Bigger and/or better?
I have to admire writer/director/editor Gareth Evans' ambition to up the narrative scale and ambition of The Raid 2. Its predecessor was a lean, efficient storytelling machine, spending just enough time developing the characters and conflicts to ensure it wasn't simply a meaningless jumble of visceral and brutal combat. It was hardly storytelling gold, but it did the job. So yes: aiming for something more epic is a worthy goal - escalating the claustrophobic events of film one to a citywide scale and encompassing a complex, spiraling gang war. In a genre like action films, where story is so often treated as a mere inconvenience, lord knows aiming for something more in-depth is something to be praised. Regrettably, Evans sabotages that goodwill with haphazard execution.