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Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Raid: Redemption Review

The Raid: Redemption Review
2012, 101 minutes
Rated R for strong brutal bloody violence throughout, and language

The Raid: Redemption is the latest in a string of phenomenal films from Sony Pictures Classics (A Separation, In Darkness, Midnight in Paris) and it follows a SWAT team that must invade a 15-story apartment building in Jakarta, Indonesia and capture the gangster that runs it.  However, when they arrive, they are heavily outnumbered.  With this film, Welsh director Gareth Evans puts himself on the international map.  His style is undeniably thrilling and I am eagerly looking forward to the sequel. 

This movie has a bare-bones plot that needs no more explanation than what I gave you above.  However, that is not the point.  The point is the action which is brutal, gory, and thrilling.  The action consists of a mix between Silat martial arts and gun violence.  Evans was one of the action choreographers on the film and some scenes are downright astounding.  They have a forceful nature that propels the film forward most of these scenes are believable; they do not include many death-defying stunts.  The action is bare-bones and takes place in every setting that they could find in the building.  As incredible as the gunfights are, the martial arts scenes are will be the ones that this film will be remembered for.  Most of these scenes take place in a bare room or hallway that simply allows the players to use their hands, nothing else.  That’s not to say that in every other scene the fighters don’t use anything else they can get their hands on. 

Needless to say, this is one of the most violent films I have seen in months.  When I was at the theater last night viewing it, there was a little girl who could not have been more than six years old with her parents.  This movie (and many others with a similar level of violence) makes a strong push for theaters making stricter rules against young kids being able to see hard-R-rated films such as this. 

Overall, The Raid: Redemption is a 100-minute thrill ride that will please fans of pure action cinema.  If you don’t like subtitles, there is not much to read in this lean, mean, action fest.  This movie will most likely appeal to those who love action cinema or those that want to have a good time.

-Joshua Handler

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