THE RAID 2 Opens In St. Louis April 11

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Director/Writer Gareth Evans’ THE RAID 2 arrives in U.S. theaters today (March 28th) and Sony Pictures Classics’ will release the film in St. Louis on Friday, April 11.

After having an early look at Evans’ film, my fellow Movie Geeks are raving about it.

Tom Stockman, calls the R-rated movie, “a hyper-violent, adrenaline-fueled epic!” Jim Batts says, “RAID 2 is a non-stop thrill ride that will have your heart pumping almost from the first fade-in to the final fade-out! It’s an action film lover’s fever dream!” Look for WAMG’s review in the coming weeks.

Here’s what goes down in THE RAID 2 –

He thought it was over. After fighting his way out of a building filled with gangsters and madmen – a fight that left the bodies of police and gangsters alike piled in the halls – rookie Jakarta cop Rama thought it was done and he could resume a normal life. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Formidable though they may have been, Rama’s opponents in that fateful building were nothing more than small fish swimming in a pond much larger than he ever dreamed possible. And his triumph over the small fry has attracted the attention of the predators farther up the food chain. His family at risk, Rama has only one choice to protect his infant son and wife: He must go undercover to enter the criminal underworld himself and climb through the hierarchy of competing forces until it leads him to the corrupt politicians and police pulling the strings at the top of the heap.


And so Rama begins a new odyssey of violence, a journey that will force him to set aside his own life and history and take on a new identity as the violent offender “Yuda.” In prison he must gain the confidence of Uco – the son of a prominent gang kingpin – to join the gang himself, laying his own life on the line in a desperate all-or-nothing gambit to bring the whole rotten enterprise to an end.

THE RAID 2 was produced by Ario Sagantoro for Merantau Films, and Aram Tertzakian and Nate Bolotin of XYZ Films. The film was executive produced by Rangga Maya Barack-Evans for Merantau Films, Irwan D. Mussry, Nick Spicer and Todd Brown on behalf of XYZ.

Matt Flannery (THE RAID: REDEMPTION) and Dimas Imam Subhono served as cinematographers.

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To get the look on THE RAID 2, Evans and the behind-the-scenes team focused their efforts on balancing the old and the new. They wanted to make sure the audience recognized the familiar setting from the original, while exploring new parts of this environment.

The sequel focuses on of Rama entering Jakarta’s underworld, where the stakes are higher. The sequel was shot in cinemascope in order to provide a wider frame and give the story a more epic feel. The photography also explored a wider range of the color palette, using different lighting for each character. The film opens with similar tones as the first one and shifts as Rama enters the criminal organization.

Shooting the film was a learning experience. On MERANTAU, the team learned to shoot martial arts. On THE RAID: REDEMPTION, they learned to shoot gunfights. And on THE RAID 2 they went one step further, adding car chases to the mix.

On MERANTAU we felt we were focusing on the narrative drama scenes. For the action scenes, the takes were too long. We learned from that and fixed things on THE RAID: REDEMPTION. THE RAID: REDEMPTION had a majority of action scenes. We got to play a lot with camera angles and fluidity. Finding a new way to shoot action scenes. THE RAID 2 is a much bigger project. What we chose to do is a combination of the two elements we learned from MERANTAU and THE RAID: REDEMPTION: dynamic, edgy and fluid camera movements, while at the same time knowing when to go for more classical and sophisticated compositions (when to use jimmy jib, steady cams and dolly track). Combining those two different styles was an interesting challenge in that respect. (Evans)

Because this was the first time a car chase of this scale was shot in Indonesia, a lot of time was spent on logistics. Unlike places like Hong Kong or the UK, where they have been shooting car chases for years, Indonesia did not have a particular set-up for this. The production team had to build the structure itself to achieve specific shots:

“We had to have a shoot from the inside of one car going down a highway with the camera moving to another car straight away ,then have the back window to blown out for the camera to follow through the back window and out again. To do that, we discussed different combinations of computer-generated imagery, visual effects, green screens and so on. After a long discussion, we felt like we would be technically limited if we were to use too many special effects. In the end we decided to do it for real, meaning moving the camera from one camera operator to the other.

This is something we had done on THE RAID: REDEMPTION when we went through a hole on the floor. It was done in a controlled environment and the only issue was the person passing the camera to another. But the difficulty here was to pass the camera between moving cars on a highway. It was risky shot, but thankfully after a number of takes it was done well”. (Evans)

Camera moves were carefully integrated into the martial arts choreography. The fighters’ moves were choreographed to the slightest detail, and so were camera movements. Camera angles were designed before the shoot, so it never feels like the camera interferes with the action. A constant mantra during shooting was to highlight the actors’ performances.


Additionally, Madison Gate Records and SpaceLab9 have announced the worldwide release of THE RAID 2 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The album hit digital retailers on March 25th, with the CD format coming April 29, 2014, followed by a deluxe vinyl LP edition early summer 2014.

Composer Joseph Trapanese (The Raid: Redemption, Oblivion, TRON: Uprising) returns along with Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal to provide a score equal parts electronic and orchestral, deeply layered and breathtaking, all while perfectly complimenting the frenetic on-screen action of THE RAID 2. The 24-track album features original motion picture score with over an hour of music, plus the original song “Hush” written and performed by Indonesian jazz artist Arti Dewi.

“It is with great pleasure that I share with you the original soundtrack to ‘THE RAID 2,’ a creative collaboration with director Gareth Evans that was equal parts inspired, fun, and satisfying,” says composer Joseph Trapanese. “I’m thrilled that Madison Gate Records and SpaceLab9 are releasing the album so that all the fans can relive this film’s brutality and beauty.”

Track List:

  • 1 Alarm
  • 2 The Equation
  • 3 Toilet Nightmare
  • 4 Suck It Up
  • 5 Prison Riot
  • 6 Ball Inspection
  • 7 Phone Call
  • 8 Porn Den
  • 9 Prakoso
  • 10 Undercover
  • 11 Club Battle
  • 12 Reog
  • 13 Punch It
  • 14 SIM Card
  • 15 Betrayal
  • 16 The Assassin
  • 17 Pursuit
  • 18 Motor Chase
  • 19 Wasteland
  • 20 Warehouse Stomping
  • 21 Uco Dining
  • 22 Hammerballs
  • 23 Showdown
  • 24 Hush

Running Time: 67 Minutes

Digital album is now available for download on iTunes (

CD edition is available for preorder now at (

Photos by Akhirwan Nurhaidir and Gumilar Triyoga, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.


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Huge passion for film scores, Lives for the Academy Awards, Loves movie trailers.

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