The Raid 2 review

How do you follow up the most talked-about action flick of the past decade? For Welsh writer-director Gareth Evans the answer was simple – you dust off an old script you'd written several years ago about an undercover cop and rework it as a continuation in the adventures of rookie officer Rama (Iko Uwais).

The result is a crime film that trades the laser-focused thrills of its predecessor for a more sprawling tale of deep-cover police and rival gangs. It runs to 150 minutes, but the occasional lack of urgency is counterbalanced by the action sequences. Awesomely inventive and astonishingly violent, they really are bigger and better than anything the original film had on offer, and confirm The Raid 2 as one of those rare sequels that actually exceeds expectations.

Picture: This film punches and kicks its way onto Blu-ray with a striking AVC-encoded 2.40:1 1080p transfer. The use of ever-popular Red digital cameras results in a very uniform image, bursting with intricate details and swathes of rich colours.

That's not to say that the imagery is flawless. Contrast is a little flat in a couple of scenes, resulting in the type of faded blacks that often turn up in digital photography. While this only happens a few times and isn't a major issue, it does prevent the disc's Full HD encode from achieving perfection – as does the use of dinky GoPro Hero 3 cameras during a couple of the film's more frantic action moments.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: The Blu-ray's Indonesian DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack excels with its front soundstage presentation, with the martial arts scenes demonstrating just how wide, precise and impactful the track's L/C/R components are.

The downside to this is that the power and directionality inherent in the front of the mix makes the rather modest use of the rear speakers all the more obvious. There are a handful of moments that really kick the surround effects up a notch (Chapter 4's prison riot and Chapter 15's car chase are the best examples), but for the most part they favour far more discreet, atmospheric effects.

The disc also includes a DTS-HD MA 5.1-rendered English dub, which is just as bad as you'd expect.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: EntertainmentOne has gathered together a respectable set of bonus features. Director Gareth Evans provides a detailed solo commentary that covers all of the expected production details and offers up plenty of anecdotes. Supporting this are a trio of Making of… featurettes focusing on different aspects of the production – The Next Chapter: Shooting a Sequel (11 minutes), Ready for a Fight: On Location (13 minutes) and Violent Ballet: Behind the Choreography (19 minutes).

There's also a single 'Gang War' deleted scene (providing another five minutes of trigger-happy ultra-violence), plus a CineFamily Q&A with Gareth Edwards, Iko Uwais and Joe Trapanese (44 minutes) and a UK Exclusive: Fan Event Q&A (eight minutes) again featuring Evans and Uwais, but this time joined by actor/fight choreographer Yayan Ruhain.
Extras rating: 3.5/5

We say: Bigger and more brutal than its predecessor, this is one action sequel that really delivers the goods

The Raid 2, EntertainmentOne, Region B BD, £20 Approx