Director: Gareth Evans
Genre(s): Action, Crime, Thriller
Runtime: 101 minutes (rated cut), 102 minutes (unrated cut)
MPAA Rating: R (rated cut), Not Rated (unrated cut)
The Raid: Redemption (originally titled “Serbuan Maut“) is famous for being a cut-to-the-chase action movie that offers little in the way of plot, simply letting various shootouts and martial arts duels do the talking. The story of this Indonesian-language film is pretty bare-bones. A team of cops, including our hero, Rama (Iko Uwais), is sent on a mission to clear a large Jakarta apartment building of criminals. Action junkies will not want to miss this one.
While relatively video-gamey, The Raid is packed with some of the most intricately-choreographed fight scenes that theater screens have ever witnessed. They’re truly some of the best ever. The unconvincing computer-generated blood is sometimes a distraction, but it’s a minor flaw. There are a couple of suspense-oriented sequences, because, well, I suppose it can’t be all action.
The action star here is Iko Uwais, who also helped choreograph the fights, and this guy is bound to become one of cinema’s greatest martial arts actors. Wahyu, played by Pierre Gruno, looks like the Indonesian Lee Marvin. I just thought I’d point that out. While this humorless movie is little more than an excuse to show off incredible action, there are a few complications in the plot to keep things fresh. Make no mistake, though, there is almost nothing but virtually non-stop combat here.
The Raid‘s appeal to people who aren’t interested in elaborate fight scenes is almost non-existent. However, action fans will find a treasure trove of hard-hitting, stunt-laden sequences of ultra-violence. Personally, I generally prefer action movies with more characterization and drama, but The Raid is a nice change of pace (and this picture’s pace is turbo-charged). There’s an appealing simplicity to it.
My rating is 8 outta 10.