With his 2012 breakout, the fantastically brutal Indonesian martial-arts showcase, “The Raid: Redemption,” young Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans grabbed viewers with all the force of a throat jab from one of his frenzied combatants. The film was technically astonishing and yet brazenly simple: a Jakarta SWAT unit storms a drug kingpin’s 15-story tenement stronghold, where they fight (and fight, and fight), floor by floor, to survive. Period.
Evans and his hero, virtuous rookie cop Rama (Iko Uwais), are back for more in a sprawling sequel somewhat misleadingly titled “The Raid 2.” It’s an infiltration, really. And while this new story might not be as operatically epic as Evans intends, the action continues to be a bloody, bone-crunching wonder.