Action Movie Fanatix Review: The Raid: Redemption

The Raid Redemption banner

1 Ruthless Crime Lord.  20 Elite Cops.  30 Floors Of Chaos.

Starring: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Doni Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian

Director: Gareth Huw Evans

2012  |  101 Minutes  |  Rated R

“You wanna play hero?  Go ahead.  Just stay away from me.” – Bowo

How in the world have I not reviewed this yet?  I have already seen it multiple times and yet never put pen to paper (nearly outdated analogy).

An Indonesian SWAT team becomes trapped in a Jakarta tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs.  After the majority of the police are killed, Rama (Iko Uwais) fights to save the last few remaining survivors and get out with their lives.

If you aren’t instantly in awe of Rama working the bag at the very beginning then there is something seriously wrong with you.  Even on a second and third viewing it just grabs me and pulls me in right off the bat.  This guy’s got skills.

Iko Uwais has got to be the next big martial arts star (which sorta sounds like an idea for a new reality TV show…dibs) since Tony Jaa seems to have fizzled out (hopefully not for good).  Iko Uwais will be responsible for introducing many of us to the Indonesian martial art form known as Silat.

No more than 15 minutes into the movie we are going pedal to the metal.  There isn’t time for much character development.  We are given quick snap shots of the personalities of a couple of the cops and then a brief description of the key criminals that inhabit the building.  We know that we should cheer for Rama since he has a kid on the way and we know who the bad guy is when we are shown him executing a number of captives.  After that, it’s game on!

The story starts off pretty bare bones and I pretty much expected it to stay that way but by the end it developed into something.  Nothing too crazy original but a decent little action storyline none the less.

The entire look of the film is really well done.  Whether it is martial arts, gun fights or just simple dialogue.  Every scene and shot seem to be so masterfully planned out.  Where you at, Hollywood?!

As soon as the cops get inside the tenement they get their asses handed to them.  The Raid starts with a LOT of shooting and it isn’t looking good for the good guys.  Then get more up close and personal and we get to see something really amazing.  The close quarters hallway fights and, of course, the 2-on-1 fight are the stuff dreams are made of.  The awesome, innovative martial arts fights were properly captured with camera work that SHOWED THE MARTIAL ARTS!!!  Amazing!

One slight complaint/curiosity – most scenes seem to relish pouring on the blood and gore but then a select couple scenes shift away right at the point where it would normally soak the scene.  Call me a gore monger but I wanted to see it.

The music is provided by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda.  He does a great job creating some really foreboding tunes that help build the tension in between the epic battles.

Nothing I write can come close to doing any of it justice.  The Raid: Redemption had a huge amount of hype coming into it.  Many were calling it the best action movie in years.  Even with all of the hype I was still blown away.  I can’t recommend The Raid: Redemption enough.  It is that damn good.

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