Friday, April 13, 2012

The Raid: Redemption

This simple premise of police raiding a drug lord's apartment complex turns into a masterful choreography of bullets and bodies in this new Indonesian action fest. While the film is in subtitles, the story is really all visual. A heavily armed police squad enter the building and have to fight their way to the 15th floor through an army of thugs. Non-stop use of machine guns, handguns, machetes, knives, fists and feet all combine into 100 minutes of action packed violence that will leave you breathless.

This is certainly not a film for everyone but fans of the genre will enjoy themselves very much. Hollywood will probably remake this film but will be hard pressed to recreate the suspense and action as the police fight their way up through the building, their numbers dwindling floor by floor. The martial art fight scenes are remarkable and directors Gareth Evans and Iko Uwais perform movie magic keeping the body count high but maintaining a human element in the form of the hero cop, Rama, played by Mr. Uwais.

It's an all out war played out in the urban landscape of the apartment complex and the claustrophobic camera work puts the viewer directly into the action from the very beginning. The stunt work is exceptional and watching the end credits made me laugh when I saw the long list of names for the on set medical team. Leaving the theater, I could swear I had new bruises myself.

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