Films-U-Missed: The Raid: Redemption Movie Review
The Raid: Redemption was one of those movies that came into my consciousness via word of mouth. This isn’t entirely uncommon, but usually I choose my movies on my own with some reviews sprinkled in. This film wasn’t even on my radar, which makes for a bit of a unique story. Anyway, the film – made even more mysterious by the fact that when I sat down to watch it, I had no idea what it was about – is an Indonesian martial arts film mixed with drama with a relatively miniscule $1.1 million budget. When I sat down to watch it all unfold, I came away pleasantly surprised.
I am not a huge martial arts film type of guy. The Jackie Chans, Bruce Lees and Jet Lis of the world don’t particularly move the needle for me. That is not to say I am averse to them, but they don’t get me excited to see a film. So, while The Raid: Redemption has tons of fun martial artistry in the film, I am rarely blown away by the “innovation” of it. What made The Raid fun was the actual bit of dramatic story to the film. So, a bit more about that is necessary I guess.
The Raid stars Iko Uwais as Rama, a rookie cop who is entering a drug lord’s project building trying to take him down once and for all. Rama is about to have a child, as his pregnant wife awaits his safe return. Rama and a 20-some member SWAT team embark on their quest to enter the project tenement and capture the drug lord. The names are less relevant than the story, as Rama sees his team of neophytes begin to get obliterated after they are discovered by the drug lord and his innumerable henchmen. All the while, Rama is uncovering a surprise as to who is involved with the drug lord.
‘The Raid: Redemption’ Rules As A Martial Arts Movie
Rama finds out that his brother is deep undercover as a cop in tight with the drug lord. He is so deep in fact, that he may be beyond saving. Additionally, Rama’s team ends up dwindling to a small few, with the henchmen piling on the surrounded cops and shooting them to death. Using martial arts is one of the only ways Rama can kick some ass, so therefore the movie continues to gain steam as his skills continue to come out. All the while, he is protecting a bloodied mate and trying to figure out whether to leave (hopefully, alive) or go after the drug lord, which might have been a raw deal from the start. It’s fairly heady stuff.
Mike Shinoda of “Linkin Park” and his own solo rap career “Fort Minor” helped bring awareness of the film to American audiences. He also performs on two songs of the relatively cool, up-tempo soundtrack. That soundtrack helps to support an increasing number of choreographed fights as the movie moves along, between Rama and the henchmen as well as the drug lord’s top fighter and the cops. There is some impressive bone breaking, neck snapping and some unique death sequences throughout the film. What ties it all together is a cool story with a nice ending that doesn’t sell out. Director Gareth Evans will undoubtedly be a name to watch for, as he directs with flair here.
The Raid is not a perfect film and unless you are fluent in the language, you have to read the sometimes quick to pass by subtitles which can take you out of a few moments here or there, but not much. There actually is not a lot of dialogue needed in the piece, as it is all shot in one location essentially and the action paces the film, which allows the viewer to experience the movie visually – the way a film like this should be taken in anyway. The Raid is a quality movie, particularly for fans of martial arts films as you will undoubtedly get a lot of fighting and there is a lot of gore in the piece. If it sounds up your alley, don’t delay and check it out ASAP. Enjoy.