The Raid 2 ★★★★
Premiere 10.45pm-1.40am Film4
To be brutally honest – and being brutal seems apt here – insanely excessive Indonesian beat-’em-up The Raid is a purer experience than this inevitable 2013 sequel. Both are directed with bravura control by Welshman Gareth Evans and, in the original, an elite police unit raids a building and methodically eliminates the underworld henchmen secreted inside. The sequel has almost four times the budget and five times the plot, which ironically slows down the action in places. But there’s little arguing with the relentlessly violent action, cleverly, balletically staged and almost comically tactile. Memorable fights take place in a muddy prison yard, a warehouse, a subway train and a nightclub kitchen. Evans, then based in Jakarta, has moved back to Wales and his next film, Apostle, will star Dan Stevens and Michael Sheen. He’s earned his stripes.
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