A grave has been freshly dug in the opening shot of director Gareth Evans's ultra-violent Indonesian flick The Raid 2. It's a start, but Evans is going to need 400 more. In the first few minutes, he dispenses with three-quarters of the survivors of 2012's The Raid: Redemption, the writer-director's brutal mini-epic about a police mission gone wrong, leaving only good-hearted, fleet-fisted husband and father Rama (Iko Uwais) to solve corruption in Jakarta (population 9.6 million, about half of whom the Raid movies estimate are evil).
The city is ruled by two family heads: Bangun (Tio Pakusadewo) and Goto (Ken'ichi Endo), gentleman gangsters who have maintained a decade-long truce. But corrupt cops and upstart mobster Bejo (Alex Abbad), a slithery goon with leather gloves, want bigger pieces of the market. And Rama, secretly embedded as the right-hand man to Bangun's prissy son Uco (Arifin Putra, a clone of young Elvis), is fine killing everyone if it means he can safely return home. People kill with broomsticks, hammers, and baseball bats in restaurants, prison bathrooms, and nightclubs. Five men get their necks sliced with box-cutters for no reason I could fathom, even after the second watch that's probably mandatory for anyone trying to figure out who's murdering who.
At 148 minutes, the film feels both rushed and endless, so laden with double-dealing and intrigue that Evans can't even pause to give characters names. One of the climatic fights is between Rama and, uh, That Guy Who Uses Hooked Knives. Evans is so strong an action director that he could have shaved off 40 minutes and hundreds of victims and wound up with a more effective final cut.