Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Raid: Redemption

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Raid:  Redemption - 5 out of 5

Watch this trailer...

Wasn't that awesome?!?  When I first saw that trailer, I instantly got an action movie erection and grew an action movie vagina that became moist with action movie lubricant.  Did that metaphor gross you out?  If it did, you're not prepared for the level of face punching, knee kicking and neck snapping bad-assery that is the Indonesian action film The Raid:  Redemption.

My childhood games of "Cops and Robbers" would get this serious...
shit was on when I was a child.

In the slums of Jakarata, a seemingly untouchable crime lord named Riyadi hides in an apartment complex where he houses all sorts of criminals, nefarious types and ne'er-do-wells.  A SWAT team becomes organized by Lieutenant Wahyu and is led by Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim).  The team gets more than they bargained for when they realize that there was a reason why the complex was untouchable and it seems that this mission wasn't sanctioned by anyone except Lt. Wahyu, so no help is coming.

I'm not sure if the Indonesian police force requires testing on one's ability to take
a machete to the cheek without screaming but there's this point in the movie
where such training would come in handy.

The teams sees themselves being picked off one by one as Riyadi announces to his tenants that anyone who stops the SWAT team gets to live rent free and it becomes a battle for survival for the officers--mainly expecting father and rookie member Rama (Iko Uwais).

Hey, I didn't know that Metallica's guitarist Kirk Hammett was in this!

My expectations were kinda high for this one because the trailer looked so amazing.  As the film starts it moves slowly before some action starts and the bullets fly and the blood gushes.  But even as the first bad guy hits the ground and the nameless good guys' bodies start to pile up in retaliation, the action stops to create tension and drama to the story as the character of Rama finds his estranged brother and discovers that he is the crime lord's right hand man.  Then, just as I question if I'm going to see anymore of the traditional Indonesian martial arts of pencak silat (don't be too impressed with me knowing that because I Googled what art form was used for the movie) and the brakes on the film would be firmly in place for character development and drama, the slamming of fists into jaws, sweeps of kicks to the leg and flinging of bodies start all over again.

"Why you hitting yourself?  Why you hitting yourself?"

I would be lying if I said I saw this movie for anything other than the action.  And once the action gets into full swing--not the foreplay action towards the beginning of the film--I was mucho satisfied.  This ain't your run-of-the-mill action movie you're used to in America.  Only one explosion exists in the film that I can recall and the geriatric arthritic-kneed has been action stars trying vainly to be relevant again by starring in a movie that looks more like a joke you'd see on The Onion's News Network than a legitimate case of being a movie is thankfully missing.  This movie's action is fast pace fists-a-flying with fight choreography that is both awesome to watch and dangerously beautiful in its execution.  Even more amazing is how the camera work doesn't take a back seat to these sequences as it brings you, the viewer, into the action thanks to tight close-ups in the tight corridors and sweeping movements in more open areas that make you feel like you're the beginning of a crowd circling around the combatants about to chant "fight, fight, fight" or like you are in some kind of club watching guys fight...but we won't talk about such a thing.

The point of view of a spider on the ceiling watching the fight...he has the best seats.

The Raid:  Redemption is one of those testosterone stuffed movies that shows and reminds you that a big gun doesn't make a man a bad-ass but his ability to shove another man's nose to the back of his skull with his fist does and it makes you forget you're the world's most un-dateable man who lives in his mother's basement and can't get a job beyond reviewing movies on a blog for peanuts (okay, you might not relate to that last part).

I'm sure he's alright.

I'm not a violent guy but I love violent media.  Watching violent movies, playing violent video games and reading books about severing goblins in half with magical swords are a form of release.  All the frustrations from the day like the teenage girl cutting you off in traffic because texting "OMG" to her "BFF" is more important than my continued existence on this planet or like the time a bird took a shit on my head--while I was indoors!--one needs those small vacations from the horrors of reality and violent media is one of those perfect vacations--one where you get to live vicariously through someone who can actually fight and won't wet himself when struck back (again, probably something you can't relate to).  The Raid is one of those great action films that you can submerge yourself into with a tub of popcorn (that you'll be shoveling into your gullet as the pummeling starts...or maybe that's just me again) and feel your adrenaline start to pump in your blood as the crack of fist into bone starts filling your stereo speakers.

It's always awkward waiting with a stranger for an elevator...especially if the
stranger is bleeding from the face.

In usual American tradition and despite the fact that the movie was released in the U.S., a remake has been put into the works so your typical American doesn't have to read subtitles.  This annoying fact aside, The Raid:  Redemption is a superb action film that looks good while kicking ass at the same time...I suggest you see this one before America fucks it up with a remake that will, most likely, star Jason Statham.


  1. "The point of view of a spider on the ceiling watching the fight...he has the best seats."
    "I suggest you see this one before America fucks it up with a remake that will, most likely, star Jason Statham."

    I am not sure which of these 2 lines is the funniest one!

    Great review, Ron. I too loved this blast of a movie.


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