I may not be a firm follower of Welsh film director GARETH EVANS’s body of work, but he is in his right element here.
“THE RAID: REDEMPTION” is his third Indonesian feature extolling and undressing the gory beauty of the Silat Martial Arts choreography and he spared no pains in delivering a classic action thriller that will have you spellbound.
Step aboard this explosive, no-mercy thrill ride where the predator ultimately becomes the prey and vice-versa.
You will relish this ultra-violent Indonesian fight movie with a lethal dosage of non-stop blood and gore.
And witness a breathtaking amount of butcherous mayhem where bullets fly, knives, hammers, clubs, machetes are weaponry used to plunder, hideous sprays of blood splattering helter and skelter, highlighting scenes of relentless violence and gore.
“THE RAID: REDEMPTION” is a belated Indonesian Martial Arts movie that has finally arrived at our shores.
It’s a boggling eye-opener, a “beast” of a cinematic gem that is at its tough-as-nails best.
Hail it as one of the best action films of the year as it takes a bold and memorable step forward in the fierce action genre.
The excessive violence will have you gasping and glued to your seat.
Surely, with “THE RAID: REDEMPTION” director GARETH EVANS has pulled off a triumph.
The Plot’s rundown:
20 elite cops devise a functional attack (or so they think) on an apparent desolate apartment complex.
It is run by a ruthless drug lord, who guises his pathetic “harlem” as a facade for his drug activities.
But the surprise is on the unsuspecting operatives.
Words leak and the evil drug lord gets wind of the upcoming raid.
In vengeful retaliation, he pits his ugly gang and the spineless tenants, against the out-numbered cops.
The apartment complex is a perfect hideaway for some of the city’s notorious criminals.
At the top-most floor, crime king pin Tama (RAY SAHETAPY) operates a drug lab.
He is protected by thirty floors of sadistic psychopaths.
On this fateful morning, a 20-man SWAT team, including rookie Rama (IKO UWAIS) initiates a dawn raid, scaling and trudging from floor-to-floor, with the single aim of eliminating Tama and crushing his crime empire.
Towards the end, the cops are heavily out-numbered and must fight back in self-defense, cowering in fear and fleeing for dear life out of the building if they are able to make it.
But not before encountering their opponents and tearing them apart with each passing floor.
Nothing is what it seems when all hell breaks loose.
In all honesty, there’s nothing new in terms of action in “THE RAID: REDEMPTION”.
You should have seen it all in the Hong Kong, Korean and Thai cinema.
Yet it is certainly a much more arresting production than its predecessor “MERANTAU WARRIOR”.
With the right amount of the international media coverage, it might prove to be Indonesian actor IKO UWAIS’s breakout role, as what the 2003 Muay Thai blockbuster ONG BAK had done for TONY JAA from Thailand.
But in “THE RAID”, it is rogue character Mad Dog played by YAHAN RUHIAN who stands out and steals the thunder from the leads.
He may be a tad pint-sized but he has clearly shown that he is a dynamic force to be reckoned with.
The Press version had the dialogue dubbed in Indian-accentuated English which provides an absolute clue as to where the post production of this movie was done.
In ASIA, most of the renowned action stars are receding as they face mid life crisis or old age.
So watch out for this bright shining action star IKO UWAIS in the years to come.
“THE RAID: REDEMPTION” is commendable good stuff , specially for those who relish non-stop pulsating action.
It is a terrific tour de force that breaks new ground.