The Raid: Redemption is a drop kick to the senses
he Raid: Redemption is a rare action film that deserves all the typical, cliché praise that is lauded at action films. Let’s go through the list, shall we?
ACTION PACKED THRILL RIDE: Action packed may not even begin to describe this Indonesian film, featur- ing Indonesia’s unique brand of martial arts, pencak silat. Still shots are few and far between— most of the actors spend their time wailing on each other, artfully trying to break each others limbs with absolutely frightening speed.
EDGE OF YOUR SEAT THRILLER: The Raid: Redemption isn’t super heavy on plot— essentially, a group of elite SWAT are tasked with raiding an apartment complex owned by a shady drug dealer— but there are certainly enough moments that will have you peeking out from behind your fingers. In a particu- larly grotesque scene, the villain takes out one of his cronies with the devastating use of a hammer. Moreover, it’s a compelling film. Simple doesn’t mean bad when it comes to filmmaking.
[NEW YOUNG ACTOR] IS A RISING STAR: Iko Uwais plays a rookie SWAT, Joe Taslim his mentor. Both handsome and insanely physically fit, the two also possess a charismatic magnetism on screen. Time will tell if they can break the North American market, but they are certainly two to look out for in future actions films. The rest of the supporting cast are no slouches either. Yayan Ruhian is especially terrifying as the kingpin’s enforcer, a wiry little guy who has more energy than the Tasmanian Devil.
A TOUR-DU-FORCE: This term is normally applied to the latest art house fare from Malick or the like. But who says a tour-du-force can’t include an exploding fridge and people being drop-
kicked through doors?
YOU’LL BE IN THE AISLES CHEERING: Sure, you could do this. But the audience might look at you funny. Of course, there are a lot of things you can say about this film that don’t neatly fit in any action movie cliché. It’s incredibly diverse cast, for one, sets it apart from the white boys club of action movies. There are also a few little plot twists that you won’t see coming. And then there’s the action itself.
The Raid: Redemption looks unlike a lot of action films that have been out in recent years. The fight scenes are fast, but because they’ve been shot in crisp, clear definition, it’s easy to follow exactly what’s going on.
This is a genuinely grin-inducing martial arts film. Just watching these guys perform the amazing stunts they do is enough to be completely enthralled. Or, to put in a cliché— The Raid: Redemption knocks it out of the park.