Director Gareth Evans apparently never heard that if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. The Raid: Redemption
redefined the martial arts genre two years ago, but once he had a real budget, Evans was determined to spend it. He pulls out all the stops for The Raid 2
, radically shifting from an orgy of close-quarter fight scenes in a ramshackle apartment building to a massive, multigenerational mob story spread all over Jakarta, Indonesia. Amazingly enough, this bold and bloody sequel is almost as satisfying as the original, due largely to the fact that it’s so inspired and so different. The fights aren’t quite as engulfing this time around, punctuating the storyline rather than taking the place of it. But Evans’ hand at navigating the deep narrative structure is just as strong as it was directing ridiculous combat, making this one of the most surprising and rewarding sequels in ages.