Gareth Evan’s The Raid 2: Berandal a.k.a. The Raid: Retaliation starring Indonesian breakout action star Iko Uwais, is scheduled to be released in the US on March 28, 2014. The sequel to the surprise hit of 2012, The Raid: Redemption, will see Iko Uwais reprise his role as policeman, Rama. This time he goes undercover to infiltrate the ranks of a ruthless Jakarta crime syndicate in order to protect his family and to uncover the corruption in his own police force.
Gareth Evans, a Welshman by birth, discovered Indonesian martial artist Iko Uwais while the latter was working as a deliveryman for a phone company. Impressed by his silat skills, Evans cast him in his first acting role in Merantau, which won both the director and the actor rave reviews. But it was not until their second collaboration, The Raid: Redemption, that moviegoers and martial art lovers across the globe sat up and took notice.
The Raid: Redemption is your typical action movie; it wastes little time in exposition or back stories, instead plunging viewers straight into the action. Iko Uwais’ silat is not as fluidic nor as graceful as what we have come to expect from the wuxia greats like Yuen Woo Ping, Tsui Hark, Sammo Hung, Zhang Yimou, or even Ang Lee.
It instead bears more resemblance to Tony Jaa’s muay thai and Krav Maga, with its raw, visceral and utterly brutal chops and kicks. In the first film, Uwais takes down whole gang-members armed with different weapons and not for a moment does it feel as if it is scripted or too outlandish. The movie makes no pretenses about what it is serving the viewer, and that could be the reason for its fresh 85% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Raid 2: Berandal (“gangs” in Indonesian) teaser trailer is a masterclass, giving away very little of the story (looking at you, Transcendence) and still drumming up enough interest in the film. The Sony Pictures Classics and Stage 6 Films film also stars Alex Abbad, Julie Estelle, Tio Pakusadewo, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara, and Cecep A. Rahman. Japanese actors Ryuhei Matsuda, Kenichi Endo and Kazuki Kitamura are also joining the film.