Howdy ladies and gents, its review time once again and today I FINALLY got around to watching The Raid: Redemption after all this time and now I wanna pass on my thoughts. Since I knew that The Raid 2 on the way in a few months I knew that I wouldn’t forgive myself if I hadn’t checked out the first film beforehand. So what did I think of The Raid? Read on and find out.
The story for this film can be described as the following:
“In Jakarta, Indonesia, Lieutenant Wahyu organizes the invasion of an apartment building that is the safe house of the powerful and cruel drug lord Tama and his gang. The SWAT team breaks in the building but one lookout sees and warns the gangsters and the police force is trapped on the seventh floor. They learn that Lt. Wahyu has not informed his superiors about the operation. Now the police officers have to fight with limited ammunition against the armed and dangerous gangsters.”
First things first, I can’t believe how similar this is to Dredd, since The Raid came out prior to the Dredd, I fell like Dredd just ripped the story off from this film so much a just replaced a few key elements in terms of the amount of characters. Well whatever, I just wanted to point that out (but everyone who saw both films knows that already).
Anyway, the film is small on story and big on spectacle but what story there is its alright. There is some interesting backstory to be found with Rama and I like that there is some dodgy dealings and corrupt police aspects that made it into this film. But beyond those few elements the film gets a bit dull between fights scene, but when action takes center stage it a fun adrenaline rush of fun!
As for the cast they are all pretty good, however since I’m not good at keeping up with loads of people in foreign films I’ll just highlight the ones I remember. Firstly Iko Uwais as Rama was awesome and really the only man person you should care about because he’s the only good guy with enough backstory for you to care about. Iko’s skill as a martial artist is inanely good with some incredible speed, ferocity and natural charisma, I loved him. Donny Alamsyah as Andi was pretty cool as well, he was a little shady but had a bit more depth to him than I expect. Ray Sahetapy as Tama Riyadi seriously reminded me of Javier Bardem for some reason, just his face, cold and twisted nature, I saw Bardem in him. 😛 Other than that I thought Riyadi made for a good villain.
Then there’s Yayan Ruhian as Mad Dog, fuck me this guy was a mutant in this film. His martial arts skill is off the chain and there was so much flair, style and overall badassery to all of his moves that it made my mind bend! Mad Dog was so resilient, I thought he was some sort of super human, but that only shows how badass Ruhian came across in the film. Also Joe Taslim as Sergeant Jaka who I just remembered was in Fast 6 last year was pretty good thought not nearly as badass as he was in the other film and Pierre Gruno as Lieutenant Wahyu was good as the cop looking out for his own ass.
When it comes to the presentation it is gorgeous. Now this is a martial arts film! So much action, so much blood and carnage, I love it! I dunno if I’ve mentioned this on the blog before but I’m a massive martial arts junkie. Next to sci-fi and action films, martial arts films are what I grew up with and still love to this day. Just seeing a film with some beautifully choreographed hand-to-hand combat sequences just set my soul on fire! And The Raid did not disappoint. This film felt like it had the choreography of 1980’s kung-fu films mixed in with today’s tight and fast fight scenes. Like a cross between Police Story and The Expendables. The fight scenes are tight, well-shot, bloody and very creative with the use of makeshift weapons. And there are at least two scenes of death that made my heart stop and say “Shit!” It was THAT good. As for the soundtrack by Mike Shinoda and Joseph Trapanese, it was a bit of mixed bag, sometimes music work and had a dark and dramatic tone or energetic tone, however a fair amount of the time it was kind of distracting because it didn’t fit with the on-screen action.
So in conclusion The Raid: Redemption is kick ass film with martial arts action all around that is both violent and well-choreographed. The only bummer was that there wasn’t more fighting, in a martial arts film I’d like to think that the martial arts takes center stage instead of guns, I want it all to be hands and feet messing people up. But that’s just a minor nitpick.
Rating: 8/10 (punches, kicks, weapons, blood and chaos. Good stuff haha)
So now I ask you, have you seen The Raid: Redemption and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in comments section below and I’ll see ya on the film review yo! 😀