The Raid: Redemption * * * 1/2

20120831-131500.jpg

Director: Gareth Evans.
Screenplay: Gareth Evans.
Starring: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy, Yayan Ruhian, Joe Taslim, Donny Alamsyah, Pierre Gruno, Tegar Satrya.

If someone had told me that a Indonesian martial-arts movie directed by a Welshman was going to have much of an impact on the film going public, I have told them to stop shitting on my head until I’ve at least put a hat on first. As it turns out, no defecating took part in the build up to this film. What I was hearing through the grapevine turned out to be true. This is a very impressive action movie and it’s easy to see why it’s had mass appeal.

A slum housing estate in Jakarta is run by a ruthless drug baron who’s also secured the place into a high-rise fortress. A SWAT team is brought in to infiltrate the building and bring the crime lord down but when they enter, alarms are raised and the police find themselves under attack from an army of killers from all 30 floors.

As there’s not much on display as far as the narrative goes, it’s hard to write about this without throwing a plethora of adjectives at it. So I’m going to take the easy way out and do just that. Quite simply, it’s exhilarating, gripping, thrilling, exciting and exhausting. What it also is, is preposterous. However, it’s entertainment value cannot be faulted in the slightest. Is that enough to describe this film? If not, I apologise ’cause there’s not much else to say. Right from the off-set this film get’s going and wastes absolutely no time in getting down to business. It’s relentlessly energetic and unashamedly over-the-top but essentially, it’s over an hour an a half of people pumping some lead, bashing some heads and people screaming and writhing in pain. What fun it is though and this is coming from a person that’s not entirely enamoured with mindless action movies. However, credit must be given where it’s due. The display of martial-arts and action set-pieces are skilfully handled and it channels the type of kinetic pace that director John Woo was a master at. This is the quintessential ‘leave your brain at the door’ type of film. It demands very little and delivers plenty in return.

Some sublime action set pieces and bone crunching fights and although it’s wildly over the top, it delivers no less than it sets out to do. I had some fun with this one but action/martial-arts fans will enjoy it even more so.

Mark Walker

20120831-131706.jpg

Advertisements

34 Responses to “The Raid: Redemption * * * 1/2”

  1. Good review. Seems like pure entertainment. I will check it out.

    Like

  2. Nice to read you also enjoyed it, one of my favorite movies out this year.

    Like

  3. This film does manage to offer some ferociously entertaining action. When I saw this in the theater, people actually clapped after some of the fight sequences. Tell me, Mark, did you watch this dubbed or subtitled? Thanks.

    Like

    • I watched it subtitled Michael but the translation was all over the place. I would have been just as well watching it in it’s native language. I caught the gist of why was going on but it made it a little harder.

      Like

      • Yeah, I agree. In the theater, with the native Indonesian language in place, it was easier to follow and the performances, especially of the villains, came off better I thought than that of the disc release. Thanks.

        Like

      • Cheers Michael. Glad to know I’ve not been alone in it’s indecipherability. Still, it was a good film.

        Like

  4. ray brayne Says:

    Mark, if you liked this, checked out Pierre Morel’s “District B13”. Way better film quality and style, but not quite as much bloody mayhem. Probably because David Belle, the founder of Parkour, leads the action. Absurd plot but I didn’t care, after the first ten minutes I was swept away. And tension builds, If they don’t clear the district an abomb will go off! “The Raid” was ok but I kept thinking, it’s one building, lay siege and what can they do but surrender. I know that’s not much of a movie, but here when one man with a gun holds a hostage a thousand cops circled him and wait him out! No dead cops that way.

    Like

    • I’m highly impressed with Parkour man and I’ve seen little snippets of District B13. I’ll get around to seeing it in full but it tends to take me a while to get around to action movies. I normally put them off in favour of a more substantial story.

      Like

      • ray brayne Says:

        I know. I save Saturday night for just this type of movie. Like “Elite Squad; The Enemy Within”. Great flik, better than the first “Elite Squad” Tonight its either “Killer Elite” or “Haywire”. Good for when your brain is bathed in beer!

        Like

      • Good to hear positive feedback on Elite Squad Ray. I have it myself but I’ve not found the time for it yet. I’ve also still to find the time for The Chaser. They’re not film’s my good lady is into watching so that reduces my chances also. Hopefully soon though.

        Like

  5. Damnit… I need to see this! You know, the new Dredd 3D is essentially the same plot!

    Like

  6. Disappointed I didn’t see this at the cinema so looking forward to checking it out. I imagine this’ll be perfect after a long day at work and just want to watch something easy.

    Like

  7. Nice job dude. As you know I just watched this, and thought for the martial arts on display alone this film is worth checking out. Wish I could get hit that hard and walk away unscathed…….. FUN is about the best word to describe this.

    Like

  8. Great review. I saw this one a couple of days ago (review coming up) and liked it a little less than you. I loved the action aspect of it, but I felt it lacked a better story.

    Like

  9. Nice review. Might buy this one for my Dad πŸ™‚

    Like

  10. filmfellahenry Says:

    Nice review man. Really enjoyed the Raid, was waiting for the theatrical release for ages. Amazing to see what you can do with a limited budget, great choreography and a cast that is killer at martial arts. Totally agree about the narrative: it was paper thin. But when I consider this was essentially the ‘fundraiser’ film for a bigger project that Gareth Evans couldn’t afford to do, I guess I don’t mind so much.

    Like

    • If this is a fundraiser then I’d love to see what he does next. Apparently it’s part of a planned trilogy? If this is anything to go by then we can expect some bigger and better things. Cheers Henry.

      Like

  11. As you know, I don’t have nerves of steel but since this is set in my hometown I still want to see it. I probably would have my eyes closed for a good portion of the time though, ahah. Glad to see that an Indonesian actor is getting noticed, he’s already cast in Keanu Reeves’ upcoming movie. Great review, Mark!

    Like

    • I was actually thinking of asking you if you had seen or were planning on seeing this one, Ruth. Since it’s an Indonesian film I thought of you instantly. Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim are pretty good in this. I hope they find more work internationally.

      Like

    • I know what you mean Ruth. As you’re well aware, I also wholeheartedly support my countrymen (and women). For that reason you should check it out. It’s a very impressive action film.

      Like

      • Well the Scots are definitely far more successful in world cinema than Indonesia, Mark. To be honest though, I didn’t really watch Indo movies even when I was still back home, I grew up watching Hollywood movies, just like a lot of my friends did.

        Like

  12. Yeah, I think I enjoyed this more than you did. It is in my top 10 of the year… but then we haven’t got to the good part of the year yet!!

    Nice review bruv!

    Like

    • Cheers Scott I’m not normally taken with these types of film’s and I was tempted to rate it higher as there’s no doubt it delivers the goods. However, toward the end I realised it was all just non-stop action and not much else. By saying that though, I don’t mean to criticise. I really enjoyed it.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: