The Raid

5 Oct

 

Director: Gareth Evans

Writer: Gareth Evans

Stars: Iko Uwais, Ananda George and Ray Sahetapy

Motion Picture Rating: 18

Runtime: 101 minutes

 

 

It is a great feeling when any film transports you to an unknown place and makes your jaw drop whilst doing it. That happened to me with a few Asian films by Park Chan-Wook (such as Oldboy) and by Kim Ki-Duk (such as 3 Iron) and it happened again with The Raid. This time the writer-director is a relocated Brit called Gareth Evans, but even as an outsider he has conjured up something quite extraordinary and fit to sit alongside the likes of Oldboy (as an ass-kicking Asian epic). The Raid is a sub-titled Indonesian film set in the Jakarta slums and it packs an almighty punch.

Evans has teamed up for a second time with actor Iko Uwais who in this one plays a mid ranking police officer called Rama. He is a part of a small SWAT team that raid a dilapidated tower block in order to take down the resident drug lord (called Tama and nicely played by Ray Sahetapy). The first 5 floors of the apartment building are captured and controlled with minimal fuss, but after that the SWAT team are caged in by endless thugs and attacked at every turn. Rama and his team have to fight for their lives as they battle up through the claustrophobic high rise to reach the mob boss who in the meantime puts a bounty on each of their heads.

The Raid is almost non-stop action and fighting. It is fast and furious and within the first 20 minutes combatants are dispatched by hammers, axes and machetes. It is a violent film, but the staging and filming of the fight scenes are honestly unlike anything that you have seen before. It is frenetic, but also balletic. Bones are broken and heads do roll, but the pace, timing and authenticity of the close combat demands absolute attention. Iko Uwais is phenomenal as Rama. He alone works through about 40 hoodlums and does so with a fine combination of brutality and grace. And all the time there is a solid storyline and enough humour to raise his role and the whole film up. This one caught me by surprise, hit me right between the eyes and got me up on my feet applauding it. Wow.

One Response to “The Raid”

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  1. » Movie Review – The Raid: Redemption Fernby Films - June 20, 2013

    […] The Raid […]

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