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Sunday, March 25, 2012



Is this the return of action films? What did RAMA think? Make sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Screw those PG-13 action bullcrap out there! THE RAID: REDEMPTION is what’s up!

Wow! Thank you director Gareth Evans and Indo martial art superstar Iko Uwais for crafting this spectacular R-rated action flick, which goes to show that hardcore awesomeness that’s not toned down just to get more audience and box office money, still exists. THE RAID: REDEMPTION is non-stop ass-kickin’, pure high-powered energy from start to finish. It’s everything that we action fans want and more…

As a rookie member of an elite special-forces team, Rama (Iko Uwais) is instructed to hang back during a covert mission involving the extraction of a brutal crime lord from a rundown fifteen-story apartment block. But when a spotter blows their cover, boss Tama (Ray Sahetaphy) offers lifelong sanctuary to every killer, rapist and thief in the building in exchange fortheir heads. Now Rama must stand in for the team’s fallen leader (Joe Taslim) and use every iota of his fighting strength – winding through every floor and every room to complete the mission and escape with his life.


I was anticipating this movie ever since I heard it receive huge buzz at Toronto festival last year. As you know, I’m Indonesian, and although a Welsh filmmaker directed this movie, it’s practically an Indonesian film because it’s in Indonesian language and it starred a ton of Indonesian actors who can actually fight and do some serious damage.

I genuinely enjoy the way the action sequences are choreographed; the outnumbered SWAT team is practically stuck in this place that’s more or less like a den of snakes. The odds are not in the good guys’ favor.

This is not ACT OF VALOR, this is not American SWAT Team, so their weapons are limited, there’s no night vision or high tech. Bullets fly all over the place and the hand to hand combat is as lethal as it gets.
And the story is solid as well, the brotherhood theme, it’s nothing new but it compliments the action, they’re all balanced. It’s not one of those cases where you wonder if the story is built around the action and vice versa.

The action in THE RAID: REDEMPTION is creative, no holds barred and it leaves nothing to imagination, because we’re dealing with kill or be killed situation.

The way the frames are set and some of the tricks to get that shock and awe value is nothing short of impressive for a fresh new filmmaker like Evans.

Iko’s choreography is violent and fun. You can’t keep your eyes off it. He’d move in tight spaces and narrow hallways, surrounded by a bunch of baddies and so the timing of each kick lands perfectly. There’s a memorable dual fight scene against one so called mad dog that went on for what felt like an eternity but you wouldn’t mind because the punches just keep on coming from every direction. The martial art is Indonesia’s very own Pencak Silat and anybody who knows Silat would know that there are many forms of it, so the one you see in THE RAID: REDEMPTION is just a few or it barely touches the surface and it’s already downright awesome!

I hope the collaboration of Evans-Uwais is one that would go on forever, much like Scorsese-DiCaprio and Scott-Crowe.

Screw those PG-13 action bullcrap out there! THE RAID: REDEMPTION is what’s up!

GRADE: 5 out of 5

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