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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

The Raid 2 movie rating: red light

The Raid 2 red light Iko Uwais Cecep Arif Rahman

Arthouse martial-arts action that’s incredibly dull even when it’s being pornographic about its extreme bloody violence, and doesn’t even bother with the nominally original one-location conceit of the first film.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): hated the first film

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

(My Ratings posts are a quick way for me to share my reaction to a film. This post will be updated if/when I ever write a review. Feel free to discuss the movie in depth in the comments section.)


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Raid 2 (2014)
US/Can release: Mar 28 2014
UK/Ire release: Apr 11 2014

MPAA: rated R for sequences of strong bloody violence throughout, sexuality and language
BBFC: rated 18 (strong bloody violence, gore)

viewed in 2D
viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, you might want to reconsider.

  • Aaron Jones

    It was the long, lugubrious crime story that had me yawning. I did find the fighting and martial arts amazing.

  • David

    I’ll just wait until the fight scenes are posted on Youtube.

  • cider

    Really? This is very far from an “arthouse” film, but I guess the fact it’s Indonesian makes it arthouse to this reviewer. I read another review calling The Raid 2 “the “Godfather” of martial arts movies”, and he was spot on. It is the single best martial arts movie I’ve ever seen, and one of the best action films made this past decade. This “review” is ludicrous.

  • Really.

    That other critic is clearly more geared to your tastes.

  • ♫ Khusuke

    No, please don’t! I urge you to watch the whole movie, it’s nothing short of a masterpiece.

  • ♫ Khusuke

    Yep, it definitely is one of the best martial arts movies, ever.
    Biased reviewer, won’t read anything of hers ever again haha.

  • I’m heartbroken.

  • Lol

    Silly woman. How did you make it on to the Rotten Tomato meter?

  • kiwimatt

    I thought the movie right at the top of its genre, one of the top 2 or 3 martial arts movies I have ever seen…but if the critic didn’t like it, she’s totally entitled to her opinion… that’s the great thing with reviews, you normally read a few and not everyone is enthralled with the same things.. if they all agreed with what I thought it would be pointless…

  • AaronJones is a stupid fuck

    You’re kind of a fucking idiot, you need cancer =. Go watch the Notebook, or a Walk to Remember

  • Aaron Jones

    How did what I wrote make me a stupid fuck?

  • mazooma

    women eh, they should stick to what they know, watching rom coms and reading heat magazine

  • Jared Prince

    Don’t really get how you think it’s “art house.” Myself, I loved the “pornographic” violence, much more satisfying that all the bloodless PG stuff. Was pretty much devoid of meaningful female characters though, except mini-boss hammer girl.

  • It’s not in the English language. That makes it niche.

  • Jared Prince

    Myself, I wouldn’t equate “niche” with “art house”, those two imply different things to me. All art house is niche but not all niche is art house. I just saw this on Netflix, and it was in the action section. (Interestingly, NOT in the international section, the dominant hook is the action and not where it came from.)

    Out of curiosity, how do you think female characters should be handled in an ultra-voilent movie? (Assuming you accept such genre’s right to exist in the first place.) You’re going to end up with scenes where you’ll have guys beating on women. I think martial arts films have a better chance of pulling this off than other genres, the training flattens the physical playing field a bit.

  • Jared Prince

    If you did that, you’d still get 80% of the movie. May as well just watch the whole thing. Plot is a little confusing at times, but the broad strokes are simple enough.

  • Nonsubscribers are limited in the number of pages they can view at this site each week. It resets each week. Or you could subscribe and get unlimited pageviews. :-)

    I wouldn’t equate “niche” with “art house”

    Many many people will not watch a movie they need to read subtitles for. That’s all I’m getting at. It’s a marker to alert readers what sort of movie they’re in for. I’m not making any sort of judgment.

    how do you think female characters should be handled in an ultra-voilent movie?

    With the same respect men are.

    You’re going to end up with scenes where you’ll have guys beating on women

    If it’s women being used as punching bags, that’s a problem. If it’s a fair fight, no problem. How is this even an issue? Treat female characters as fully human people with agency (not as “powerless plot tokens”). It’s not difficult.

    Assuming you accept such genre’s right to exist in the first place.

    What on earth leads you to believe that I think there are any genres of film that don’t have a right to exist?

  • Jared Prince

    “What on earth leads you to believe that I think there are any genres of film that don’t have a right to exist?”

    Just the description of the violence as “pornographic”, I got the feeling you are not a fan of very violent movies. I’m trying to guage how much “not a fan” you are.

    “With the same respect men are…
    If it’s women being used as punching bags, that’s a problem. If it’s a fair fight, no problem.”

    Thing is though, often male characters *are* treated with little (in-universe) respect and are used as punching bags. I can think of any number of film where the male action hero gets tortured and brutalized to within inches of death. For example, Bruce in “Die Hard” has a pretty rough time of it.

    And the second example that pops to mind is kinda embarressing… the prison torture scene from “Tango and Cash”. They’re naked, electrocuted and bashed. (I think it’s a somewhat sexual view too, all that glistening muscle.)

    I didn’t have a problem with the scene (even if the movie is garbage) but it’d be pretty different if the genders were swapped.

    I don’t think you can just casualy do gender swaps in violent movies. Guys, you can pretty much do as you like to them violence-wise. I’m not sure that applies to women.

  • Just the description of the violence as “pornographic”, I got the feeling you are not a fan of very violent movies.

    So, because I think *some* violence is pornographic, I therefore think violent movies don’t have a right to exist? Huh?

    You might want to read some of my reviews of other violent movies.

    Guys, you can pretty much do as you like to them violence-wise.

    And herein lies a completely different problem. And feminists are the ones who supposedly hate men?

    You really need to learn what it means for a character to have agency. There are vanishingly few movies in which there isn’t a single male character with no agency. There are far too many in which the same cannot be said about the female characters (if they are even present at all).

  • SeeJay the WeeJay

    …Fuckin’ white people.

  • HerrinSchadenfreude

    This reviewer is something of a dullard herself where the genre is concerned. That much is clear. She should probably run back to 13th Warrior where the actors look safely familiar and the technique takes a backseat while the costumes and soundtrack ride up front.

  • Susuan

    She’s a sloppy Jane, who should go join the KKK!

  • Danielm80

    MaryAnn, I think you’ve found a new pull quote.

  • Delicious word salad.

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