That is the only word that fits to describe Indonesian martial arts action film The Raid: Redemption. It is a seriously badass film! A rush of fists and fury. A non stop adrenaline ride. I was left breathless and ready to kick some serous ass! Hi-Ya! (Sorry, that always happens to me after watching these kinds of movies–if I could even remotely execute the moves I love, I would be dangerous! ;))
I was a little concerned (after seeing the trailer) that the film would be all action and carnage and zero plot and/or character development–which to me is a deal breaker.
Don’t get me wrong–I like senseless action, at times, and will judge accordingly–but to be great, you must have, what I call, the John McClane factor. Most of you will understand this right away and agree that the JMC factor is the key to success. It is the principle that the audience must relate to the protagonist, feel for him, cheer for him and most importantly…like him. If this happens–the audience will follow him anywhere and be invested in his outcome. Result? Die Hard X5. And one of the greatest action heroes of all time!
Well, in a short period, The Raid accomplishes this. You feel for Iko Uwais‘ Rama, the rookie unsuspecting SWAT officer that is about to have the worse day of his life. Writer/Director Gareth Evans knows his genre well and is able to create a believable universe within the walls of this building. Evans expertly weaves character development throughout the action. When he pauses to give you a break (because you need it), he fills that space with substance. I am now anxiously awaiting the trilogy that is in the works because I want to follow Rama’s journey–I care about his outcome. JMC factor is in full play here–excellent!
What else is there to say? Oh, yeah! The Raid also features one of the best henchman I’ve seen in a long time. Enter Mad Dog–played perfectly by Yayan Ruhian. Wow–is all I will say…he is crazy awesome!
I should also mention the soundtrack by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Joseph Trapanese is perfect. And lastly, I have to mention the fight choreography, which is insane! The fighting sequences which were designed by Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian are some of the most intense I have seen. These guys are the real deal!
If you like this kind of thrill ride and the trailer gets you excited–run to your nearest theater! And be warned…you may come out swinging! :)
- Free Watch The Raid: Redemption (II) (2011) Serbuan maut (original title) Streaming Online (watchfreefullfilm.wordpress.com)
- The Raid: Redemption (alternativechronicle.wordpress.com)