Movie Review: The Raid – Redemption (2011)

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Action movies have lost their edge lately. Whatever happened to movies like “Die Hard” and “Terminator 2: Judgement Day”? Action movies these days don’t really have that many good action scenes (Looking at you “A Good Day to Die Hard”!). The only ones these days are like The “Bourne” trilogy and “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”, yet they don’t satisfy my need for ultimate badass action. Around a month back I heard about this movie called “The Raid” and how it brought back the badassery to action movies. I was of course a bit skeptical at first, but then finally decided to give it a go.

Dear people…”The Raid”.

So this is set in Jakarta, Indonesia and follows a S.W.A.T team that is going to infiltrate a building. And not just any old building, oh no! It is a 30 story building that is the base of operations of a mob boss and his bigger than you’d imagine crew. The S.W.A.T team is going to try to take this mob boss and his crew down. That is essentially the story in a nutshell. And they don’t really build too much upon it. The only story things they add is that the majority of the S.W.A.T team gets killed and a few captured/tortured. Based on that story stuff it is not much more that happens. And that is a shame because there is so much potential this movie had when it comes to the story elements. They had the foundation of the house, but didn’t really build anything upon it.

The characters are honestly kind of…meh. Woaw, put down the fucking pitchforks and hear me out! There are only like 3 characters in this entire thing that you actually might give a damn about, yet that does not help them. They are not really interesting. Also the majority of the characters in this are basically characters from any FPS-game ever…in other words they are only there to die. So the characters are not much to take a look at.

The music…is a big clusterfuck of different types of songs. Yet they are surprisingly good. For what they are used for, they work out perfectly. These songs are pretty good, but you forget about them pretty easily. So yeah, music is good but forgettable.

What this movie lacks in story and character development it makes up for in action. This movie got some of the best action scenes in recent years. Not only are the shoot-outs pretty cool, but the martial art scenes…oh god the martial art scenes. The martial art scenes in this movie are probably the best I’ve ever seen! Note that I haven’t seen “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” yet. The martial arts in this movie are called “pencak silat” and is like this movie, of Indonesian origin. They look great and is not ruined by constant cuts and unnecessary shaky-cam. This is how fight scenes should be done, take notice Hollywood! Also it is fun to mention that the director is not Indonesian…he is Welsh (and for you nitwits out there who don’t know anything about other nationalities it means he is from Wales, UK). Although he currently resides in Indonesia.

Recpetion for “The Raid – Redemption” was overall great. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 85% rating and it is certified “Fresh”. Metacritic finally agreed to a movie being good and gave it a 73/100. One fairly surprising score was Roger Ebert who gave it a 1/4 stars. Here is what the hell he said:

“the Welsh director, Gareth Evans, knows there’s a fanboy audience for his formula, in which special effects amp up the mayhem in senseless carnage.”

He aminly complained on the lack of character depth/development. “The Raid” got a 7,6/10 rating on imdb.com

So based on my relatively low opinions on this movie I will finally give it a rating. I’ll give it an 8,3/10. This movie may lack story and character depth, but it sure as hell is entertaining. I suggest you rent it and watch it with a few buddies (or yourself if you want). This movie is still a hell of a good time. And if you want to buy it, fine by me. But my suggestion is to rent it.

Review of “The Raid – Redemption” is done.

I sure hope the sequel builds upon the foundations at least. Oh right, em…bye!

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