A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Raid 2 is the sequel to the ultra-violent Indonesian action film The Raid: Redemption, following the same lead character, who's now an undercover cop instead of a rookie. Violence is very strong, with many highly skilled martial arts scenes, but also lots of shooting, stabbing, slicing, blood, gore, and death. There's also an extended car chase with crashes. One scene takes place in a warehouse where porn videos are made, with a topless woman and some intense sex talk. Language includes frequent uses of "f--k," "s--t," and other words in the subtitles. Many of the gangster characters drink and smoke socially in clubs and in meetings, though no one is shown to be drunk. Since the movie is subtitled and runs 150 minutes, it's for hardcore action fans only.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Just moments after the end of The Raid: Redemption, rookie cop Rama (Iko Uwais) is asked to go undercover in prison and befriend Uco (Arifin Putra), the son of the boss of the biggest crime family in Indonesia. So Rama saves Uco from a potential assassination, and, upon their release, he finds himself working for the feared, respected gangster Bangun (Tio Pakusadewo). Unfortunately, the volatile Uco wants to move up in the ranks and grows impatient with his father's caution. So he teams up with a rival family and plans a hostile takeover, which involves the murder of a trusted associate. Of course, everything goes haywire, and Rama finds himself in the battle of his life, fighting deadly killers from all over the city.
Is it any good?
So many scenes in THE RAID 2 are worthy of applause and gratitude -- not just for being watchable, but for being incredibly inventive and potent (as well as incredibly violent, of course). Miraculously, Welsh-born director Gareth Evans seems to be the first filmmaker in ages who knows how to choreograph and shoot a martial arts fight scene, emphasizing movement, space, and clarity rather than turning in a cluttered jumble of shaky, quickly cut mush.
Star Uwais has skill and charisma, though it's probably too soon to proclaim him the next Bruce Lee. A few of the other actors also stand out, notably the "Hammer Girl" and "Baseball Bat Man" characters, who seem imported from some lost Quentin Tarantino film. But for the most part, The Raid 2 is a very standard undercover cop story; it's incredibly convoluted, though every twist and turn is something you've seen before. In many ways, this sequel is an improvement over The Raid: Redemption, except for that film's welcome simplicity.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Raid 2's violence. Is it possible to showcase martial arts skill without a great deal of blood and gore? How would that have made this movie different? How does the impact of the violence in a movie like this one compare to what you might see in a horror movie?
What is the appeal of the "undercover cop" subgenre? What's at stake for the character?
Is The Raid 2 a good demonstration of martial arts? Is it used for self-defense or for unleashing violence?
- In theaters: March 28, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: July 8, 2014
- Cast: Iko Uwais, Arifin Putra, Tio Pakusadewo
- Director: Gareth Evans
- Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
- Run time: 150 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sequences of strong bloody violence throughout, sexuality and language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.