There has been a lot of raves from action fans about this Indonesian film and now after having finally gotten to see it I can see why.
The Raid (that’s how I refer to it, I don’t include ‘Redemption to it. I’m still not sure why they tacked that on) is a bare bones story that is mainly a setup to have action scenes strung throughout the entire film. And it works.
The story is very simple. A 20-man SWAT team stages a raid on a tenement building that holds a notorious crime lord. As they progress up each story things look like it will go smoothly, until on the sixth floor they encounter a lookout who alerts the entire building to their presence.
Now the squad is faced with endless encounters of criminal tenants who are willing to go to any lengths to kill them thanks to the instructions of the lead criminal who is monitoring their movements throughout his building.
The film doesn’t get much more complicated than that. There are shootouts, explosions, snipers, stabbings, hand-to-hand combat and deadly confrontations that really get gruesome and creative. Fortunately, all the action is very entertaining. Things get pretty hardcore, so it’s no wonder action fans have been raving about it.
The action does subside long enough for us to get to know our main character played by Iko Uwais, a rookie officer who will soon be a father and has an estranged brother who he just happens to bump into during all this chaos.
This story feels somewhat like padding. It’s not really that interesting, but their reunion culminates in them engaging in a pretty impressive fight against one of the buildings most lethal residents.
The Raid has some impressive visuals, a cool style and some glorious choreography that are performed beautifully by the actors. It’s certainly not a very deep film, but it simply delivers on being an entertaining action-packed adrenaline ride. Action fans should really enjoy it.
There has been talk of a U.S. remake which is good since you can’t see the The Raid anywhere……oh wait…yes you can watch The Raid! It’s on DVD! So why bother remaking it? Not a good idea.
I imagine an American version would just tone down the gore, replace the cultural martial arts talent with snappy editing and become a very hollow film. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong, but The Raid works fine without any help from Hollywood getting their hands on it.