Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Raid: Redemption MOVIE REVIEW

The Raid ("Redemption" was added for the US release) is a martial arts movie from Indonesia that has been getting a lot of buzz lately, with some critics touting it as one of the best action films in years.  The story is really simple; basically there is this SWAT team (or whatever the Indonesian equivalent of our SWAT team is) and they are tasked with killing a ruthless drug lord named Tama.  He's situated in a [I want to say 15-floor] apartment building which he uses as his criminal drug headquarters.  The whole movie is pretty much the SWAT team going floor by floor fighting bad guys and there is a ton of bloodshed and amazing action.  Gareth Evans, the director in love with the Indonesian martial art known as Silat, gives the fighting style its full impact in The Raid.  This movie is a ridiculously over-the-top violent adrenaline rush.  What it lacks in story it makes up for in balls-to-the-wall fight sequences.  I can't think of a movie that has done this better since The Matrix (and maybe The Matrix Reloaded, which love-it or hate-it, did have some spectacular fights).

The pace is so quick you'll forget about the bland plot.  The constantly pulsing musical score really helps with that, arranged by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park.  The score really helps to add shape to the fights, which can sometimes take a long time.  There are a lot of talented ass-kickers on showcase here, but my favorite had to be this guy named Yayan Ruhian.  He plays this guy called Mad Dog and he has two major fight scenes that were impossible to look away from.  He, along with the lead actor (played by Iko Uwais, a go-to actor for Evans), kick way too much ass for one movie.  I sat in a packed theater and people were audibly reacting with ow's and fuck's on a regular basis.  Some viewers might be repulsed by the amount of hitting, punching, kicking, neck-twisting, and blood-splattering, but for those certain fucked up individuals (like me) this is the cinematic equivalent of crack.  The story is completely stripped down to the most basic action plot and the rest is just relentless insanity.  If you like these kinds of flicks, try to see this film!

Rating: B (but the action gets an A)

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