Monday, April 23, 2012
The Raid: Redemption (2012) - Movie Review
The story is pretty simple: A SWAT team enters a building to capture a crime lord on the top floor. The problem is the drug lord basically has the whole building under surveillance and has been tipped off they are coming for him. He contacts the entire building and tells them that if they help eliminate the SWAT team, they can live rent free. All hell breaks loose! As there are snipers outside the building, the SWAT team can't simply escape out a window or fire escape, so their only option is to get to the top floor and capture the crime boss.
From that point, the movie is a flurry of gun fighting and action. There's so much gun play that they actually end up running out of bullets. Then what? Well, you become an awesome martial arts movie! Using an Indonesian martial arts called Silat, it features some of the best fight choreography I've seen in a while. It's both brutal and still manages to be fun to watch. It reminded me in many ways of Tony Jaa's style of fighting.
You're mainly following the main SWAT team member, Rama (Iko Uwais) as he heads up the building. While there are a few other characters, like Rama's estranged brother Andi (Doni Alamsyah), who's also the crime boss' right hand man; the main baddie we have the most fun with is simply named 'Mad Dog' (Yayan Ruhian). As you can imagine with a name like 'Mad Dog', his skills are very specific. He has several showdowns that are the highlights of the film.
You barely get a chance to breathe there's so much action from beginning to end. I'm reminded of Point Blank in that this is another foreign action/thriller that's a little light on the story or character development, but more than makes up for it with it's action and that it never lets up for a second. This is one of those kind of action films where you'll catch yourself going 'Oh!' or 'Damn!' during the fights.
Written/Directed by Welshman Gareth Evans. He directed another one of these called Merantau back in 2009 and it also stars Iko Uwais. I think I'm going to have to check that one out.
Although, I'm a little unsure about what the 'Redemption' in the title is in reference to. Who was redeemed? Maybe I missed that.
The Raid: Redemption is a fun, frenzied action flick that I think fans of good action or martial arts flicks will enjoy. It's still playing in a few theaters still, so check it out if it's available in your area. If not, put this at the top of your Netflix queue!
4 (out of 5) Death Stars