This review is spoiler free
The Raid: Redemption (or just The Raid) is an Indonesian martial arts film directed, written and edited by Welshman Gareth Evans.
Now my first worry about this movie was the fact that it was an Indonesian martial arts movie. I mean it’s super rare that a movie like this would even show up on my radar. But I’m so glad it did. I’d heard the great reviews and I’d read many things that compared it to Die Hard or similar action movies. The thing about this film is that it has probably one of the highest ratios of action that I’ve ever seen. And my god is the action good. The fight scenes are some of the best I’ve seen, definitely the best of 2012 (take that Avengers Assemble!) The choreography is mind mind-bogglingly good. The fights look so realistic and brutal. The entire thing is just a huge hit of adrenaline. So much so that I may have stopped breathing at one point.
The film follows a young rookie named Rama. He is a soon-to-be father as well, so naturally you root for him. Other characters include the bad-ass leader of the team; Jaka.
The movie doesn’t waste time getting to the action. The plot is not lacking, it’s simple. But it doesn’t need to be anything more than it is. The plot simply serves as a reason to for the characters to kick ass. The film soon jumps to a shot of the SWAT team in the back of a van. Here we learn that the aim is to get in and stop the guy in charge; Tama Riyadi. They must infiltrate the building but that’s not so easy. Most rooms are rented out by Tama to murderers, rapists, drug dealers and the worst scum you could imagine. Tama also has the help of Andi; the brains of the operation and Mad Dog; a murderous psychopath. Things quickly go wrong for the team, and it comes down to Rama to help the remaining members of his team and get out alive,
The team soon run out of ammo or lose their guns. Ultimately it comes down to hand to hand combat. I can’t say this enough but the fight scenes are brilliant. They are so fast and so well choreographed. The clip below is only about a third of that fight, and many last a while. But whilst watching them you can’t take your eyes off the action on-screen.
I watched this move on Blu-ray and I have to say it looked really good, what was more impressive was the sound. The guns sound really dangerous and realistic and the music is great as well. It ranges from typical yet really impressive action music and a great song to end the film on with “Razors Out”
By the end of the film there are twists and turns a plenty. You do really begin to care about these characters. I just loved this movie. But I knew I would before I watched it. I hate the phrase but this really is a “guy movie”, it’s non stop action. And because of this you’ll know if it’s your thing before watching. But like Die Hard it never tries to be anything more. It knows what it is, a brutal adrenaline filled action movie. It’s the movie action fans have really been waiting for, it’s raw, gory and just plain awesome. The whole thing is edited and directed in a way that means you don’t get confused watching it and the camera is not so shaky that you want to vomit (recent action movies have been guilty of this)
It’s just breathtaking to see all these fight scenes in action. I can’t recommend it enough. I can’t wait to see what director Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais do next, a sequel is coming it seems. Also an American remake is reportedly coming, so if you watch anything in the coming weeks, make it this.