The Raid: Redemption

September 17, 2012

The Raid: Redemption (Matt’s Take)

The Raid: Redemption – Overkill

 The days are pretty much over where you get old-school action movies that say “Screw the story, we don’t need a plot, let’s just kick people in the face, shoot them in the head, and break necks!”  Sure, we have “The Expendables” but there hasn’t been a good foreign action flick in quite a while…..OW!!!…..geez…..sorry, I just got kicked in the face by “The Raid: Redemption.”

The premise is simple; an elite group of Indonesian cops are sent to a building in the slums of Jakarta where a vicious drug dealer resides and shit hits the fan, and by shit hitting the fan I mean, in honor of Joe Bob Briggs, Glock-fu, Baton-fu, Army Knife-fu, sniper rifle-fu, fluorescent light-fu, machete-fu, and hammer-fu.  The action is non-stop, except when the director decides to slow things down and try and incorporate an extremely thin plot.  Just throwing it out there but the director, Gareth Evans, is also Welsh (take that for what its worth).

The fight choreography is great (the film uses Pencak Silat as the main fighting technique).  Yayan Ruhian, who portrays “Mad Dog,” acts as the choreographer of all the fights in the film and there are plenty of “Oh Shit!” moments.  The one issue I do have is the liberal use of CG blood.  It’s not as bad as some movies (The Devil’s Rejects comes to mind) and its hidden pretty well, but it does show up from time to time.

All in all, “The Raid: Redemption” is a fine “film” and an excellent exercise in the resurrection of the modern kung-fu movie…….owwwww……stop kicking my face!!!

Fun Fact:  The roots of the martial art Pencak Silat can be traced back to Java and Sumatra in the 7th Century.

September 15, 2012

The Raid: Redemption (DJ’s Take)

OUCH

I’ll be brief.  The Raid: Redemption isn’t a movie.  Okay, it’s a movie strictly in the technical sense.  It was shot on a camera, there are actors in it and it was shown in a theater. However, the The Raid really can be best described as an experience.  A hyper violent experience of biblical proportions.  It’s bodies and bullets and blood by the buckets.   Battered bones and broken bulbs used as bayonets.  I’m sure there was a plot in it somewhere, but I didn’t follow it.   Not because I couldn’t.  But because I realized early on that I shouldn’t.  The story is merely a vehicle to legitimize watching an hour and a half long brutal martial arts display.  There are nearly fifty cast members in this film that are credited no higher than AK-47 Gunman #16 or Swat Member #11.  Names aren’t important.  Motivations are made pretty clear.  It’s visceral eye candy at its finest.  And I enjoyed the hell of it.

And I do mean visceral.   I don’t think that I’m going out on a limb here by saying that it may be one of the most violent films ever.   The Matrix? Old Boy? Kill Bill? Ong Bak?  Pikers compared to The Raid.  It is written(HA! HA!), directed, and edited by Gareth Evans.  You don’t care about that.  It features music by Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park.  You won’t care about that.  All you’ll be able to take from The Raid is that Indonesian stunt men need to be paid more.  You’ll cringe.  You’ll grimace.  You’ll gasp.  And then you’ll watch it all over again.   It is a must have for any true action film fan.  Go ahead…watch it…finish blurting out an awe inspired obscenity….then tell me I’m wrong.

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