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The Raid 2 - The Review

15/04/2014 10:36 BST | Updated 13/06/2014 10:59 BST

Put simply The Raid 2 involves the simple formula of bloke A hits bloke B for 2.5 hrs, alternating bloke B every 10 minutes.

Taking place a few hours after the first movie, it sees returning hero Rama sent undercover to infiltrate a lethal Jakarta crime ring to protect his family and uncover his own police force's rotten eggs.

Welsh writer, director and action choreographer Gareth Evans does a great job of sustaining the attention for the overlong running time (two hours would have been fine thanks).

Aside from scar faced Rama, it was hard to know who to root for as heroes and anti heroes vied for supremacy in Evans' blood-soaked sandbox.

There was plenty of variety. Killer with baseball bat; female deaf, half-blind assassin with hammers; killer with afro; crimelord with walking stick, and so on.

There are fights in mud, in prison, in cars, on cars, in a kitchen, all executed (pun intended) with breathless agility and bone-crunching brilliance.

The speed of the stunts in many eastern action epics from the John Woo or Jackie Chan stable has always left most American equivalents looking dull by comparison, and this is no exception.

Yes, it may be an orgy of fist fights, kick boxing, head smashing and occasionally gravity-defying action, but there is depth here amid the stunning visuals.

From the opening fight in a toilet, it's a roller coaster ride of violence which will no doubt be remade by Hollywood.

Top turns from (the outstanding) Iko Uwais, Arifin Putra and Oka Antara among dozens of other fearless stunt players make this THE action film to beat in 2014.

I can't wait to see what Evans does next, hopefully in an English language epic which should broaden his appeal even more.