I've updated my earlier review of The Raid to take away the subtitle Redemption, since that version, seen in Batam, Indonesia, was the Indonesian cut which has distinct differences with the "US, uncut version" (as touted by the distributors) shown here. But true enough, the earlier foray across borders stemmed from fear that that the movie would not be able to be released uncut for its level of violence, but lo and behold, it survived unscathed, and got released at a rating a notch lower than the expected R21, validating that the censors here have a higher level of tolerance toward vividly portrayed violence, versus advanced techniques of love making.
The action sequences are still top notch the second time round, granted that any surprises for first time viewers would already have been expected, but this time round allowing the repeat viewer to home in on specifics and portions that were high octane, preparing for any anticipated smackdowns so that they can be visually savoured again. And of course the version here comes English subtitled, which naturally helped loads in the formation of a story outside of the basic cops-trapped-in-mob-building understanding and sole focus on the action when watched without subtitles. And this provided deeper understanding to scenes that rightly flew by without subtitles, those that dealt with relationships, threats and a lead onto the sequel as well, allowing one to enjoy the story a lot more than I could have known about the first time.
The action still reigned supreme despite the fact that it was no less violent - a neck slice was shown continuous without the skipping of frames - but unfortunately less bloody - I remembered crimson red plasma splattered around in the first version, but somewhat subdued in this release, coloured to look a lot more dull. I was also looking forward to the new soundtrack done by Mike Shinoda, but that was a little too underwhelming for the film with patches of silence, only for two clear moments where the music propped up moments when drama and action intersected. I dare say the Indonesian composers won on this aspect instead.
You can read my review of The Raid here, and for fans who can't wait for its sequel Berandal, you can have a sneak peek at this clip here, made before The Raid got released.