Edited by Solomon on 9/13/2015, 5:13 am
But what this movie especially features within its crime story is martial arts fights, and these are of the highest caliber. Fans of the fighting genre say so, and they are right. You can see this immediately. The director, Gareth Porter, films action scenes the way that they should be filmed, which is that you can see precisely what's happening. There is not a jumble of rapid camera movement and quick edits that simulate action and that occurs in many Hollywood movies. There is actual action, and it is extended, realistic and violent.
The fighting uses martial arts of sorts that are not that familiar, at least to someone like me who hasn't kept up with the fighting genre since Bruce Lee. One woman uses two hammers. Another man uses a baseball bat. Sticks are used. Lots of jabbing, twisting, and excellent sound effects to match and underscore the fighting scenes. Because of these scenes, the film runs 150 minutes.
Definitely recommended for anyone who appreciates this style of fighting. As for the crime story itself, it features complex rivalries. One needs a roadmap to follow them precisely. One can find it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Raid_2 They give rise to a car chase sequence that also is top-notch, unbelievable one might say.
The budget is listed at only $4.5 million! This means that Porter was able to bring in effects many times superior to Hollywood's at a fraction of the Hollywood costs, while maintaining enough acting power and charisma to maintain the film. The domestic gross was $2.6 million and the worldwide gross something like $6.6 million. Forbes counted it as a flop: "Sony Pictures Classics took The Raid 2 into wide release last weekend and it flopped. It was a likely financial loss that nonetheless counts as a win for art."