THE RAID : REDEMPTION
Release : Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions acquired the distribution rights of the film for the U.S., and revised the music score and had the title changed to The Raid: Redemption. Distribution rights for other countries have also sold, including Alliance (Canada), Momentum (United Kingdom), Madman (Australia), SND (France), Kadokawa (Japan), Koch (Germany), HGC (China), and Calinos (Turkey). Deals have also been made with distributors from Russia, Scandinavia, Benelux, Iceland, Italy, Latin America, Korea and India during the film screening at the TIFF.
FILM REVIEW 1 (Canada)
Just when you thought the book couldn’t be rewritten . . ., 3 October 2011
Author: Coolestmovies from Canada
NOTE: Early, gushing reviews from TIFF Midnight Madness presentations should not generally be trusted, as many fest-goers are unable to separate the film from the experience, and formal critical consensus often sends most Midnight films into obscurity. Thankfully, THE RAID earns its stripes and deserves its praise, and stands firmly above the typically overeager reactions heaped on many other films screened in the Midnight program this year and in years past.
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In the future, when someone tells you a movie is wall-to-wall martial arts and gunplay, you should have no choice but to ask them how it rates against this picture, which has so much gunfire and brutal martial arts action — all of it meticulously choreographed in ways more refreshing than I’d ever have thought possible in this world of peak-performance Donnie Yens and Tony Jaas — that I very nearly lost the hearing in my right ear, in no small part thanks to the tendency of TIFF sluggos to mistake volume for quality when adjusting their sound levels in an aged, less-than–acoustically-ideal theatre.
Star Iko Uwais is the real deal: wiry, lightning-fast and evidently the leader of a team of experts that truly takes martial arts choreography into new territory with this film (and, to a lesser extent, MERENTAU before it). If there’s a downside to his inevitable celebrity because of this film, it’s that Indonesian cinema in general will fare no better than Thai cinema has in the wake of Tony Jaa. Like Jaa, anything Uwais makes from this film on — especially if he keeps teaming with writer-director Gareth Evans, as he should for at least a couple more pictures — will gain instant and welcome interest from the west, while the rest of Indonesian cinema (such as it is!) will remain the domain of low-brow entertainment that caters largely to the locals, with the exception of the occasional horror movie that can be scooped up for exploitation by “Asian Extreme” DVD labels and streams in the U.S. and Europe.
What really separates this picture from the hordes of martial arts films from the region is its heavy use of Silat, the native martial art of Indonesia. I’ve seen a billion martial arts pictures over the years, and a million “styles” to go with them, but I’ll admit my knowledge of Silat was absolute zero, and this movie turned out to be a wonderful wakeup call.
The key thing about Silat is that it involves knives, lots of ’em, and the film’s heroes and villains deploy them with extreme prejudice for almost the entire duration. One stab won’t do, but ten capped off by a throat slashing is a good way to gauge whether you’ve won the battle.
By way of example, picture the exemplary alley-fight-with-sharp-weapons between Donnie Yen and Jackie Wu Jing in SPL (a personal favourite sequence). Now, double the speed (!), and make the ultimate goal to stab, slice or otherwise eviscerate your opponent into oblivion, and you’ve got most of the hand-to-hand combat in THE RAID. Hero cop Uwais has this neat little trick where he stabs a long blade deep into your upper thigh, then yanks it clean down to your kneecap. Ouch! This thing is bloody with a capital B, but it’s so exceptionally well choreographed, photographed and edited that you never lose sight of the geography surrounding the combatants or feel like you’ve missed a single blow or puncture as each new pair (or group!) of fighters grinds each other down.
Evans’ editing in particular is a standout, and rather refreshingly, it isn’t used to hide little bits of phony business or make the fight participants look more skilled than they really are, such as it often is in so many action pictures these days (both in western, and, sadly, many Asian cinemas; Legend of the Fist, I’m looking at you). Evans’ performers know their stuff, and his editing does more showing than telling.
As to the picture as a whole, if you thought the final 40 minutes of John Woo’s HARD BOILED were collectively one of the greatest pieces of action cinema from anywhere ever, imagine that cinematic Nirvana expanded to feature length, and with virtually no fat. The movie starts with a team of elite cops attempting to covertly secure a maze-like high-rise slum apartment building run by a merciless drug lord (when we first meet him, he’s executing five bound and gagged men in his office, but he runs out of bullets for the fifth guy, which causes him to casually grab a hammer out of his desk drawer . . . ). Within minutes, though, his goons — who populate every floor of the building like cockroaches, fight like rabid dogs and spontaneously appear around every corner and out of every doorway — turn the tables and wipe out most of the fleet in a monster battle of guns, fists, feet and the ubiquitous knives, trapping just a precious few of our heroes on the sixth and seventh floors with little hope of escape.
Aside from a couple of quiet moments where allegiances on both sides of the field shift, not unexpectedly, that’s pretty much it in terms of plot, and it obvious the filmmakers would have it no other way. This is a showcase, for Silat, for Indonesia and for Iko Uwais, who is very much the “next Tony Jaa” (as I’m sure he’ll be labeled far and wide), for better and, somewhat regrettably, for worse in terms of his country’s film industry, for he may very well come to single-handedly represent it around the globe. Not that I’m complaining after having been winded by such an audacious effort as THE RAID.
Barry Prima who?
FILM REVIEW 2 (Australia)
A Constant State of Perplexion, 24 March 2012
Author: Daniel Thompson from Australia
(poster by Madman, Australia’s leading distributor)
I decided to wait a full day before writing a critical review on this movie to let my emotions die down – In conclusion i have nothing but praise for this movie.
If your goal is to walk into this movie and be psychologically challenged or expect great dialogue you will be disappointed. There are some movies that you need to walk into and know little of what will unfold to get the full cinematic experience. I always check the ratings of movies on IMDb before considering watching them and after reading some of the other user reviews on ‘high octane’ intensity and non stop fight scenes i in the least expected some good action in this movie. Even with that though i thought an entire movie could not be based on fighting scenes and score above an 8 on IMDb (boy was i wrong).
This movie is earning glowing reviews because of the action sequences filmed in the movie that place you in a cinematic experience where you actually feel like you are watching real men fight for their lives. It’s nothing poetic with backflips and flexible positions but simply man vs man often equipping anything in the room to disarm/disable and kill their opponent. It places you in the hot seat viewing the closest things to actual killings – Now this isn’t to say the movie slows down on blood spurts or zooms in when someone is getting their throat sliced – it simply shows it how it is, it’s fast, real and intense.
In some of the other reviews you hear fans praising the knife fighting scenes. This movie was incredible with it’s knife fights and how effective and swift they are in close quarters. The finish was always swiftly at the throat but that wasn’t before 2 to 3 lightning touches to the chest/quads or arms to disable an opponent or render them shocked in pain.
Heres the bottom line: This movie was made on the smallest budget i’ve ever seen for any movie to hit international screens. The director and all actors are no names that you have never heard however i guarantee that you will never watch another action film again because the raid is groundbreaking in it’s reality/intensity and quality of choreography.
Every movie that scores high ratings appeals to a certain group of audiences. This is a very specific movie but is well deserving of the praise it is receiving from our users at IMDb. It is my hope to see more of this action from the director and actors cause i honestly don’t think i can ever watch a fighting movie again.
MUST WATCH 10/10 Excellent.
FILM REVIEW 3 (Indonesia)
After watching this movie,
I found myself lost my appetite to other action movies.
For me, other action movies was a snack, 21 November 2011
Author: king_vsjn from Jakarta, Indonesia
Source : http://www.imdb.com
My number one list action movie is The Matrix because it balanced the depth of the story with the action. Somewhere among the top list, there was also The Dark Knight for the same reason. However, when speaking only ‘action’, I used to choose a Hongkong movie, Flashpoint, starred by Donnie Yen. Before Flashpoint, I’ll choose a Thailand movie, Ong Bak which launched Tony Jaa career internationally. Now, when I speak an action movie that speak for the action, I will choose an Indonesia movie, ‘THE RAID’, choreographed by Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhiyan and starred by them.
The problem with Donnie Yen’s Flashpoint was you need to wait about one hour and fifteen minutes to get the action really start but when it started, it was really worth to wait. The fight between Donnie Yen and Collin Chou, inspired by MMA especially BJJ was so well choreographed and made audience hold their breath and asking “are this sh*t a real thing?”. In Evans’ latest, THE RAID, you won’t need those one hour and fifteen minutes because he already made the audience gasps in the first fifteen minutes.
(Merantau Film Poster)
I wouldn’t say a thing about Ong Bak because in my opinion, Merantau was more superior than Ong Bak. The problem with Merantau was Gareth was trying to bring audience to understand the culture of Silat first because showing the full action.You can said, Merantau was like Yamakasi doing for parkour while The Raid was the B-13 of silat.
It is useless to review this movie from the plot because there wasn’t any significant plot. The plot was made only to bridge between one action scene to other action scene. But d*mn! Even with the weak dialog and cliché plot, Gareth executed it well so we, the audience, didn’t have time to analyze this or that. What we know, we were flooded by f*cking awesome action movies from infiltration scene, massacre scene, and of course, martial art scenes when the characters have run out of bullets.
I remember when one of Merantau review said Merantau was Ong Bak when handled professionally. The same can be said with THE RAID. The Raid was Flashpoint with larger actions and handled professionally from the music, cinematography, and even the visual effect.
The music composed by Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal was like a combination between Hans Zimmer’s Joker theme and Rage Against The Machine. It brought the audience immediately to the brutal tone of the movie. In some scenes, those music suddenly disappeared, leaving uneasiness to the audience. I wonder how Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park will interpret the scene to his score because Prayogi and Yuskemal score was perfect for the tone of this movie and it was really different with any Linkin Park score.
The sound effect, oh my, I hardly believe this is Indonesian movie. Even Hongkong movies are rarely have this good sound effect, You can differentiate between the bullet shot next to you to the bullet shot from the next room, The sound of knife slashing was so beautiful to listen and combined by the beautiful art of Silat, the scene was a masterpiece of a brutal dance of angel of death.
THE RAID has little visual effect but when they did, it was done amazingly and effectively. Frankly, prior to watch this movie, I was a little bit disappointed when I heard there will be slow-motion scene in the movie. However, Gareth proved me wrong. He was not Zack Snyder. The slow-motion was done only in one scene and perfectly executed which I hardly imagined how it should be done in other way.
Matt Flanery and Dimas Subhono as DOP played camera creatively and yet it captured all the motion perfectly. In fact, some scenes was like a scene taken from art movie due to their creative angle but it didn’t reduce the brutal tone of the movie, didn’t make the impact of every punch and kick weaker, in fact, in some scenes, it enhanced the “BAM!” factor.
The choreography was the factor which made this movie popular. I have said previously that even the fight scene between Donnie Yen and Collin Chou in Flashpoint had been surpassed by almost every fight scene in the movie. In Merantau, Gareth didn’t want to show the brutal image of silat due to the main character of that movie was a naive and kind young man from village. In this movie, the characters are cops and bad guy, so either be killed or kill. Both Iko and Yayan have choreographed it so well so even one reviewer said “I didn’t know there was so many ways to kill people until I saw this movie” and he was right. Jeff Imada (Bourne Identity) and Yuen Woo Ping will recognize these people from Indonesia and you’ll probably hear about them in coming years among the top list of fight choreographer.
After watching this movie, I found myself lost my appetite to other action movies. For me, other action movies was a snack before I can watch the next Gareth Evans project, BERANDAL.
– Kunderemp –
FILM REVIEW 4 (Germany)
A movie for Action-Fans without deepness, 15 July 2012
Author: el_normandos from Germany
I can’t share the opinion of most of the previous reviewers. Well the movie has a straight handling and the action scenes are good. But to make it short this movie has no spontaneous moments and lacks really on highlights. The story can be told in two sentence. A special police force tries to raid a penthouse. The “owner” of the house tries to hamper this situation by force of arms and plenty habitants. The movie has no deepness, no details and endless fight scenes. Well endless fight scenes are generally not bad, but in the “Raid” the fights are turining into unrealistic and tedious moments. I can’t propose to watch this movie it takes just life time.
FILM REVIEW 5 (Brazil)
Violent, Full of Action and without Story, 2 November 2012
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In Jakarta, Indonesia, Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno) organizes the invasion of an apartment building that is the safe house of the powerful and cruel drug lord Tama (Ray Sahetapy) and his gang. The SWAT team breaks in the building but one lookout sees and warns the gangsters and the police force is trapped on the seventh floor. They learn that Lt. Wahyu has not informed his superiors about the operation. Now the police officers have to fight with limited ammunition against the armed and dangerous gangsters.
“Serbuan Maut” is a violent and full of action movie unfortunately without story. Actually it seems to be a video game, with police officers and gangster using different weapons and fight. I found it overrated in IMDb. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): “Operação Invasão” (“Operation Invasion”)
FILM REVIEW 6 (Mexico)
Live action beat em up., 1 July 2012
Author: Dragon_Eye_Morrison from Mexico
What does a good action movie requires? I’ll say two things: good action sequences, and well build characters. You just can’t have one without the other, usually we get the first one, but rarely the second. This applies equally to a regular action movie or, in this case, one of the martial arts type. When you end up watching a good action movie you will remember these two things: the action sequences and the characters.
In the case of the Raid, you might remember several of the fight sequences, all of these very well made, from the stunt men to the direction and editing. Now here comes the problem, you are not going to remember a single character, and if you do, do you remember their motivations? See, in an action movie, both the good guys and the bad guys need motivations to fuel what they do. You could say this applies to any other movie as well. For the sake of keeping things simple, an action movie doesn’t need complex motivations, but at least it needs the most basic ones in order to make us care about what is going on.
The Raid lacks characters with motivations, so all we are left with are extended action sequences that go on and on. The movie suffers from this mantra of “more is better” and it throws away proper pacing in exchange for non-stop senseless and aimless action sequences. Is not enough to have people shooting and fighting and stuff exploding, you need something behind the mayhem. The Raid gives us nothing, no character to care about. Every single character is interchangeable.
It has become a cliché to say that a movie sometimes looks like a video game, and it’s ironic considering how hard many games these days try to look like a movie. The Raid truly feels like a game, one in the vein of those arcade beat em ups like Final Fight, Double Dragon, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Streets of Rage and so on. We get a brief intro, usually a girl being kidnapped, we get a hero to choose and there you go, beat everyone on your path. Also, while you can forgive many things in the plot of an action movie, the movie just gets dumb for the sake of it. The bad guy has cameras everywhere, yet he can’t pin a single guy, and he sends just a small group of people, none of them with guns. Some have machetes, but why would they want to use that when they could just gun down the few remaining good guys? Oh right, there wouldn’t be any fight sequences left. Is like if in Die Hard Hans decided to tell his goons to look for Mclaine with knifes because that’s more “honorable” or something like that.
If you are an action aficionado you will dig this, no question about it, but i don’t think you will remember much of it. Again, the fights are very well done, far better than in Merantau, but the emptiness of the story and the characters will just make you feel that way, empty. It’s like a very tasty fast-food snack that just won’t satisfy your hunger. Good for a while, but in the longer term, you want something that has more meat to eat.
FILM REVIEW 7 (Netherland)
One of the most brutal movies i’ve ever seen, and goooood., 31 March 2012
Author: johan Lebbing from Netherlands
This is an excellent action movie……a “this is how you make a great action flick” movie. Non-stop action, and also very bloody. All i can say is, go and watch this very, very cool movie. I saw the action packed movie “Ajeossi” ( Man from nowhere ), and thàt was for me one of the greatest korean films ever ( the movie is in my personal top 10 list of best movies all time )…..i was truly stunned how the koreans can make such movies like that. But, the indonesean filmmakers are also very good in making action flicks, like this one. I had never a dull moment….this is how you make an action-movie. Go ahead and watch this, you’ll be stunned….i was.
FILM REVIEW 8 (United Kingdom)
My first Martial Arts film, 18 May 2012
Author: Tom Gooderson-A’Court (firstname.lastname@example.org) from United Kingdom
Deep inside one of Jakarta’s slums lays an apartment block that is the base of one of Indonesia’s most wanted gangsters, Tama Riyadi (Donny Alamsyah). After being a no go area for the Police for years, they plan a raid to take the gangsters out. Early one morning a 20 man SWAT team descend on the building with the aim of clearing it out once and for all. Amongst the team is rookie cop Rama (Iko Uwais) who has left his heavily pregnant wife at home that morning, possibly for the last time. The SWAT team slowly make their way through the building, taking prisoners as they go before they get to the 6th floor where they are discovered. Soon an army of drug dealers, criminals and gangsters is on top of the small team of Police and what began as a mission to clear the building turns into a battle for survival and escape.
Id’ been looking forward to this film for months, having heard great things from the countries in which it has already been released. I’d heard rumours that it was the best Action film in a long time and having now seen it I have to agree that it probably is. The action is frenetic and features five or six scenes which are equal to the Oldboy corridor scene. That is enough on its own to make a great film but there is also a fairly engaging story of deceit, courage and duty. The story takes a back seat for a lot of the film but there are some nice twists in there. What this film is really about is hitting people, repeatedly and in ever differing ways. Director Gareth Evans cleverly balances the action with several short rest bites in which the audience can regain their breath before throwing another superb fight scene at them.
I’ve never been interested in Martial Arts films and cannot think of a single one I’ve ever seen. There’s often a bit in some of my favourite Korean thrillers but it’s usually just a small part of the film. I think this is the first proper Martial Arts film that I’ve actually seen. I was blown away by the fantastic choreography of the fight scenes. They were truly incredible. It was almost like watching a ballet. Admittedly a very violent ballet and one that is more exciting than most. I can’t begin to imagine how much time must have gone into the choreography but the result is very impressive. As well as the fights looking good, they are also incredibly violent and generally don’t shy away from showing the audience the gory details. It only took about five minutes before my girlfriend was unable to look at the screen for the first time and she hid behind my shoulder several more times after that. I turned away myself once.
As well as the great choreography the film is also shot in a beautiful and stylish way that keeps the audience at the heart of the action all the way through. Gareth Evans looks to be a very talented film maker. He uses some nice arty camera angles and has the camera follow the action everywhere, from wide open spaces, through floors and even behind walls. Another area in which the film excelled was its soundtrack. The film has a thumping electro-drum & bass soundtrack which works really well with the on screen action. I was tapping my feet along the whole way through. The US soundtrack was produced by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park but I don’t know if that’s the version we got here in the UK. Either way, the version I heard was excellent and made me want to buy the OST, something I rarely do.
As much as I enjoyed the film, after an hour or so of great action I did start to feel as though it was getting a bit samey. There were still excellent set pieces left for the final third including an epic three way fight but I’d become a little bit bored by it. Despite this, I still enjoyed the film as a whole much more than most films I’ve seen this year. I had to laugh a couple of times at the amount of punishment some of the characters were taking before getting back up as though they’d been hit by a wet marshmallow. It was a little unrealistic but no more so than any action film. As you’d expect with a successful Asian film, the rights have already been sold for an American remake. Considering the film has very little dialogue and employs some of the best Martial Arts in the world I can’t see how a remake will improve anything. It’s just another excuse for lazy Americans to watch something without having to read and make sure there are plenty of white people on screen so it doesn’t seem too foreign. It’s ridiculous.
Overall The Raid slightly failed to live up to my very high expectations but it is still better than 95% of Action Films out there. The choreography is beautiful and with a body count in the hundreds it certainly packed plenty of action into its 101 minutes. It’s opened my eyes to Martial Arts but not made me want to see another similar film. The plot is fine but incidental but the action and soundtrack alone make the film one of the best in recent months.
FILM REVIEW 8 (Singapore)
A Nutshell Review: The Raid, 14 April 2012
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
Written, directed and edited by Welshman Gareth Huw Evans, who together with leading man Iko Uwais and most of the core group who had worked together in their first feature film collaboration Merantau, The Raid picked up from the good groundwork established from that film, and translated big time into this, with bigger stunts and bigger action choreography. The action, oh the action, for the first time in an extremely long while, left me holding my breath, literally, before gasping for air when the dust settled. Never before had an action movie grab me by the scruff of my neck in attention like The Raid has, with eyes kept wide open for the fear of having to blink means losing out a single frame of a finishing blow. Merantau, if compared to this, was a tease of what the entire team can do, and under the martial arts choreography by Iko and Yayan Ruhian, who plays Mad Dog in the movie, the battle – tooth and nail, fight for survival type – sequences are a sight to behold.
Evans handled The Raid with a deftness, building up suspense, anticipation and excitement like an old hand, despite this being only his third narrative feature film production. The level of complexity got increased here even if the scale of the film got reduced into from the sprawling city in Merantau, into a claustrophobic apartment block. There’s CG enhanced firing of rifle rounds, before gun battles between opponents cook up a flurry of emptying magazines after magazines of automatic weapon rounds. When ranged weapons are no longer an option, in comes close quartered combat weapons like knives and batons against machetes and pipes, before the lowest common denominator of relying on bare knuckles, kicks, throws and the occasional head butt.
To describe the action in the film would be a disservice in revealing too much, when it is best that you experience it for yourself. It’s bloody, it’s violent and it’s no holds barred, bringing out panic, tension, and a great adrenaline rush as if putting you into the thick of the action like an embedded war journalist having to weave through attacks from all directions. In each carefully choreographed action milestone in the film, you’re bound to discover many amazingly delivered fight sequence that you’ll probably never seen before, keeping things really fresh even for the jaded action / martial arts film junkie, where you’re bound to find a certain moment within each sequence that will serve as a talking point when the end credits roll, and providing you with rationale to just about watch the movie immediately again.
Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian just about found the perfect holistic ingredients that go about making hard hitting action films, with a competent stunt team and martial arts crew to deliver action just as the two of them conjured, making everything feel real when the going gets rough, with an eye for detail and attention, keeping fights credible with an element of real danger put into them. You’ll be catching yourself more than once wondering, how the heck did these guys do that? But they did, and it’s all up on film for everyone to witness. It’s testament of their talent and their brand of martial arts being worked for cinema, and with this they had shown that they’ve come a long way from Merantau some 3 years back, despite being their second action film with Gareth Evans.
Action films from South East Asia are raking up a storm, with Thailand leading the charge, Malaysia following suit recently, but Indonesia really cranking and setting the bar really high for everyone else to follow. The cinematography here is silky smooth, with none of the bullshit that Hollywood tries to force as a standard – what with its shaky cam and up too close camera angles – THIS is something that Hollywood should wake up to, where the camera flows and moves around the action, keeping things steady to capture the absolute beauty of martial arts being executed by professional practitioners, and allowing the audience to see who’s hitting what/who, with edits and cutaways being kept to a minimum and logically done, rather than to cover up the lack of real skills by the stunt team, or try to pass off the non-trained actor as a modern day superman.
Chances are I will want to watch it again in Singapore when it premieres next month, with slight differences of course. The soundtrack for the local release will follow the US’, meaning we’ll get to listen to Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Joseph Trapanese’s version compared to the Indonesian one, which in itself is already rocking and suited the look, feel and mood that The Raid will bring to action cinema. For those, like me, who can’t wait, you can either do the same crossing overseas, or pick up the Merantau DVD available if you have not seen that film yet. It will introduce you to a different aspect of Silat, one primed for action cinema, and provide you a sneak peek into what to expect from The Raid from just about almost the same main cast and crew who had progressed leaps and bounds from there.
The best action movie of the decade some say, and I’ll verify and concur to that with a resounding Yes. Definitely highly recommended, where action junkies will find a new film to pay homage to, as it powers its way to my shortlist of one of the best this year has to offer.
FILM REVIEW 9 (Denmark)
Without a doubt the best action movie I have ever seen…, 17 October 2012
Author: Paul Haakonsen from Denmark
This movie takes Hollywood action movies and slams them to the floor leaving them out for the count, and it even picks up Chinese action movies and does the same to those. This movie is nothing short of spectacular. It is pure and raw action from start to end.
The story in “The Raid: Redemption” is about a group of Indonesian SWAT members infiltrating a building to take down a drug ring and the boss. But things are just a bit too easy and not every police man in the Indonesian force is working with a clean conscience.
The story, despite it being quite simple, was so amazingly captivating that there wasn’t a single boring moment throughout the entire movie. It was so amazingly well put together and planned that it just worked on a great level. The movie just kept on rolling at a great pace, wrecking havoc and destruction in its wake. Sure, the story was predictable, but it was really great entertainment from start to end.
As for the action sequences, which is the prime motor of this movie, well then it just knocks the air right out of you. It is spectacular, and similar to Thai action movies, where there is no wires, no staged action, it is all raw, physical, hard-hitting action. And when the punches and kicks connects, you can see that it is hard and must be painful. And that really makes this (as well as Iko Uwais previous movie, “Merantau”) work so well.
I enjoyed “Merantau” a lot, and it put Indonesia on the Asian movie market for me, and especially Iko Uwais impressed me. Then come this movie and totally unset the balance. It is without a doubt the most intense and best action movie – both in and out of Asia – that I have ever seen. Forget about Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Bruce Lee or Johnny Nguyen, Iko Uwais is a fast-rising star in the martial arts movies. If you like the Thai action star Tony Jaa, then you will also like Iko Uwais.
It should also be said that Yayan Ruhian (playing Mad Dog) really is showing off impressive fighting in this movie as well. It is not all done by Iko Uwais. And it was nice to see Uwais and Ruhian bumping heads and fighting one another again (as they also bumped heads in “Merantau”).
“The Raid: Redemption” (though personally, I think the ‘Redemption’ part of the English title is unnecessary) is a movie that you have to watch if you enjoy Asian action movies (or action movies in general), because it is an adrenaline-filled, action-packed movie unlike anything else. And not only that, then it is also the most graphically and visually brutal action movies that I have seen. There are so many fight scenes where you just go “oooh” or “ouch” as Iko Uwais plows through bad guys with a knife. And the gunfight scenes are really impressive as well.
It took me a while to get around to actually sit down and watch this movie, which was a huge mistake on my part, because this movie is explosive. Watch it! Trust me, you will not be disappointed! I love Asian cinema and have seen countless of Chinese, Hong Kong, Thai, Korean and Japanese action movies, but “The Raid: Redemption” totally wiped the slate clean and went straight to the top. This movie is impressive in every way; Indonesian martial arts movies throw a mean punch!
FILM REVIEW 10 (United States)
“The Raid: Redemption” – 30 Stories of Sheer, Bloody Adventure!, 3 September 2012
Author: dee.reid from United States
In writer-director Gareth Evans’s 2011 Indonesian action flick “The Raid: Redemption,” only about 10 minutes of the entire picture is spent developing the film’s plot before it’s all-out, literally non-stop wall-to-wall action sequences. There’s a little something early in the beginning about a Jakarta SWAT team being sent to a 30-story apartment building to fish out a sadistic drug lord named Tama Riyadi (Ray Sahetapy), who rules this crime-ridden tenement with an iron fist.
As could be expected, although things start out well as the team slowly but assuredly takes over the building floor by floor, all hell breaks loose once they reach the sixth floor – it must be their (un)lucky number.
“The Raid: Redemption” is an astonishing martial arts-action thriller with plenty of sequences of hard-hitting, bone-crunching, bone-breaking action to keep your mouth watery; like most martial arts movies coming out of Southeast Asia these days, the actors look and sound like they’re really going at it in full-contact, and it really looks and sounds like they’re really getting hurt, too. Using elaborate martial arts choreography featuring the Indonesian fighting art Silat (plus borrowing a page or two from the Tony Jaa school of hard-knock fighting) and combining some of the most valuable elements from American action movies such as “Die Hard” (1988), “Assault on Precinct 13” (1976), “The Rock” (1996) and “The Warriors” (1979) plus Takashi Miike’s samurai bloodbath “13 Assassins” (2010), “The Raid: Redemption” tells an exotic, self-contained story of fighting men fighting for survival.
It’s another pristine example of Asian action cinema done right that may have something in it for those primarily accustomed to Hollywood action flicks (if they look hard enough). While the movie does contain your usual intensely bloody shootouts and foot-chases down darkened apartment building corridors, the main focus is on the unarmed, closed-quarters combat fighting sequences, which there are way more of than gratuitous gun battles and are shot with such energized, bloody gusto that you honestly can’t help but feel every single blow delivered – whether it be a good guy or a bad guy. Yes, once they lose their weapons, they have to punch, kick, and claw their way out of the 30th circle of Hell. After almost all the SWAT team members are nearly wiped out by Tama’s thugs, it’s up to a young SWAT officer named Rama (Iko Uwais, from Evans’s earlier cult film “Merantau,” which I haven’t seen) to get his remaining teammates out alive and to safety.
Pretty much in all of Rama’s many, many hand-to-hand combat confrontations with both armed and unarmed thugs, anything and everything goes. Additionally, anything and everything available (and within reach) becomes a weapon – hammers, garrotes, machetes, axes, propane tanks, police batons, knives, broken fluorescent tubing, and the occasional splintered door. It’s all really stunning stuff to witness on the screen, and Iko Uwais – also the film’s co-fight choreographer – is more than capable of holding his own against a legion of bloodthirsty criminals, while also taking punishment of his own from all sides from his attackers. That’s really the key to any action hero, in my opinion – to have a hero who can indeed kick a lot of a**, but also be able to take a few licks of his own and keep on ticking. It also helps that Rama has a pregnant wife back at home, so it makes him a bit more human and vulnerable and gives him an extra incentive to want to survive – and it also gives us an extra incentive to want to see him live through this ordeal.
It’s all amazingly bloody stuff to witness when you see the horrible things that humans are capable of doing to one another with just their bare hands. There are also several quieter, suspense-filled scenes as well, the most nerve-wracking of which being a scene where Rama and a severely wounded colleague hide behind a fake wall while an assailant repeatedly thrusts his machete through it, the blade barely missing Rama and his comrade. And also there’s a wonderful electronic score on the American version of the film by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese to further fuel the adrenalin-laced plot and action sequences.
“The Raid: Redemption” is a richly served-up action flick from one of the last places to appear on the world action movie market – Indonesia (even though Gareth Evans is Welsh). Throw out everything you thought you knew about well-made action movies (from anywhere, really), and witness first-hand “The Raid: Redemption.”
FILM REVIEW 12 (India)
Hunger of Action Satisfied!!, 7 June 2012
Author: Bhupender Thakur from Delhi, India
Most of people who were unaware of Iko Uwais will follow his every film of the past and future once they end up watching this movie!! This movie relies and is driven only on action and action only.
The movie works because of many reasons. one.. it is pure commercial modern action flick which doesn’t give room for any drama or lazy moments where we don’t look at screen and stare at the person sitting to our left or right..it simply captures you from the very beginning and till end. Second..The story works in favor of the movie and a damn good screenplay keeps the audience in its grip. I think Hollywood production companies can take some serious money management lessons on how to make decent and entertaining movies without spending too much. As far as i know this movie has been shot in a very small budget not because of the unknown cast but because of the sensible direction and treating the script accordingly and not experimenting with the basic rules of action cinema i.e. you deliver or go make drama…!! The camera-work is great and fighting sequences has been shot beautifully and you don’t feel that you have missed anything at all in those fight scenes. Also actors have done a superb job and you will see that the movie overall is better then you contemporary Hollywood action flick…!! Many action scenes will drop your jaw. Though the highlight of the movie is the final clash between Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian who stole the show with their stunt choreography but other actors and stunt men have also done a superb job. Mike Shinoda has done a great job with the background score and it add sparks to the whole action sequences.
Gareth Evans has done a good job in Direction as well as in Editing also.There is a lots of scope in Asian cinema..and people who will see this movie they will realize how much more Asian cinema can offer them they just need the right people willing to invest in their projects..it is not just about HK or chines or Japanese cinema there is much more to be explored yet.What Tony Jaa flicks like tom yum goom and ong bak did to Thai Movie Industry..The Raid will do to Indonesian Movie Industry.
I think this is the best action movie i have seen in this year so far and i hope i will see the sequel very soon!! Though there will always be better movies but despite its limitations it delivers So this is a very entertaining movie and a treat for action fans.
my rating 10/10..A Must Watch.
FILM REVIEW 13 (Switzerland)
Think Action, think Martial Arts, think Hong Kong? Think again, think Indonesia!, 8 April 2012
Author: enteredapprenticering from Switzerland
Visually stunning martial arts fights, mainly modern Pencak Silat, paired with epic action-shootouts entraps the viewer in to the world of this action movie. Think Action, think Martial Arts, think Hong Kong? Think again, think Indonesia! The story line plays with the ancient theme of the two unequal brothers who lost sight of each other, good cop vs. bad cop and choosing ones own destiny, not because the movie character likes it but because the character has developed a fixed skill set and excels with this skill set in his world. Both worlds, morally good vs morally questionable, are combined in this movie and the viewers is left with an explanation why the character act the way the act and why they have chosen their path of life. This movie got a good story- line, is well acted with clearly defined and likable characters AND non-stop rushing adrenaline fights. It is this combination that makes me giving this movie the vote: 9 of 10.
FILM REVIEW 13 (Bangladesh)
Different approach, 12 October 2012
Author: Sayedul Mihir from Bangladesh
Viewing films with big sources is expected at times- the press marketing methods, actions, film movie trailer, kind of take away all the suspense, shows plots and places objectives. Viewing relatively uncommon films however can often be a serendipitous journey- you never know when you might find out a concealed gem. And when you do so, no energy on the globe should stop you from getting information out, so here is my respect to the best action film in decades- The Raid: Payoff. Yes, there are bad aspects about this film but they are very minor and the way this film was taken creates you look finish that. I’ll start with the adverse aspects. First of all, although the tale creates for a very punchy and easy one wide range idea, it does still handle to be needlessly upsetting and has aspects that it contains in with amazingly unpleasant editions. Rama having an personal interest in the purpose is just announced without much in the way of information is one example but so are other tale gadgets. This is a film where preparing isn’t perhaps the most important aspect, but this should have developed the job easier and make these complicated aspects all the more annoying. Films like Die Difficult and others have used near atmosphere to really improve the stress outside of the action series, but here I don’t think Evans really controls to do it. The battling choreography was also like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The Indonesian design of Pencak Silat was amazing and amazing to look at, and the complexness of some of the more amazing fights was usually jaw dropping. Although these flaws there, the man responsible for this fantastic hit is Gareth Evans, a once easy Welshman, whom you believe will have Expert and more particularly ageing actions superstars like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis and Statham beating a direction to his use of copy the efficient program with this company of a film. The illuminated silhouettes of risky criminals on an greater floor having out to delay the SWAT team in the dark against the show of gunfire, and the worn out stress developed by a machete reducing into the experience of our idol covering behind a partition surfaces from looking goons remain lengthy in the brain. Main idol, Rama, conducted by the very certified Iko Uwais, comes across as an everyman, just like Tony Jha or Jackie Chan. We see that he is more like a knowledgeable person generally trying to remain existing than a incredibly fanatic or one man army. This increases the stress in many minutes, as we truly think these numbers, each of the fantastic individuals, are in real danger. And there are enough stress packed minutes to put you on the benefits of your seat. The camera-work, modifying, and cinematography do their factor to improve an already imaginatively eye-catching film. While some films go the route of not efficient camcorders and quick reduces, The Raid doesn’t secure up anything. It doesn’t just improve the bar; it stabs the bar in the neck and contains it out of a show. It will hit you away and keep you looking for more. Luckily, we have two sequels in the features, but I really can’t think about creating a better action film.
FILM REVIEW 14 (Ecuador)
Takes martial arts to the next level, 7 June 2012
Author: estebangonzalez10 from Ecuador
¨Pulling a trigger is like ordering a takeout.¨
The Raid Redemption has gotten so many great reviews that I decided to check it out despite never having heard anything about it. I had never seen an Indonesian film before, heard of director Gareth Evans, nor star actor Iko Uwais, but I was tempted to see it after hearing it won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival. At first I really thought this movie was just another Battle Los Angeles where we had nonstop action with over the top gunfights. I’m not really a fan of these movies which only focus on the action and have little plot, but I was really in for a surprise with The Raid. Once the gunfights stopped, the combat became more ferocious involving a lot of knives, machetes, and even hand to hand combat. I’ve seen a lot of martial art movies before, but this film really set the bar with all those choreographed fights. They were truly amazing and I really enjoyed the last hour of the movie. The Raid is an extremely violent film so it isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy martial arts then you will love this film. Iko Uwais makes any other martial artist look silly as he is really impressive on screen, but so was the rest of the cast. The martial art used in this film is the traditional Indonesian one called Pencak Silat and it’s intense. Iko Uwais choreographed the fights himself along with another actor who had some great fighting scenes, Yayan Ruhian. Together they make the film worth watching even though it has very little dialogue or story. There’s no time for talking, it’s one fist fight after another.
Rama (Iko Uwais) is a rookie SWAT officer who seems happily married along with his pregnant wife. We only see them together in the opening scene where Rama kisses them goodbye before going to work. He gets on the SWAT car along with twenty other elite officers led by Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim) and are given instructions: They have to infiltrate and raid an apartment building in the middle of an Indonesian slum full of gangsters and drug dealers. Their mission is to capture the crime lord Tama (Ray Sahetapy), but it won’t be an easy task because the building is full of loyal free renters who will protect him at all cost. That is why the police force has never attempted to go near that building, but somehow Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno) has ordered the raid and is waiting for them near the entrance of the building. Once the SWAT team breaks in, some local spotters warn Tama that the police have entered the building. Tama observes everything through cameras in the top floor and announces to the entire building that whoever kills these officers will be given special treatment. He even sends his two personal bodyguards, Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian) and Andi (Donny Alamsyah), after them. The SWAT team find themselves ambushed between the sixth and seventh floor with nowhere to run. That is where the action begins and doesn’t stop as all these renters keep on showing up while the officers fight for their lives.
The plot is really simple, but believe me the choreographed action scenes are really not. That is what truly makes the movie for me: the hand on hand fighting scenes, especially those involving Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian. They are a true spectacle. I had never seen a martial art film like this before with so much intensity and carried out for such a long time. The final hour is practically nonstop action. I would never in a million years expect to have enjoyed a film like this, but the fighting scenes were so incredible that I was willing to forgive the poor plot and just enjoy the choreographed martial art scenes. I hear a sequel is in the making, and I am sure I will be watching it to see what else Iko Uwais has in store for us. This isn’t a movie I would recommend to everyone, but if you like a good choreographed action movie then this is the film you will want to see because it truly does raise the bar for martial art films everywhere.
FILM REVIEW 15 (Syria)
Great fight scenes , but no story, 27 June 2012
Author: majood1988 from Syria
as a brief describe for this movie I can say :
-It’s an action movie but it’s problem that it doesn’t have a story behind, and it suffers from lack of plot and suspense, so in some point I had a feeling that it’s more close to a horror film.
-It contains a lot of powerful fight sequences from all kinds (guns fight, hand to hand combat , knifes clashing..) some of them could be too long, and some is too brutal.
-If you are a martial arts fan you would enjoy this movie (even-though I didn’t!) but if you aren’t so I don’t recommend watching.
– Finally, I admit that it’s a decent Indonesian film, and it’s a big step for the Indonesian films industry, but it still needs a lot of work and improvements to become an international movie.
FILM REVIEW 16 (Taiwan)
Bloodily Crafted, 15 April 2012
Author: Craig_su from Taipei, Taiwan
(Taiwanese poster for The Raid)
If you are looking for an Asian version of Crank or Saw, look no further. Same adrenaline dose like Crank series. Only it’s way bloodier than that series.
That’s about it. That’s the main focus of the film: adrenaline everything up with bloody scenes. The story is simple: the police department got an order to raid a drugged community. But not just that. This building is a center of druggies, Kong-Fu fighters, and the raid has been trapped into a point of no turning back, literally.
Let’s say, this film pushed the envelope to the limit, physical limit I’d say. Not that much to talk about on the plot, just like those Crank or Saw alikes. The design of the fighting scenes are the most charming part. Try to imagine Jacky Chen style with real blood and crossing out those intentional funny plots (if those do make you laugh. I didn’t). You get The Raid.
This is not me saying the film is bad. It is exceptionally good. And Ikno Uwais is our new hero. You can’t get enough of his majestic moves of Close Quarters Combat.
If you look closer to the progression of the movie, you can see they did arrange the raid like the army invading an opposite camp. When the raid was trapped in the building, you have Resident Evil scene, or The Walking Dead if the former reference is old. Those residents motivated by Indonesian Al Capone are acting exactly like zombies. The bloody Jacky-Chen-goes-serious part is up next, which the fighting part is legendary. Led and designed by Ikno Uwais, he is the fight choreographer of the movie. The seamless fighting scenes may be a little bit bloody for the mainstream demography, but that is so essential to the movie itself.
Beautifully and bloodily crafted.
FILM REVIEW 17 (France)
Thriller fades into fight galore, 14 July 2012
Author: vostf (email@example.com) from Paris, Fr
(the raid poster by SND – France)
Gareth Evans said he wanted to make something closer to Assault on Precinct 13 than just another Martial Arts movie. As many young action directors inspired by John Carpenter’s claustrophobic achievement, he fails to read the lesson till the end. Admittedly he only wanted to remember how the appropriate directing of half a dozen extras could appear like an army on screen.
The Raid starts well with the sense that the building is the main character. As the SWAT team advances thru the first few floors, the movie is a tense thriller. Then the storyline forks, you no longer really care what floor you’re on and fight scenes just happen along the way. The choreography is brilliant, the editing is great – save for the final fight which ridiculously last for minutes – but it’s not the Assault thriller of the premise, it’s only a Martial Arts tournament setting (Hello Bruce Lee).
Another big flaw is to show the Big villain and his sidekicks. He is a nice actor but gets too much exposure whereas he should be melted with the building. His evil sense is as ludicrous as that of the Nicholson character in The Departed. And the sidekicks are not actors, they have zero charisma and are not made better by the dull dialogue.
If you are expecting something more than a movie with nice fights, skip it.
FILM REVIEW 18 (Malaysia)
Probably the craziest movie I’ve ever seen. Wickedly satisfying., 4 December 2012
Author: hammy012 from Malaysia
When I finished watching this movie… I was left speechless. Usually, I would probably dislike mindless action films… the only notable exceptions being Transformers and Ninja Assassin, both guilty pleasures in their own right.
The Raid came off as the most insane movie I’ve ever seen. Gareth Evans really had the guts to pull it off: giving us a clichéd protagonist with a mediocre motivation and a weak, nonsensical plot, and instead, throws at us 99 solid minutes of mindless skull-bashing action and brain-numbing violence, inviting us to step into one adrenaline-maxed out scenario after another, the intensity of the fights escalating as the movie progresses, making all of the Hong Kong action films I grew up watching seem like child’s play.
The film does have its rare calm moments in between brawls, but they are all too short to make an impression. When it does cool down… you’re biting your nails, wondering what vicious and imaginative way would the director execute another fight scene or kill more people off. And when it arrives, the sequences would leave any viewer attempting to catch their breath… but the film just leaves no room for that.
Mindless action aside, the cinematography and editing were awesome, not what was I expecting from a movie that cost 1.1 million dollars to make, contributing to the intensity of the film. The gritty and dark photography cranks up the tension to the max, making it one of the best films that would get your heart racing by the second minute, a wondrous experience for action fanatics.
Forget the solid acting, the unbelievable situations of the film (Where the hell in Jakarta can you find a flat populated entirely by ridiculously psychotic or mentally sick criminals who knows how to put up a good fight whenever confronted?), the terrible and recycled writing. Leave your brain at the doorstep and watch it, immense yourself. I highly recommend this to any action fan.
FILM REVIEW 19 (Greece)
Rainforest K-machine, 23 November 2012
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece
(Greece version of The Raid Film Poster)
This may be the best pure action film in recent memory.
The setup is fittingly sparse, a SWAT team is about to storm a gangland tenement. What they don’t know, is that the place is crawling with slumdogs armed to the teeth and desperate to please the mad dog kingpin who runs his drug business from there.
The basic appeal here is that you get three movies rolled into one, and nimble , seamless transitions from one to the next – a warzone movie in the Black Hawk Down mode, bonkers exploitation in the middle, and devastating hand-to-hand combat after the first hour. It is as intense as you’ve heard.
A few other things.
You should know here, that the Indonesians had a booming exploitation film industry up until the mid-90’s. For obvious reasons, a bevy of escapist fare for the blue-collar worker coming back from his shift in the factory or American-owned oilrig. And they do have their own pretty dirty martial arts similar to the Thais and Filippinos, called silat. All the fights you see in the film are in this style.
What both these have in common is a strong background in magical tradition, reflected in their b-movies in the frequent trope of evil sorcerers, battling wizards and ancient curses. Lady Terminator, which I have seen, opens with the scene of an evil goddess having a snake exorcised out of her vagina by a sailor. In silat, as American practitioners will report, there is a shroud of mysticism and supernatural belief surrounding the art, which in turn reflects its rustic Buddhist roots.
There is none of that here. The film is made for a global action- oriented market.
But it is admirable how subtly these things are reworked into and enhance the product. They suck you in with realistic tension from the SWAT scenario and gritty slum setting, then bit by bit they begin to stitch into it the crazier and goofier elements, which really make this what it is, the supple sweep of the viewer from the ‘real’ world into the whirlpool of exhilarating movie fantasy.
They have their cake and eat it too, smartly avoiding both your typical cop flick and the more overt Rodriguez cartoon.
And they have learned from the Chinese. The silat in the film looks explosive and ‘alive’, but the dance choreography is every bit as elaborate as in Jet Li’s wushu. Like Jet Li, it helps a great deal that the lead guy (and probably others) is an actual fighter and not a movie actor coached on the moves.
What lets the film down, is the formulaic human drama; a pregnant wife back home, a brother on the opponents side. Rehashed elements
FILM REVIEW 20 (Scotland)
Teaching Hollywood a lesson, 11 November 2012
Author: rebecca-ry from North Lanarkshire, Scotland
‘The Raid’ is a fantastic Indonesian action film about a SWAT team’s attempt to overthrow a major crime family based in a tower block. We follow a young father-to-be named Rama who has fantastic fighting skills as he tries to complete the mission and get out of the building single-handedly.
The acting is okay; it certainly is not terrible. These days, a lot of action films almost have to have poor actors (Jason Statham being the main culprit). Of course, there are a lot of new faces but they all show great potential and they all show an ability to act in other genres.
The choreography is astonishing. Towards the end, the fights get more and more surreal but are really enjoyable to watch. The story is pretty basic but there are a lot of Hollywood films out there with far less script detail.
Overall, this is a great film enjoyed by critics and the public alike. It’s a true action film that shows us we don’t have to rely on Hollywood for films and gives us hope in the century of sequels, prequels, remakes and reboots. Definitely worth a watch by action film fans.
FILM REVIEW 21 (Luxembourg)
Expect a lot of action but no story, 11 October 2012
Author: Tom Di from Luxembourg
I’ve read and heard so much about this movie that I thought I’d have a look at it. I love martial arts and I love action movies. I did enjoy watching The Raid: Redemption, but to be honest I was not terribly impressed.
The martial arts are beautifully choreographed and performed, there is absolutely no discussion about that. The movie is quality action from start to end.
But the story/script is non existent. There are a lot of plot holes all through the movie and the characters tend to react in a very weird way too many times in the movie.
Then again, I don’t think anybody watching this one will be doing so for the story. Basically it’s the ideal movie to watch if you want to be entertained without thinking too much.
FILM REVIEW 22 (Philippines)
The Raid: Redemption
is a great piece of entertainment, though not destined to be a great film., 1 October 2012
Author: xtian_durden from Philippines
The first time I saw it left my mouth hanging, wondering what the hell is happening, because the film has been edited to show less violence, it took out all the important parts and it made me really angry. The second time around left my mouth hanging again, this time because of the absolutely insane action scenes. About 75 percent of the action scenes had been cut down when I saw it in the theater, a worthless money-grabber. Now on DVD, I’m able to watch the uncut version with the original language, and I fully enjoyed the film.
I was shocked to see the full blast of brutal action for the first time, and I would definitely recommend this to action junkies like my father. The fight scenes were beautifully choreographed and the stunts were amazing. I know now how hard it is to make a martial art action film, it requires actors with such skills and an excellent choreography, and it’s hard to perfectly handle a scene with a lot of movements, it was amazing to see how the characters do their stuff, it’s like dancing, it’s a different kind of art, it should be appreciated. It takes time to master that kind of art.
The violence of this film leaves me breathless, I was a big fan of Jet Li and his movies when I was younger, 5 years ago I would’ve rated this with a perfect ten. But overall, the film is completely reliant on its action, the plot wasn’t a bit of a challenge nor was it a particularly good one. The weakness comes in the plot, I know when we watch action movies we don’t really care about it, but it’s equally important as the action, but I know this film aims to entertain, and it did succeed. In the end, it’s just another karate movie, but it’s one bar higher than the usual. The Raid: Redemption is a great piece of entertainment, though not destined to be a great film. Worth watching, if it’s the uncut version.
FILM REVIEW 23 (Pakistan)
A riveting craft in action genre, 2 August 2012
Author: murtaza murad from Pakistan
An intense watch-on-the-seat’s-edge kind of film which lives up to it’s much talked about and hyped trailer. Gareth Evans makes you watch this gritty and brutal action movie, making you feel arrested with the film’s plot and its execution.
There are several films which not only grabs your attention from the first scene but also make knots in your stomach by the time movie comes to an end. This sure does sound like an interesting combination and it actually is.
The film is not only recommended for those who crave mindless action movies and would see anything in the name of action, THE RAID offers a different kind of action and would surely entertain those who thought that action genre has gone lukewarm in the recent years.
One has to mention the action choreography when talking of THE RAID and the credit goes to the respective people.
IKO UWAIS is a magnificent person to watch on screen, he’s got the right presence and delivers an okay performance but magnificent action sequences choreographed by him. His character is very interestingly drafted and he makes it an engrossing character study.
The visuals were spectacular and the cinematography was good together with the rock music score adding more to the adrenaline rush the film provides. The only thing missing was a strong screenplay which would have added some additional strength to the movie but it goes fine along without it.
I don’t actually know the science behind how Gareth Evans shot the film capturing each individual movement of the action sequences with detail and precision, what i know and care about is that it’s a solid movie which offers thrills and action that was missing from the cinema for a very long time.
FILM REVIEW 24 (Argentina)
A very competent action film, 12 September 2012
Author: collipal-1 from Argentina
I think I had never seen an Indonesian film, and the reason of that might have been because the strict censorship and high taxes over the film industry from that country avoided the development of films suitable for international distribution for years; but fortunately, the laws are changing, and we will now be able to enjoy such entertaining films (I hope so) as The Raid: Redemption, which takes elements from occidental action cinema and brings them a pleasant cultural twist in order to offer us a simple story which is able to transcend due to its ingenious execution, high levels of energy and amazing displays of martial arts.
The screenplay from The Raid: Redemption is kinda similar to the one from Die Hard, but director and screenwriter Gareth Evans has mentioned that his main influence was filmmaker John Carpenter, which seems a bit strange at first; however, thinking about it well, The Raid: Redemption has various similarities with Assault on Precint 13 (1976) (not to mention some tributes to Escape from New York), even though the policemen are the ones who invade the criminals’ barracks this time. The premise includes a desperate “siege”, endless waves of anonymous thugs, and some revelations in order to increase the drama and bring the heroes more motivation. Nevertheless, what mainly distinguishes The Raid: Redemption are the constant fights, incredibly brutal and filmed with a perfect combination of open shots and closed frames on a hand-held camera, and as a consequence, we can appreciate the movement from the athletes and also “feel” the knockings and the intensity of physical contact.
As for the actors, they all bring a decent work, as well as good scenic presence, charisma and a lot of physical ability. The ones who most stand out are Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian. Ray Sahetapy brings an adequate performance as the main villain, but the character feels like a simple “mcguffin”. Another thing I can say against The Raid: Redemption is that some details from the screenplay could have been better polished.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed The Raid: Redemption pretty much, and I can definitely recommend it as a very solid action film. Apparently, the studio Screen Gems has acquired the rights of this movie in order to make a North American remake, which is something I find absurd, because it will surely lose its rustic style, along with the picturesque locations and cultural environment; but well, unfortunately that’s the way the creativity works in Hollywood.
FILM REVIEW 25 (New Zealand)
The Raid > Ong Bak, 11 July 2012
Author: kevin bang from New Zealand
Normally I don’t like full on action films as the scenes with action in it tends to have quick editing, shaky cam, over the top explosions and witty yet cheesy dialogue. However, after I saw the Raid I was taken aback as none of the things that I listed above was in this movie which was absolutely astounding. There’s so much clarity among the fight scenes that it almost feels like you’re there with the fighters. The film is beautifully directed, I can’t see any other way for it to be so for the stupid remake. Not only has this changed the action genre in a significant way it also made me appreciate foreign films more.
Yes, there are bad things about this movie but imo they are very minor and the way this movie was shot makes you look pass that. Watching all those kung fu flicks when Evans was a boy, paid off for him in this and his previous film, Merantau. Kudos to you sir
People keep saying that this is the best action film since Ong Bak, in no way is it the best film since Ong Bak, its the best film in decades. Ong is quite cringe worthy because of the acting that is displayed on screen and also because of the overused slo mo effect the director used when Jaa did something ‘cool’. There are parts within the Raid that has slo mo in them but Evans made sure it was used in the most necessary way
Ignore the review that Roger Elbert had given this movie (1/4 stars) as he clearly doesn’t understand nor appreciate a well made film that proves that you don’t need to have much depth in your characters or in your story. Though he does point out some NOT all good reasons as to why the film wasn’t for him but some of these reasons are beyond ridiculous.
This movie was beyond my expectations, it was beautifully directed and the fight scenes were very much believable, the guy who did the sound effects for the punches and the kicks should also be thanked for it to be believable as s/he didn’t use those effects where you could obviously tell that those punches or kicks didn’t land.
Thank u Mr Evans for showing Hollywood that you don’t need a billion dollar budget to make a good action flick and needing such a sophisticated storyline and character depth and that all you need is to be smart at what you do.
OK the ones who say that there is shaky cam in the fight sequences are freakin retarded, I couldn’t even see the camera shaking when the fight scenes were on, they were as clear as day. Also, people saying ‘oh everyone in the building knows some type of martial arts, how typical’ in their review or on the discussion board needs to watch this film again, NOT everyone knew how to fight it was only some. If you think that holding and shooting a gun, wielding a machete around or throwing a couple of punches is some form of martial arts then wow you must have an IQ of a room temperature.
FILM REVIEW 26 (Ireland)
If this was an Indonesian dish? it would taste delightful!, 18 May 2012
Author: The_creator2010 from Ireland
The Raid is an explosive, all out Indonesian war as a SWAT team storm the building of a wanted drug lord and his army of tenants!.
Located in the slums of Jakarta, the apartment block, considered a no-go area by police in the past, is run by a ruthless nemesis by the name of Tama (Ray Sahetapy). With previous unsuccessful attempts to bring him in, a SWAT team is ready to infiltrate the building in the cleanest way possible.
Rama (Iko Uais) is just another SWAT agent hoping to come out of the “Raid” alive, although something tells us his participation is not accidental. A mixed martial artist, ready to ruin his fists with the blood of the ruthless mercenaries.
The tactical enforcements have little knowledge of the 30 floor apartment block other than it been occupied as a safe-house for the worst kind of wanted criminals.
The Raid is mind-blowing with constant non-stop action from start to finish. Its concept is typical good versus bad, but with high octane tensity, fantastic fight scenes and numerous twists to this Indonesian master piece. The Raid gives Ong-Bak a run for its money. A six minute fight scene featuring two guys on one, is just a tease of what The Raid offers fight fans.
In comparison to what we have seen this summer, The Raid offers so much more in terms of gunfights so terrifying, I was only short of ducking in the cinema!
Lookout for Tama’s right hand man, “Mad Dog”. A guy the SWAT are informed about on rout to the apartment block “He will tear down walls for Tama”. He is exactly what he is made out to be. A tiny, ruthless Little character, showing his finest skills in martial arts. The consequence for the SWAT team? Bloodshed!
The Raid is a terrific movie that must be seen, over and over again! I will be surprised if another action movie beats this one any time soon.
Did you enjoy my review? check out my previous and up to date reviews at my blog – http://gerrysreviewsforthosecurious.blogspot.com/
FILM REVIEW 27 (Sri Lanka)
Best Action Movie Ever, 13 June 2012
Author: yasasprasanga from Sri Lanka
I decided to watch this movie only for one reason “MIKE SHINODA”his music has given a great boost for the movie.But in the end i thought… it was more than i expected.Fights were so real and the cast was great.You cannot expect a good storyline in an action flick.But this has story that you’ll never expect.This movie will stuck in my mind for a good long period.Just watch it..You’ll never regret it.
I hope that Hollywood won’t make a remake of it because it won’t come up to this level for sure.A low budget such as 1.1 million has surprisingly give the best to the audience.
I didn’t watch this movie in a theater.If i was.. surely it would be great.I hope that Gareth Evans will make more stuff like this and the crowd surely waiting for it.The bottom line is I’m very proud as an Asian to watch an action flick this quality.
FILM REVIEW 28 (Israel)
Go. See it. Now., 1 August 2012
Author: Tomer Berez from Israel, Tel-Aviv
i really didn’t think i would ever rate a movie 10/10. but i’m doing so now without a 2nd thought.
the script in nothing special, the dialogs blow your mind. But let me just say this: it’s just a real Live Stream looking action movie, no silly slow-motion-zoom-in blood filled intercuts, just man against man until one can fight no longer. and it doesn’t stop for a second, no bathroom breaks, trust me.
my only problem with this move is that i will never be able to enjoy another martial arts action film again.
Now stop reading reviews and go see it 🙂
(Japanese Poster for The Raid)
(South Korean Poster for The Raid)
(Hong Kong Poster version of The Raid)
(Hungary Poster Version of The Raid)
(Poland Poster Version of The Raid)
(Turkey Poster Version of The Raid)
(Norway Poster Version of The Raid)