In one of the darkest corners of Jakarta, Indonesia there is a run-down apartment complex that houses a plethora of criminals, drug addicts, killers, and the crime lord Tama Riyada (Ray Sahetapy). His kingdom has remained unscathed due to the unsuccessful attempts on the part of the local police to smoke out the place and its inhabitants (his tenants), although the authorities - a Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno) in particular - have had enough of Tama's supposed invincibility, believing it to be contrived, and an elite police team is assembled to raid the building one day. One of the men enlisted to raid the building is expectant father Rama (Iko Uwais). The first shot is of his watch.
After arriving and taking out the young man who is peacefully standing guard and watching some surrealistic clown program on television, Rama and the rest of the 20-man unit infiltrates the building. The first floors contain the easiest victims such as the addicts, most of whom are sleeping, but a few of whom are restless when the cops come a-knockin'. But the residents of the building are far from helpless. It doesn't take long to get to the ones ready with guns; and the bodies of the fuzz start piling up real fast once we do. There are no reinforcements, these man have only themselves and each-other; although mostly just themselves.
The criminals, of course, live on higher floors; but they're flexible about coming down when their existence (and money...and weaponry) is at stake. The poster for the film hints at thirty floors total, which is a lot more than I counted these boys climbing, but you get the picture; for every floor visited, a whole lot of blood and violence. It all leads up to the big boss and his assistants Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian) and Andi (Donny Alamsyah), the latter being Rama's brother. They haven't seen each-other for a long time and their distant but nevertheless brotherly bond may be one of the only things - aside from his soon to be born child and wife - that drives Rama to keep on fighting.
"The Raid: Redemption" is not about story, or themes, or characters. Everyone basically feels like an object for shooting at later on; and any sort of depth is put on the back-burner to service the sheer style of the film. Directed by Welsh director Gareth Evans, it is one of the purest action movies to come along in a long time in the sense that it is not focused on anything outside of the action itself. In any other movie that would be a problem - I don't like the concept of a film just being about mayhem and destruction, much less in such a violent fashion - but somehow the action is like a story in itself. This is complexly designed, visceral shit; nearly impossible to absorb in one viewing.
Luckily, most on board shall willingly watch this one again. It's one of the most exciting, straight-up entertaining genre pictures I've ever seen; no distractions, no real intelligence required. Not on the part of the filmmakers, Evans and company have made a knock-out of a movie that could only be made if one possessed a substantial amount of talent in the required areas, but more-so on the part of an audience. This is not a thinking man's film, but it is for those who go to the movies sometimes just to be entertained. Seldom is there something as stylistically unforgettable as this; indeed, it is Indonesian, but it feels like one of those Asian martial arts pictures that they used to make, still do make, but don't make quite as skillfully anymore as they did back in the day. Those are the kinds of films that inspired "The Raid"; the movies with hand-to-hand and knife combat, macho men cardboard cut-out characters, and a very high body-and-bullet count.
It's almost sad that we absolutely need something as undeniably badass as "The Raid" to cope. As a filmmaker, you kind of have to be ambitious and borderline crazy to make a good genre picture that leaves a lasting impression; that filmmaker is Evans, and that film is his to claim. You've probably already seen the hallway fight scene as well as a few others which I won't spoil 'because I'm a nice guy like that, and frankly that's all you need to see to decide whether you want to be rushing out to see this one. There will be an audience that adores the look, the feel, and the frenetic stunt-showcase that is "The Raid"; while there will certainly be others who despise the film's tendency to disregard moral decency and go straight for the throat with its violence and action. Here's what I know: I fucking loved this movie, every moment of it, plain and simple. I'm on Evans' side with anything he does in the future; because I honestly don't know what to expect, and that's a great feeling.
I’ve been so disappointed with the recent flurry of Hollywood commercial films that I had to once again use my nose to find a great movie amongst the independent/foreign film circuit in my local neighborhood theater. This is how I came across the Indonesian Action film called “The Raid: Redemption” (Indonesian title: “Serbuan Maut” translates to "The Deadly Attack"). This is the second collaboration between fight choreographers Iko Iwais and Yayan Ruhian after … more
In the middle of Jakarta's slums lies an impenetrable apartment complex which is a safe house for the city's most dangerous murderers, killers and gangsters. The crappy apartment block has been considered untouchable to even the police. It all changes when an elite team is tasked with raiding the building in order to take down the notorious crime lord Tama Riyandi who runs it and ultimately resides at the top of this insane game of death. Getting ready to tackle this risky and dangerous layered … more
Star Rating: The Raid: Redemption is unwatchably bad – a film that has no ambition other than to be noisy, aggressive, and relentlessly violent. Watching it is a little like being trapped in an arcade game and having absolutely no control over it. The characters, developed solely on shallow and overused clichés, are essentially targets in a shooting gallery, most of them serving no purpose apart from awaiting their cue to die in a savage attack. … more
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Opened March 23, 2012 (Limited 3/23) | Runtime:1 hr 41 min
R Strong Brutal Bloody Violence and Language
Information for parents: Common Sense Media says not for kids.
Rama, a member of a special forces team, arrives at a rundown apartment block with a mission to remove its owner, a notorious drug lord. The building has become a sanctuary to killers, gangs, rapists and thieves seeking accommodation in the one place they know they cannot be touched by the police. When a spotter blows their cover, Rama and his team must fight their way through every floor and every room not just to complete their mission but to survive their bloody ordeal.