As before, the giddily over-the-top action attains a hyper-real quality that stays just this side of believable thanks to a combo of sweeping handheld camera moves (by lensers Matt Flannery and Dimas Imam Subhono) and expertly chosen locations that turn Jakarta’s brothels, subways, restaurants, offices and highways into one sprawling, splattery urban playground. If the action choreography (handled by Evans, Uwais and Ruhian) tilts toward the usual tactic of having a bunch of bad guys line up and wait their turn rather than clobbering their opponent all at once — a tactic that works better in close quarters than in wide-open spaces — the stunt work happily remains too consistently, impossibly convincing to dull the pleasure in the moment. And once again, the director (who edited the film with Andi Novianto) proves a dab hand at keeping the action in near-continual motion without sacrificing visual clarity.
-From Justin Chang’s attached Variety review of The Raid 2: Berandal
Oh! That’s why The Raid 2: Berandal didn’t show up in Variety’s SXSW review column after the SXSW premiere: press showings were back in January! Whoops. Well, we’ve finally got a link to it, anyway. The below is a photo Gareth Evans tweeted. This is actually the less bloody one:
Check out Justin Chang’s review from Variety by clicking on “View original”. This time around, sounds like a little more of a slow burn, but we’re still there if it plays in the theater. Especially for bad-ass “Hammer Girl”…