The Raid: Redemption takes place in a slum of Indonesia, in this particular apartment building lives the mob boss, and all the tenants are under his rule/employ. A SWAT team goes in to take out this boss, little did they know that they’ve entered a hornet’s nest.
The good; wall to wall action, in the age of close up shots and shaky camera action, this Indonesian film knows how to cover an action and covers it well. I get a sense of geography with the wider shots, I get the impact of punches and kicks from close ups, I get a sense of training and skill from the medium shots and I appreciate that I can see things without getting dizzy.
The film starts off with gun fire and as they ditch the guns for obvious reasons they have to switch to hand to hand combat, which is beautifully choreographed and executed. The skill of all the bodies on camera is very apparent and appreciated. Makes me think that everyone in Indonesian knows the martial art of Silat.
There’s also a lack of a love story, the film opens with Rama, played by Iko Uwais, praying before he goes to work as he then says bye to his pregnant wife. Here we get that he’s a family man, expecting a child, and he’s Muslim, it’s a nice way to introduce this character and get the who love interest thing out of the way. If this were an American movie there would’ve been a “hooker with a heart of gold” that’s in the apartment building and she’d want to help the Police, thank you for not having that archetype.
The bad; ummmm, not much in this department. The movie’s a lean one hundred minutes, it’s a meat and potatoes type of movie that showcases martial arts skills. They use their forearms to block a lot, A LOT, of hits from enemies, and yet they’re arms remain unbruised or bloodied. Some wounds there would’ve made it more believable, but maybe they train so their forearms are like leather??
One very bad thing… they’re remaking this in America… go watch the original and learn to read, cause this movie is subtitled. You just might learn a new word or two, or heaven forbid, learn what some words are in another language.
Overall, The Raid does not disappoint. It’s directed by Gareth Evans who’s Welsh, and this is his second film with Iko Uwais. Looks like they granted my wish, The Raid 2is out in select cities now!