The Raid - Redemption

The Raid - Redemption
Made in: Indonesia, USA
Language: Indonesian
Director: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Donny Alamsyah, Ray Sahetapy, Joe Taslim, Pierre Gruno, Yayan Ruhian, Tegar Satrya
Year: 2011

Synopsis: Tama (Iko Uwais) is a young expectant father and rookie police officer. He's assigned to a 20-man SWAT team which has been ordered to raid a large building in Jakarta. The building is a haven for notorious drug dealers, and is run by crime lord Tama Riyada (Ray Sahetapy).

The SWAT team is led by Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim), but supervised by Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno).

As the team goes floor to floor in search of Tama, the carefully planned operation soon goes bad. The team is discovered, outgunned, and overpowered.

As one of the last remaining survivors, Rama must shoot, punch, kick, and stab his way out of the situation. But the plot thickens as Rama realizes he's in the middle of a plot cooked up by corrupt police officials and the ruthless Tama himself.

High energy ass-whoopings ensue. Enjoy the show!

The Good: The Raid is highly entertaining, intense, and action-packed. The violence is appropriately ridiculous, and many of the death scenes are very inventive. The setting is simple, and the cold visual look of the movie works very nicely.

The Bad: A few problems with logic. It seems that Rama had plenty of opportunities to pick up firearms, which would have made his job a lot easier. But I guess they had to contrive a few situations to avoid that so as to come up with an excuse to stage elaborate fight scenes.

And at times it was hard to tell where stuff was happening, as the layout of the building seemed confusing.

Who would like this movie: The Raid is for you if you like martial arts movies and if you're in the mood for a simple, ridiculous action movie that gets right to the point. The story is not all that elaborate, but it's straightforward and coherent. Some of the death scenes are laugh-out-loud awesome, and arguably realistic at certain moments.

Although the martial arts fighting isn't the best in the history of action movies, the set pieces are definitely well done and the stunt choreographers certainly deserve a lot of credit.

The movie unfolds like a video game in some ways, with a literal progression of levels (they are, after all, stuck in a building) and even boss fights! This is good one to watch with a bunch of like-minded friends and a couple of beers.

(3 stars out of 4)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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