I hope that's how a lot of people approach this film. Not because they enjoyed the first film - if anyone really did - but because they'd been so ravenously enthralled by Gareth Huw Evans' previous film, The Raid: Redemption, that they now seek out anything he does with great relish. The Raid is one of the greatest action films of the last few decades. It's largely undeniable. Ever since stumbling upon it during a marathon IMDb trawl, I've told everyone I know to watch it. Granted, I'm a glutton for martial-arts films, but I sat down and watched it with them and no matter their predisposition, the film always elicited a series of cringes and gasps. The obsession I have with this film is not due to its display of astounding physicality or its shocking violence, but due to Huw Evans' complete mastery of handling action. Though the film is a blistering 90 minutes of frenzied silat, it ties together a cohesive narrative into a palpable climax; brought to psyche-shattering life by engaging characterisations and an unflinching adherence to structure. The film felt fresh even though it was as simple a premise as you could ask for: a SWAT team have to fight their way through a slum-apartment block to reach a brutal crime lord.
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