The Raid 2 (2014 Sundance capsule)

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<i>The Raid 2</i> (2014 Sundance capsule)

When Sundance announced the running time for The Raid 2: Berandal at 148 minutes, there were plenty of reasons to be concerned. The original was a rambunctious, incredibly violent, utterly giddy action movie—but at 101 minutes, it was also overlong. How much more pummeling was this sequel going to be? Quite a lot, actually, but the happy revelation of The Raid 2 is how writer-director Gareth Evans has used that extra time to expand the scope and geography of the first film. More of an elaborate crime thriller than a straight-ahead martial-arts flick, The Raid 2 finds our hero, Rama (Iko Uwais), going undercover to infiltrate a feared mob boss’s inner sanctum. Electrifying both in its ambition and its action sequences—there’s a car chase in this movie that may be the finest of the 21st century so far—this is the best action-thriller since The Dark Knight, and also the best sequel since then.

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