Sunday, July 27, 2014

Film Review: The Raid: Redemption (2011)

The Raid: Redemption (Review)
Format Viewed For Review: Blu-ray (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"One of my favorite films of the last decade, action or otherwise."

An elite police squad plans to stealthily infiltrate an apartment block owned by a crime lord. When their plan is foiled, the police must fight to survive.

The Raid: Redemption mostly follows rookie Officer Rama (Iko Uwais) in this simple yet engaging and exciting plot. The police get spotted during their raid and must fight to either escape or complete their mission, which is to arrest the crime lord. Well, the survivors opt to finish what they started. And, this leads to a bloody barrage of fights through several floors of gangsters with martial arts skills, firearms, and machetes. Although every fight offers an unbelievable level of intensity, the climax is truly the most unforgettable. I really enjoyed the simple crime story, and the great ending -- a promising ending for the future of the series.

The Raid: Redemption is a pure action film. The story is interesting and has some minuscule background information -- information that will likely connect to the sequel(s). But, at its core, The Raid: Redemption aims to be all-out action film, and it succeeds. The action sequences are fantastic. Refreshing, exciting, exhilarating, intense, brutal... I can go on and on. And, there are so many amazing scenes. It's practically nonstop action. I loved it. It subtly plants its roots to develop into a deeper crime/martial arts series, yet it focuses on pure action.

Iko Uwais, who also stars in Merantau, is great as the lead; something about him is very human-like and genuine, despite the character being fairly simple. The dark style is great. I also really liked the cinematography. The settings are memorable; I feel like these apartments will become iconic. The music was also great in pumping up the mood. The English subtitles on the U.S. blu-ray are spot-on. Writer and director Gareth Evans masterfully crafts this epic action film; the pacing is ferocious, the action is consistent and versatile, the editing is great, and the story offers enough to hook and tease for the future.

Overall, The Raid: Redemption is an action-packed masterpiece. It's one of the greatest martial arts action films of all-time. I know it sounds overwhelming, but I genuinely loved it. One of my favorite films of the last decade, action or otherwise. If you love martial arts films, especially the fast, contemporary type of martial arts, The Raid: Redemption is for you.

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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