The Raid: Redemption
Superb martial arts action, kickass music, and the right blend of violence and gore to solidify itself as a classic, The Raid: Redemption is one of the best action movies I have ever seen. While the movie is subtitled (stay with me here) and the film grade is a gritty patchwork of nostalgic, grindhouse flair, it is very artistic in the way that the choreography, pacing, and direction flows together harmoniously.
The Raid: Redemption is a small film with a ton of muscle… within the 101 minutes of film we get non-stop action, elbow strikes, knee strikes, punches, kicks, blocks, counters, point-blank shots, knife cuts and takedowns. I think if anything The Raid had more face to wall smashes per minute than any other movie in the history of film. It was exciting, awe-inspiring and dare I say brave due to the fact that the actual story is only told through a few exchanges (when there was a break in between the fights) and the relationships that get revealed throughout the play.
One of The Best Action Movies Period!
The story starts with a team of SWAT police officers raiding a 15 floor apartment complex in order to assassinate a notorious drug lord. The 18 men each have their own stories but the focus for this movie was on one in particular – Rama (Iko Uwais), a father, husband, and gifted fighter. The film is shot in Indonesia and the language is Malay, but the Director is a Welsh Otaku by the name of Gareth Evans, he also wrote and edited the movie, which makes sense as it seemed to have real heart behind it.
The Raid: Redemption’s music was composed by Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal. Let me tell you , there was never a time where you didn’t feel the music, it would start, end abruptly and leave you hanging as a machete comes swinging or someone gets sniped in the eye through a window. The music was top-notch and appropriate for many of the scenes and it was a perfect score for the entire movie.
Above all else choreography is what makes The Raid what it is for fans like me. In my theater, the audience was literally cheering every second of the film due to the fights being like a well-orchestrated dance that had been rehearsed for years by its performers. One bad guy who goes simply by the name “Mad Dog” (Yayan Ruhian) is guaranteed to be remembered by anyone who sees the movie. His skill was on par with the Silver Fox of classic martial arts cinema, and his respect of the code was even more impressive.
You won’t see choreography like The Raid: Redemption very much… it was like Ong Bak with 20 Tony Jaa’s fighting one another – just think about that. The camera-work was crazy but did so much for the action scenes, and the stunt men and martial artists were at the top of their game. Look, if you are lucky enough to have The Raid Redemption playing in a theater near you, I would encourage you to get out and see it. This is a classic folks and you will not be disappointed, on the contrary you will probably want to see it multiple times like I do.
From now on Gareth Evans is a name I will respect if it’s attached to an action movie, and The Raid: Redemption is why. What a fabulously Spicy experience!