The Raid: Redemption

The raid is an indonisian martial arts action movie direct by garath evans and starring iko weiss as rama, a swat team member who are tasked with raiding a 30 story appartment block that houses the most dangerous criminals in the city. The cops are too frightened to enter the building due to the buildings drug kingpin owner. So it is up to rama and the rest of the team to takedown the drug lord. For the first fifteen floors the plan goes perfect, but the team is spotted by a watcher which alerts every criminal in the building. Thus, a war is started. The team is now faced with the task of trying to get out of the building alive, at whatever the cost.

When reviewing a foreign martial arts movie, you cant review it like a hollywood action movie. In martial arts films staring the likes of jackie chan or jet li, the is a greater emphasis on action than characters and story. In a martial arts film, the typical ratio of story to acting would be ten hours action, one hour story. In hollywood, there would be one hour action and ten hours story. So when watching a martial arts film it can be expected that the action scenes come first and that the characters are fitted around that action.

The same is applied to the raid: redemption. The characters are built around the action. This is by no means a bad thing. The purpose of a martial arts movie is to have spectacular fights that showcase the actors or performers ability. The story doesn’t matter as much. Can anyone remember the story for jackie chans police story? Maybe not. But everyone remembers the mall fight.

When people have seen the raid, everyone will remember the fight scenes, whether its Rama’s 4 on 1 corridor fight scene, the drug making floor fight, or the final 2 on 1. The raid is stunning at what it is. What is most surprising however, is the fact that it has a good story. Essentially being die hard in a different language, the raids story isn’t anything new. But unusual for a martial arts movie, i felt as though i actually cared what was going to happen. It seems as though more thought has gone into it than normal. This is down to its Welsh writer-director Gareth Evans, who understands how a martial arts movie should b filmed, but also how to tell a simple, coherent story.

Some may be surprised at the rating i have given the raid: redemption, but i feel it is fully deserved. When watched as a martial arts-action film, there are very few films in the last decade that keeps your blood pumping as hard and as fast.

 

5/5

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