Evans ambition to widen the scope of the first Raid film, and give it a grounded sensibility through traditional storytelling, hurts this first sequel the most. The original had a batshit craziness in its tone, pace, and action, that only a genre-defying filmmaker can have. Yet, here, the telling of Evan's larger narrative is unrousing, pedestrian, and dull, thus the action feels strung together.
Wer Action Filme gewohnt ist, der kann damit umgehen, alle anderen werden über Kopfschmerzen stöhnen nach dem Abspann. Diejenigen aber, die wie ich auf der Suche nach dem grössten Action Epos aller Zeiten sind, haben es hiermit gefunden!(...) (Dazu haben wir für euch die besten Cop Thriller des World Cinema gesammelt. Auf der Seite unserer Videothek cinegeek.de
I think what made the first film so good for the action/martial arts genre was its simplicity. This sequel was still enjoyable, but the addition of an in-depth plot and character made me feel like I was watching something unrelated to the prequel, and I felt myself waiting for an equal amount of action that the first film provided.
This ups the ante significantly on the lean and taut original, working very much like the relationship between Ridley Scott's ALIEN and James Cameron's ALIENS. Whereas the original release was locked down in one locale with little or no narrative back story or characterisation, here we get a sprawling and unwieldy narrative of revenge and counter-revenge. The action setpieces are simply mindboggling.