I'll put my thoughts in spoiler tags, in case someone here hasn't seen it.
I watched the first film just a day before I saw the second one in the cinema (because my friends wanted to go see it).
I hadn't watched any trailers for this sequel, and had only seen one TV spot, so I was expecting a big raid again, and sat through most of the film wondering when it was going to come. I guess one could say that the final scene was kind of a "one man raid", which was great anyway.
But overall, this film just reminded me of 'The Departed' - I haven't seen 'Infernal Affairs'...
I guess it was just called "The Raid 2" because it's part of that brand. I appreciated that they got all the original actors back, but was taken aback a little by inclusion of the "Mad Dog" actor as a completely different character; I had a laugh at that.
I've also heard that this was the film that the director originally wanted to make, but due to budget restrictions, had to make the first one as it was.
I can't really link the two films together and make a judgement on whether or not one was better than the other. They are two completely different films.
If you're going into this expecting a raid like in the first film, you'll be disappointed. But if you come out of the film realising that it's a completely different film, you'll like it, as I did.
I have to give major credit to the direction and cinematography, as these were brilliant in my opinion!
i have to say that the first one for me was right up there with 'Hard Boiled' as one of my fave action films ever. part 2 i think is just better in every way, which i didn't think would be possible, but, it was!