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Editor’s Note: The following review was originally published on January 22nd 2014 after the film’s premiere at Sundance. The review is being republished as the film is being released in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, and expanding in the coming weeks.

In the case of an action movie like The Raid, I can’t fault anyone who wants to set plot aside and simply enjoy the action. With The Raid 2, that approach becomes impossible. Writer/director/editor Gareth Evans puts lofty goals fully on display in this sequel, which expands in every direction relative to the original. The action is bigger and more diverse, the story is more complex, and more emphasis is placed on dramatic performances even as the film’s physical demands intensify. Where the first was a tightly controlled action film that jettisoned all but the skeleton of a plot, this sequel is a huge crime tale featuring several criminal organizations competing for power, the police trying to catch up, and one young cop caught squarely in the middle.

Premiering the film at Sundance in a prime slot is a strange experiment of sorts. The Raid 2 isn’t a thing for general audiences; this is a hardcore genre movie. The swirl of Evans’ dramatic ambitions are punctuated by ultra-violent choreography, like a machine-gun snare drum tracked into a piece of classical music. It’s a tricky balancing act. The Raid 2 navigates the test awkwardly at best, because the story never connects as solidly as do the film’s thousand punches. Read More »

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The Raid 2 trailer

The theme of the newest The Raid 2 trailer might well be that old schoolyard maxim: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” There’s no dialogue, just a percussive score, lots of shouts, and the glorious sounds of breaking glass and crunching bone. Check it out after the jump.

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The Raid 2 prison

This Raid 2 featurette is 10 minutes of awesome. Just like Gareth Evans‘ action epic is longer than average (148 minutes), this behind the scenes video mimics that size and scope. It has a nice chunk of footage and insight into how the filmmaking team made one of the best action movies, well, ever.

Also, the featurette gives a better idea of the plot of The Raid 2, which involves Rama (Iko Uwais) going undercover to infiltrate the ultimate bad guys behind the first Raid. It’s a must watch for anyone anticipating one of the most badass, jaw-dropping, violent and exciting action films you’ll ever see. Check out The Raid 2 featurette below. Read More »

The Raid 2 kitchen

The Raid 2 is one of the best action films ever made. If you live in Los Angeles, you can see it for free next week. /Film is teaming up with Collider to give away 15 pairs of tickets to a special advanced screening of the film March 13 in Hollywood. As a bonus, writer/director Gareth Evans will follow the presentation of his bad-ass action epic with a Q&A. Below, find out how you can get tickets. Read More »

Ghostbusters

The passing of Harold Ramis once again shined a well-deserved light on his absolutely remarkable career. Yet, despite the innumerable classics Ramis wrote and directed, he’s best known for playing Egon, one of the three Ghostbusters. (He also co-wrote those films.) His passing brought up questions about the long rumored Ghostbusters III, which Ramis had signed off on and was scheduled to appear in. Sources close to Sony Pictures, where the film is in development, report the film is still coming, and will only need minor script changes to account for Ramis’ passing. Read More »

‘The Raid 2: Berandal’ Mosaic Poster

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If you’re waiting to see more of The Raid 2: Berandal before it opens in March, the new mosaic poster for the film, designed for the film’s Indonesian release, has a lot of info pulled together into one image. Check out the full one-sheet below. Read More »

Infinitely Polar Bear

Briefly: The 2014 Sundance Film Festival is over and done but the we’re still seeing the effects of the fest on film distribution. Three of the festival’s more popular films were just picked up for future release. The first is Infinitely Polar Bear, the Bad Robot-produced dramedy starring Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana. Sony Pictures Classics acquired the rights. No release window has been planned yet but the movie is wonderful. Read our review here.

Also now headed to a theater near you is Ping Pong Summer, Michael Tully‘s ode to the Eighties, which has been picked up by Gravitas Ventures and Millennium Entertainment. They’re planning a theatrical run early this Summer. Read our review here.

And finally, Timo Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel‘s Japanese action film Killers, produced by Gareth Evans, was picked up by Well Go USA Entertainment. It’ll be out in the fourth quarter of this year. Thanks to The Wrap.

The Raid 2

The world premiere screening of Gareth Evans‘ highly anticipated sequel, The Raid 2, just finished at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and the response was electric. We’ll have a review and video blog soon but, for now, we’ve compiled a bunch of tweets from movie bloggers and filmmakers alike to give you an idea of what you can expect when the film hits on March 28. Here are two to get the ball rolling:

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