(US/Indonesia - 2014)
Written and directed by Gareth Evans. Cast: Iko Uwais, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara, Tio Pakusadewo, Alex Abbad, Kenichi Endo, Ryuhei Matsuda, Julie Estelle, Very Tri Yulisman, Yayan Ruhian, Cecip Arif Rahman, Cok Simbara, Kazuki Kitamura, Roy Marten, Fikha Effendi. (R, 150 mins)
Welsh-born, Indonesia-based writer/director Gareth Evans caught the attention of martial arts fans with his 2009 cult film MERENTAU, his first teaming with Pencak Silat champion Iko Uwais. The duo paired again for their global breakthrough, 2011's THE RAID, a riveting actioner and an instant classic in the "high-rise mayhem" genre, with Uwais as a rookie cop forced to fight his way floor-by-floor through a Jakarta drug lord's apartment-building stronghold. THE RAID earned acclaim worldwide and was released in the US in 2012 as THE RAID: REDEMPTION (even though no one calls it that), becoming a rare subtitled foreign film to break out of the art-house shackles and open wide, and while it didn't exactly tear it up at the box office, it grossed a relatively respectable $4 million for Sony Pictures Classics on its way to becoming a big hit on DVD and Blu-ray. Evans and Uwais are back with THE RAID 2, and let it be said here and now: they are not fucking around.