads him to the corrupt politicians and police pulling the strings at the top of the heap.
And so Rama begins a new odyssey of violence, a journey that will force him to set aside his own life and history and take on a new identity as the violent offender “Yuda.” In prison he must gain the confidence of Uco – the son of a prominent gang kingpin – to join the gang himself, laying his own life on the line in a desperate all-or-nothing gambit to bring the whole rotten enterprise to an end.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you, that is indeed Yayan Ruhian in the first pic up top. You may recall that Ruhian actually played Mad Dog in the first film, one of the film’s most vicious baddies, but that his character met with a rather violent case of death. So what gives? Does The Raid 2: Berandal have machete wielding zombies or something? Nope, it turns out that Evans just really loves working Ruhian, and actually specifically wrote this role – Prakoso, one of the main bad guy’s top assassins – for him way before The Raid had ever seen the light of day.
“I won’t do a martial arts film without Yayan being in it. I wrote Berandal before The Raid even existed. My intention was always to have Yayan play Prakoso, and it never entered my mind that he couldn’t do it. The great thing about Yayan is his ability to transform and shift. We straggled his hair, made it look grey, gave him a beard but people are always going to see him as Mad Dog. When you see his performance, it’s so different.”
Based on some of the violent insanity that Ruhian pulled off in the first film, I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes this time, now that they’ve decided to give him a honking big knife to do his dirty work with.
Also, what the hell kind of sickle blade of death thing is Iko Uwais fighting with there. That looks like a nasty piece of work.
The Raid 2: Berandal will be slicing and dicing its way into cinemas on April 11, 2014.
Last Updated: February 26, 2014