Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Review: The Raid: Redemption

The Raid: Redemption
03.22.2012
9 10


Read Eric Walkuski's review here

PLOT: An elite SWAT team is tasked with capturing an elusive drug lord, who's holed up in a heavily guarded apartment building in Jakarta. Within moments, the crew is spotted, and attacked from all corners of the building by the drug lord's hundreds of minions. With his crew all but wiped out, a junior member of the team (Iko Uwais) is forced to battle his way through the complex in order to make it back to his family in one piece.

REVIEW: Oh hell yes! After missing it at TIFF, I've finally been able to catch up with Gareth Evans' Indonesian action epic, THE RAID. Sony Classics is betting heavily on this one, with the studio going as far as to hire Mike Shinoda of Linkin' Park to compose a slick new score (co-written with Joseph Trapanese). I can see why, as THE RAID is absolutely the best martial arts action film I've seen since the heyday of Hong Kong action. Watching THE RAID at Sundance, I can imagine how festival audiences must have felt in the early nineties watching John Woo films like HARD-BOILED and THE KILLER. Like Woo, Evans takes what could have been a routine potboiler, and infuses it with a shot of nitro glycerine, making this the most badass, bone-crunching action epics you're likely to see for quite some time.

THE RAID runs about 100 minutes, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that at least 85 minutes of that is packed to the rim with every kind of action sequence you can imagine. Initially, THE RAID is a bullet-laden shoot-em' up, but as the SWAT team starts to run out of ammo and weapons they're forced to rely on improvised edged weapons and brawn, and in that regard, star Iko Uwais is one of the most proficient on-screen martial artists since Tony Jaa shot onto the market with ONG BAK.

For my money though, Uwais is even better than Jaa. Like Jaa, he's not particularly brawny, and doesn't carry himself as a badass. Rather, he's a quiet family man, who's simply scared out of his wits and just wants to get home in one piece- and to that end, will take out anyone that's stupid enough to get in his way. I like that kind of regular-guy, understated cool, and it's nice to see an action hero who never resorts to cheesy action hero posing, or one-liners.

Uwais fighting prowess is captured dynamically by Evans, who eschews Hollywood style close-cutting for medium and long-shots, letting us see at all times exactly what's going on. In fact, other than some CGI blood spurts, THE RAID is totally old-school in it's approach. It's pretty obviously inspired by Woo's HARD-BOILED's climatic forty-minute long hospital shootout- albeit stretched out to feature length. The story is pretty simple here, and really just an excuse to stage wall-to-wall balls out action, but I'm not complaining, and neither was the notoriously tough to please Sundance press crowd I saw this with, with lots of cheers and whoops heard through (I also let loose a few “awwwww shiiiiiits”). Apparently, Evans shot this for a ridiculous low budget, but you'd never know it, with it being as polished as any big-budget actioner I've seen recently. Shinoda's score is also really cool, and complements the action beautifully, especially during the climatic 2-on-1 battle with the drug-lord's crazed main henchman.

After the screening, someone else who saw the movie told me that she felt like she needed a Valium, as she got so wound-up by the time it was over. It's really one of those types of balls-out flicks that really does a number on you when you're watching it, as it's like a roller-coaster ride that just won't stop. Frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way, and in between this, DRIVE, and HAYWIRE, maybe we're FINALLY seeing a return to a more stripped down, classic style of action film-making. One thing's for sure, both Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais are guys to watch, and I can't wait to see what they come up with next. In my grade book, this one gets a fuckin' A!

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: Of course, this will inevitably get a shitty PG-13 remake starring some Hollywood pretty boy. Unless Evans directs it himself, they should just focus on promoting the original. PS: This review was originally posted in January 2012 (Sundance Film Festival).
Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

7:20PM on 11/16/2012

Favorite new movie I've seen in 2012.

I keep watching it again & again, the score is amazing, with Chino Moreno of Deftones providing the closing track. Frankly, I don't understand the nitpicking (by some) about the characters being underdeveloped. It's an action movie, and a damn good one at that.
I keep watching it again & again, the score is amazing, with Chino Moreno of Deftones providing the closing track. Frankly, I don't understand the nitpicking (by some) about the characters being underdeveloped. It's an action movie, and a damn good one at that.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
12:37PM on 03/31/2012

wow believe the hype!

just saw it last night, holy balls! non-stop, easy to follow, bone-crunching fights. If you think its crazy after the first big fight, you have no idea what you're in for. it just keeps escalating and escalating. 10/10 definitely buying this on blu-ray
just saw it last night, holy balls! non-stop, easy to follow, bone-crunching fights. If you think its crazy after the first big fight, you have no idea what you're in for. it just keeps escalating and escalating. 10/10 definitely buying this on blu-ray
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+3
8:15AM on 03/22/2012

Just got back from a screening...

Totally agree, awesome action! 9/10
Totally agree, awesome action! 9/10
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:54AM on 03/22/2012

I WANT TO SEE THIS!!!

I WANT TO SEE THIS!!!
I WANT TO SEE THIS!!!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
3:48AM on 03/22/2012
Cannot, for the love of god, figure out why my local theater is not showing this. We usually get all variety of foreign films, most recently having Viral Factor and The Yellow Sea, but for some odd reason this critically acclaimed film isn't being shown. This is a film I really want to see and am deeply disappointed that it's not playing anywhere near me.
Cannot, for the love of god, figure out why my local theater is not showing this. We usually get all variety of foreign films, most recently having Viral Factor and The Yellow Sea, but for some odd reason this critically acclaimed film isn't being shown. This is a film I really want to see and am deeply disappointed that it's not playing anywhere near me.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:26AM on 01/28/2012

Bad to the Ass

I just saw this tonight at Sundance, and let me just say this review is spot on. I loved this movie, and it is my all time favorite Sundance movie. Does it mean it will win Oscars? No. Do I care? No. Will I buy it on blu-ray? Yes.

The audience was enthralled, there were many moments of applause, and the film delivered in incredible ways. A huge applause from the crowd, and I can honestly say I saw things in this film I've never seen in ANY film.

The only complaint is there are a few
I just saw this tonight at Sundance, and let me just say this review is spot on. I loved this movie, and it is my all time favorite Sundance movie. Does it mean it will win Oscars? No. Do I care? No. Will I buy it on blu-ray? Yes.

The audience was enthralled, there were many moments of applause, and the film delivered in incredible ways. A huge applause from the crowd, and I can honestly say I saw things in this film I've never seen in ANY film.

The only complaint is there are a few holes in the plot, but that's okay, because it didn't take away from what was most important: A raid in which people die, people get banged up, revenge is given us, and the Klingons just got taken down a notch.

Epic and enthralling.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+1
4:52AM on 01/24/2012
i'm not yet seen this film in my country, indonesia
i'm not yet seen this film in my country, indonesia
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:04AM on 01/24/2012
So in 2014 we will get it again but with white people and PG-13, right? Fuck you hollywood....
So in 2014 we will get it again but with white people and PG-13, right? Fuck you hollywood....
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+3
5:31PM on 01/23/2012
I cannot express how bad I wanna watch this film! Hope Evans keeps himself within the asian cinema so he may never be PG-rated...
I cannot express how bad I wanna watch this film! Hope Evans keeps himself within the asian cinema so he may never be PG-rated...
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+4
2:30PM on 01/23/2012
Been looking forward to this since you guys reviewed it for TIFF. It's been a while since I've seen a great MA film like this that was just all out awesome action. I'll definitely be looking for this one at the theater.
Been looking forward to this since you guys reviewed it for TIFF. It's been a while since I've seen a great MA film like this that was just all out awesome action. I'll definitely be looking for this one at the theater.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:31PM on 01/23/2012

Saw that one coming...

The past few years I've seen quite a few foreign action movies and their better then any Hollywood action movie in the past 30 years hands down. Check out the Thailand and South Korean movies.
The past few years I've seen quite a few foreign action movies and their better then any Hollywood action movie in the past 30 years hands down. Check out the Thailand and South Korean movies.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+22
1:24PM on 01/23/2012

At Least it is R-rated

I wonder if Chuck Norris will try and boycott this film.
I wonder if Chuck Norris will try and boycott this film.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:06AM on 01/23/2012
Just shot up to my most anticipated.
Just shot up to my most anticipated.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:12AM on 01/23/2012
Wow, 9 out of 10? I've got to check this out.
Wow, 9 out of 10? I've got to check this out.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:11AM on 01/23/2012
Having seen 'Merantau' I'm awfully impressed with Iko Uwais as an actor as well as martial artist. Tony Jaa is great, but acting isn't exactly his strong suit. Uwais reminds me a lot of the Hong Kong glory days of Jet Li and Chow Yun Fat...a cool, believable screen presence, who brings proper emotional weight to both action and non-action scenes. Can't wait for this flick.
Having seen 'Merantau' I'm awfully impressed with Iko Uwais as an actor as well as martial artist. Tony Jaa is great, but acting isn't exactly his strong suit. Uwais reminds me a lot of the Hong Kong glory days of Jet Li and Chow Yun Fat...a cool, believable screen presence, who brings proper emotional weight to both action and non-action scenes. Can't wait for this flick.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:12AM on 01/23/2012
Officially looking more forward to seeing this than EXPENDABLES 2.
Officially looking more forward to seeing this than EXPENDABLES 2.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More