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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′ Deleted Scene and Clip: Blood and Guts

The Raid 2 deleted scene

The Raid was packed wall-to-wall with gory, glorious action, and The Raid 2 promises to up the ante even further. A new clip from the movie offers just a sample of the insanity we can look forward to, as Rama (Iko Uwais) tries to fight himself out of a car during a car chase.

But even with a running time of 150 minutes there were a few scenes that director Gareth Evans apparently just didn’t have room for. One The Raid 2 deleted scene, featuring a bloody shootout between rival gangs, has just hit the web. Watch both the scene that made it in and the one that didn’t after the jump.

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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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Jean Claude Van Damme in The Expendables 2

Whether you like family-friendly animated adventures or hard-R action thrillers, someone out there is trying to make a sequel for you. After the jump:

  • Kristen Bell would do Frozen 2 “in a heartbeat”
  • Sullivan Stapleton really wants there to be another 300
  • Jean Claude Van Damme would like to be in Expendables 4
  • The Raid 3 won’t get going “for a couple of years”
  • Fast & Furious 7 is heading to Abu Dhabi to shoot
  • Leigh Whannell doesn’t know anything about Saw 8
  • … but does have a few details to share about Insidious 3
  • Transformers 4 reveals a bunch of (human) character posters
  • The GNN staff goes wild in a deleted scene from Anchorman 2

Read More »

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 »

Mean Girls - Jingle Bell Rock

High school movie reunions are recurring theme in today’s Sequel Bits. Zac Efron and Lindsay Lohan tease High School Musical and Mean Girls reunions, respectively, while Kristen Bell discusses a potential Veronica Mars sequel. Also after the jump:

  • Ralph Fiennes hints at M’s future in Bond 24
  • Fifty Shades producer isn’t thinking sequel just yet
  • Producer gives a status update on Immortals 2
  • Agent 47 adds Thomas Kretschmann as the villain
  • The Raid 2 reveals a striking new poster

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‘The Raid 2′ Trailer

The Raid 2

The marketing campaign for Gareth EvansThe Raid 2 is off to a damn good start. The first teaser was light on plot but heavy on thrills, and the Indonesian trailer was a violent good time. Then there’s the fact that the first movie was pretty damn great, which really is the best advertisement of all for the sequel.

The new full-length trailer doesn’t disappoint, either. The follow-up picks back up with Iko Uwais‘ Rama, who’s now going undercover to protect his family and expose the bad guys. Naturally, this latest endeavor provides plentiful opportunities for both sides to kick, punch, shoot, stab, and beat the hell out of each other, in glorious fashion. Watch the video after the jump.

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The Raid 2 Berandal

Gareth EvansThe Raid: Redemption seemed to come out of nowhere in 2011, but it quickly found a following thanks to its intense, inventive, and shockingly entertaining action sequences. Its follow-up, The Raid 2: Redemption, doesn’t have the luxury of taking us by surprise, but based on the first trailer that shouldn’t be a problem at all. Check it out after the jump.

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