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The Raid: Redemption (2011)

Deep in the heart of Jakarta‘s slums lies an impenetrable derelict apartment building which became a safe house for the cities most dangerous murderers, killers and gangsters. The rundown apartment block has been considered untouchable by rivals of the notorious crime lord Tama Riyadi and even the police. It all changes when an elite team is tasked with raiding the building in order to take down Tama once and for all.

This is the synopsis of the best action movie of the last 10 years.
Yes, every action movie since 1995 has had a poster which said: ”best movie of the decade”, ”best action movie since Die Hard”, and almost every movie has fallen flat upon seeing it.

If you saw the trailer leading up to this movie, fear not: you haven’t seen the best parts of the movie. Directed by Gareth Evans, a relative newcomer, it stars the next big star from Asia called Iko Uwais. He plays Rama, who is part of the police force that is sent in to find the crime lord Tama. Being a western guy myself, it’s easy to get confused by the large Indonesian cast with names such as Rama, Taka, Budi or Dagu, but this is by no means a complaint.

Midway through the movie, my subtitles failed on me for a period of 14 minutes and I still managed to get the gist of the story.
Because yes, amongst all it’s gratuitous violence does lie a story which serves the action pretty damn good.
Critics will say that it’s highly unlikely for a crime lord to have an apartment building to himself, with a large group of henchmen that are highly skilled in Martial Arts but sometimes you just have to neglect reality.
You’ll see ‘the twists’ coming from a mile away and don’t expect anyone to contend for an Oscar® either.
But that isn’t the point of this movie, it’s a movie that feels refreshing in its genre.

If you aren’t opposed to violence in a movie, because it’s just a movie, then you probably crave for something original. Dare I say: original deaths, original fights and original gore. It’s not a crime to love this genre, and boy does ‘The Raid’ deliver. Stabbings, punches, exploding fridges, bullets, and to top it all off: Mad Dog.
Pardon my educated role as a reviewer: but this dude owns.
The right hand of the drug lord is hardly 5’7′ yet he kicks the most ass I’ve seen anybody kick in a long time.
I won’t spoil the stuff he does, but he had me cheering and jumping.

You could think this is just another ‘Kung-Fu’ movie, yet it’s definitely more than that.
The cinematography is gorgeous and uses a lot of intriguing camera movements and long wide shots, which are practically the black sheep in the action movie family. Filming it in a long wide shot means you won’t have room for error nor can you cut into anything else unless it’s happening simultaneously.
This makes for breathtaking and beautifully choreographed sequences which show action as well as some decent acting.
After movies such as ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘The Bourne Trilogy’ where you think the action has been edited by a guy who had the motto ‘if it’s in frame for more then 2 seconds it’s out’ it feels like a breath of fresh air.

In the end, this is just one of those movies you have to see.
You’ll be hardpressed to find a movie which will deliver more thrills, more action and more moments of sheer joy than The Raid: Redemption.
Yes, it’s THAT good. Now go on and venture out to buy this, or I’ll send Mad Dog your way!

9/10 stars!



6 thoughts on “The Raid: Redemption (2011)

  1. I am watching this now and having an orgasmic experience. Great review, Paul. “if its in the frame for more than 2 seconds…” LOL brilliant. so true.

    Posted by Victor De Leon | June 4, 2012, 00:21
  2. Wonderful Paul!!! Thanks for the heads up!!! Great write up! *neil

    Posted by Last Road Reviews | June 4, 2012, 00:55

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