Starring: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy, Yayan Ruhian
Directed By: Gareth Evans
Written By: Gareth Evans
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 41 mins
The plot for The Raid: Redemption is straight forward enough, and about as complex as anything you’d find in a good computer game. Bad guys in a building, on many floors, and their boss lives in the penthouse suite. Sure there’s some extra intrigue involving corrupt police, and siblings working on both sides of the law, but at the end of the day, The Raid is mostly about the action!
On that front, this film is quite frankly amazing, and is clearly a movie made by an avid fan of the action and martial arts genres. Writer, director, film editor, fight choreographer and Everton* supporter! Gareth Evans has clearly taken a look around at the shoddy action offerings we’ve had to endure over the years and said, ‘enough!’ He’s crafted a simple yet effective narrative that allows for all forms of mutilation and mayhem, then simply let his talented performers and stunt people do their thing.
I loved how the hand-held camera work panned and snapped into place over the action, and how the fight sequences were intelligently edited to allow each martial artist time to demonstrate their skills. There was a great artistry to how each set piece developed too. First the quiet before the storm, as the players in the next battle assemble and take their positions. All this is beautifully lit too by the way, as we wait for the spark that will ignite the action. On one occasion, that spark was an ultra slow-motion blast from a shotgun, and the way it exposed a group of police officers as shadows against a wall, right before all bloody hell broke loose, was just amazing to watch.
I would also be remiss not to mention the lead in this fantastic film, Iko Uwais. Amazing to watch in the film’s many fight scenes, Iko also brings a great vulnerability to his role as the honest cop, in over his head. He’s someone you can root for, which makes all his hard-fought victories, and this film, that much more satisfying.
* Everton Football Club, England.
If you’re an action and martial arts film fan, then I think you’re going to really enjoy this film. For those that care less about this genre, expect rapid well filmed inventive action and brutal violence. This movie most certainly wears its R rated badge with pride!
This is a great film to watch in the theater, but at home a HD viewing on a nice big TV is the way to go. It would be a great film to watch with friends too. Watching this on a laptop, tablet or phone is not advised.
Certainly the close quarter action scenes are the main reason to see this film, and out of those, I really enjoyed the sequence in the drug lab. There’s a great battle involving the character Mad Dog a little later on, but the lab sequence really used the space well, and provided plenty of walls and props to use as weapons!