The Raid: Redemption (2012)
Director: Gareth Evans
Joe Taslim/JakaYayan Ruhian/Mad Dog
A building. On the 30th (top) floor a crime boss. At the bottom, a Swat team. Team has to go up to nix him out, taking out the human trash along the way. Problem is, there's a f*ckload of garbage on two legs! Bullets, kicks, punches, explosions, axe fun and bodies slammed around ensues. Is this a party at my house? No! It's THE RAID!
Welsh Writer/Director Gareth Evans and Indonesian martial arts actor Iko Uwais must have been paying attention to the pathetic way Hollywood has been treating action fans now of late and to band-aid that up; they concocted a cure for the ailment, it’s called THE RAID: REDEMPTION! A testosterone fueled gang-bang of action that never stopped for a pee break! So with that in mind, here are 7 good reasons as to WHY you need to see THE RAID: REDEMPTION!
1-The action/body count. The flick took no prisoners in the dead bodies department. And the fact that the peeps were whacked in so many inventive and brutally graphic ways, made the mayhem go down even smoother. You're looking for novel action set pieces and crazy kills? Dig in! All about that dude and the bottom of the door (you'll see). NICE!
2- Iko Uwais as Rama put the ass in BADASS! Tony Jaa take note, this dude whooped so hard, with so much skill that I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up starring in Ong- bak 4. Hey, somebody needs to give that slowly dying franchise a healthy round kick to the melon!
3-The simplicity. Ya know sometimes, simpler is better, just ask my ex, who always thanked me for my two-pump chumps ways. The same with The Raid. Straightforward initial premise, Swat wants to get upstairs to get head baddie; they f*ck everybody up on their way there while taking in the pain that’s dished in their direction. Sure, we got a couple of twists in terms of the storyline tossed in, but they didn’t upset the pacing or the relentless vibe of the picture.
4-It introduced me to a martial art I had never heard of and it’s called Silat. And thankfully it translated well to the screen. I was told that the art form has a lot of floor work, but they kept that to a minimum here; cause lets face it, two dudes playing "touchy-feely" on the ground does not make a for a satisfying onscreen fight party… not for me anyway…
5- Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park fame) created a full-blown score for The Raid: Redemption. And its pulse pounding, often retro and gritty ways freaking owned me! Am listening to it right now!
6-Gareth Evans eye behind the camera stroked me right! Am talking lots of high angles, slowing down moments for maximum impact and more importantly, LOOK, wide shots in fight scenes! What the hell? Did I just take a time machine back to the 80’s? Yeah man, the fights bits were not only well choreographed but also shot in a mix of very NOW (fast cutting) but also old school when it came to the use of wide and medium shots. No close-shot overload here! This shit was for real!
7-Every good action flick should have a memorable bad guy. Sure the kingpin was suave with his tank top and Subway diet that didn’t work, but the ONE dude that stayed with me was Mad Dog played by Yayan Ruhian. Not only did he have a crazy ass hair doo and an unsettling presence but his fighting skills were out of control! Straight up he had one fight that seemed to go on longer than LOTR RETURN OF THE KING. I kept thinking to myself, will this dude EVER BE DEFEATED!!! Result? One of the most visceral mano et mano ET mano fight sequence I’ve seen since OLD BOY.
Any qualms? I did catch one little cut away goof, if I go by the movie, this one dude and his two goons were in that elevator for EONS! Lastly, sometimes there was so much action that I would feel a bit antsy. That’s a good problem to have though! So all in all; am not surprised that THE RAID is already on the USA REMAKE assembly line; somebody had a simple yet effective idea before Hollywood did, what else is new. Just don’t let Usher be the lead please! Fans of clip paced, action driven, suspense charged and no holds barred kapow should get their fix from this one! Say YES to The Raid!
Welcome to the abattoir! We get slit throat, axe fun, bullets in he face, snapped necks, stabbings, cuts, bruises, countless bullet hits and more! No worries chaps and chappettes, you will see red!
T & A
Hey, Dr. Jones, no time for love. We've got company!
What can I say; THE RAID: THE REDEMPTION acted as just that; redemption for Hollywood having forgotten how to do action right! It gunned out a potent initial premise, a tension filled action driven execution, a kinetic eye behind the camera, exhilarating gunfights, visceral hand to hand battles and all coated with a bang on score to boot. I had one cut-away complaint and I almost overdosed on action... just goes to show that I aint got shit! Yup! I had a blast with THE RAID! An adrenaline charged orgy of blood, guns, snapped necks and kicks to the head! This is the kind of movie I have been craving all year, and finally I got it! Thank you!
Gareth Evans, Yayan Ruhian and Iko Uwais also teamed up for “Merantau” (2009).
Todd Brown of Twitch website infamy is a producer on the film.