[UK] The Raid 2 Blu-ray Review

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He thought it was over. After fighting his way out of a building filled with gangsters and madmen, rookie Jakarta cop Rama thought he could resume a normal life. He couldn’t have been more wrong. His triumph attracted the attention of the criminal underworld, and with his family at risk, Rama has only one choice – to go undercover and begin a new odyssey of violence.

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‘The Raid 2’ is presented in a superb looking 1080p AVC 2.40:1 video transfer.

The first thing you notice about the video transfer is the grey, dull, dark tone that has been applied to the film, however all detail shines through. Even under the dull look nothing is lost, capturing every last little bit of detail. Close up facial details look great, capturing all the beads of sweat, stubble hair detail, clothing lines also look fantastic. Scenery detail such as aged wood, prison walls or the damp murky mud from the prison again looks superb. From time to time we do get a few glimpses of colours popping off the screen, such as some lush greenery or during the subway sequence, but especially when blood starts to flow from fighting or gun shots; but overall the transfer is very reserved in terms of colours. This does however suit the film’s style keeping it ‘gritty’. Skin tones appear natural and there didn’t seem to be any technical problems with the transfer. I couldn’t see any motion blur, no compression artefacts and very little noise (more so in the darker scenes).

The video presentation here captures the films look perfectly and is a great transfer that is bound to please fans out there.

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On the disc we are given two options, the first is an Indonesian DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 track, and the second is an English dub DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 track. For the purposes of the review I have opted for the original Indonesian track.

Right from the start with the film’s opening in the countryside, the surround encompasses you with the sound of wind swirling and the rustling of grass which right from the off creates a superb immersing experience. Once the action kicks in, this is when you feel the true force of the audio track. Every punch, kick, smack, blow, gun shot through to car crashes and the shattering of glass pound their way from your speakers to your ears sounding truly realistic. LFE is used to the max giving your sub a great workout, just adding great depth to the track. The overall presentation of the mix is simply superb, yes it’s loud but it never feels overwhelming. The score and music supports itself and balances perfect within the rest of the mix, most notably in the club scenes. Dialogue is delivered with great clarity, never being lost within the mix. English subtitles are also included and keep pace with the movie perfectly.

Overall an extremely impressive audio track that more than matches the movie and is a tour-de-force that is bound to please the audiophiles out there.

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‘The Raid 2’ comes with the following extras on the Blu-ray, and are all presented in HD unless specified.

* Audio Commentary with director Gareth Evans – A superb commentary that is well worth a listen. Extremely detailed and very thorough that will keep you glued throughout.
* Deleted Scene: Gang War (5 mins)
* The Next Chapter: Shooting A Sequel (11 mins) – This is a decent overview featurette that connects ‘The Raid’ and ‘The Raid 2’ together and looks at some of the making of the movie also, including the fight scenes and car chase.
* Ready For A Fight: On Location (13 mins) – A featurette looking at the locations used in the film along with some tips and tricks used.
* The Cinefamily Q&A with Gareth Evans, Iko Uwais & Joe Trapanese (44 mins) – A detailed discussion session that goes into a lot of detail of how ‘The Raid 2’ came to be (English subtitles are also included)
* Violent Ballet: Behind the Choreography (19 mins) – A detailed featurette looking into the film’s fight choreography and shooting it (with optional English subtitles)
* Fan Q&A with Gareth Evans, Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian (UK Exclusive, 9 mins) – A very candid brief Q&A filmed after a UK showing of ‘The Raid 2’. Not much else is added to what has already been covered but it is a nice addition to the UK Blu-ray

Needless to say a great set of extras to accompany strong AV for ‘The Raid 2’.

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The main thing I would assume people will watch this for, is for the violence and fighting. Action fans out there will not be disappointed! The action really doesn’t let up until the final frame of the movie and will keep you glued to your seat from start to finish. Everything ramps up to the final fight, with some superb fight scenes inbetween, which culminates in possibly one of the greatest on screen martial arts movie fights I have ever seen (and I like to think I’ve seen a lot). The martial arts movie fans out there will want to have ‘The Raid 2’ in their collection to accompany ‘The Raid’ (any martial arts movie fan in their right mind will already own ‘The Raid’, if not then why the hell not?!). The action and violence is brutal, relentless and when it gets going it never lets you go. The amount of blood is equals the first, if anything there is more but the actual choreography is simply sublime with easily some of the best put on to screen over the past few years.

I have seen a lot of people posting and saying that ‘The Raid 2’ is the best martial arts movie ever made, do I agree with this? No. It’s certainly one of the best, especially of more recent offerings but I will always advise my friends to check out some of the 80’s and 90’s Jackie Chan/Sammo Hung/Yuen Biao/Donnie Yen movies out there. If you want some recommendations, send me an email (matt@hidefninja.com) and I’ll be more than happy to reel off some movies well worth checking out for you in terms of quality fighting scenes.

As noted in my review for the first movie, ‘The Raid’, I make no bones about it… I loved it! When the sequel finally surfaced I was very excited but also slightly cautious that director Gareth Evans wasn’t going to be able to top what he had done in the first movie. Sitting down to watch ‘The Raid 2’, I was instantly hooked, the violence certainly notched it up a gear but my main problem with the movie was its running time. For me, ‘The Raid 2’ could’ve done with being 20-30 minutes shorter. Aside from the first and third act, I felt the middle dragged itself a little too much but that certainly didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the film. Needless to say, when things do get a bit quieter you can be assured that things aren’t too far away from firing up again and kicking into sixth gear. Action fans, you’re not going to be disappointed!

The Blu-ray release for ‘The Raid 2’ sports both fantastic video and audio presentations as well as a very healthy set of extra material that is sure to please everyone waiting to purchase the movie. Turn on, sit down and brace yourself!

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About the author

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER | Matt is a huge movie fan with a big passion for all the 80s cheesy Action movies. Anything Arnold Schwarzenegger related is an instant hit too! Also a UK Blu-ray reviewer for Hi-Def Ninja and UK Editorial Manager.