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The Raid: Redemption

August 25, 2012


The Raid: Redemption is a wild ride about 20 elite cops trapped inside a high-rise building that is patrolled by a ruthless drug dealers highly trained henchmen.  Like the poster says “30 floors of chaos.”

Chaos indeed.


The Raid was directed by Gareth Evans and stars martial arts dynamo Iko Uwais. It was made for a dirt cheap $1,000,000 and can best be described as survival horror meets Ong Bak . The cops survive by using the fighting style Pencak Silat which is similar to Muy Thai but nothing like it. The characters use elbows, knees, fists, shins, feet and many weapons to inflict carnage to the bodily organs. People get thrown down stairwells, other get their throats slit and the lucky ones get riddled with bullets.


What I love about this film is that Evan’s lets the camera linger on the fighting. He has highly trained choreographers and he lets them work. The fights are a marvel of bone crushing and skin slicing. This is the type of film where you are worried for the stunt men.

The movie is brutal which will undoubtedly turn people away. However, it is the classic tale of good vs. evil.  I love films where the good guys are outnumbered and have to fight their way out. The amount of bravery and fortitude needed to escape from such overwhelming odds is unfathomable. Watching these men survive whilst crunching bad guys is fantastic.


The fighting is urgent because the heroes have to stay moving. They cannot be drawn into long slow fights because it would allow for more tenants to join in. Constant movement is key to survival. They have to speedily navitage the murky halls of the apartment building which becomes a character in itself with its  dark corridors and slow elevators.

The Raid is a fast-moving, violent and thrilling action film that came out of nowhere. The budget constraints allowed the film to thrive in creativity. I’m anxious to see what Gareth Evans and Iko Uwais do next.


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