The Raid: Redemption

Wow. After about 10 minutes in, there’s nowhere to even take a breath. There is a threadbare plot, but it hardly matters. A police squad is going to raid a slum apartment complex run by a drug lord. There is a good cop with a pregnant wife among the force, and we meet him as he works out strenuously in the film’s opening minutes. We also meet the crime boss and his minions during that introduction. Later, we find out about one of the corrupt officers involved in the raid, and you should identify him well in advance. Then there is a difficult family reunion when the movie is well under way. But what does director Gareth Evans mostly supply for the majority of the 101-minute run time between the beginning and closing credits? Action. Non-stop, breathless, martial-arts action. The film is Indonesian with English subtitles, and it showcases the Indonesia martial art of pencak silat. I’m a believer. It’s part “Enter the Dragon”/”Game of Death”(at the very least, the intended Bruce Lee “Game of Death”). I also smelled Carpenter’s “Assault on Precinct 13”, and a little bit of “Die Hard” too. And I hope I don’t sound sexist if I realize that I can’t think of a woman in my world that I would recommend this to—but I want to call out a whole load of guys. If there was ever a male-bonding flick to sit, drink beer, and spout ebullient, oft-profane interjections—this is the one. There are fierce beatings, hammer bashings, backs breaking, walls scaled, stabbings, slashings, shootings and blood galore—on multiple floors of a high-rise building. It’s a helluva good time. Iko Uwais as Rama, Donny Alamsyah as Andi and Joe Taslim all turn in capable performances—much finer than you would expect actually. And there’s quite a few other impressive roles too. With action choreographed this fast and furious, you’ll find yourself occasionally catching the seams. But it’s remarkably(even expertly)cut by Mr. Evans himself—made even more extraordinary by the tiny, barely over a million dollars, production budget. Calling all dudes! “The Raid: Redemption” is a freaking corker.     Grade: B+  


2 comments on “The Raid: Redemption

  1. Just reading your review I’m ready to go outside and smash stuff!!! Rarrrr!!!!

  2. It’s a testosterone-fest, alright. ML

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