Movie Review: “The Raid: Redemption”

Written by Pam-Marie Gx April 15, 2012

Gore so realistic you can smell the blood.

The Raid: Redemption centers around a young SWAT team taking on a building full of criminals, in the hopes of taking out the main crime boss. The team makes it into the building fairly quickly, but become trapped part way through, fighting their way from then one. What happens next can only be described as an action-packed bloodbath.

The movie doesn’t actually start in the building, but with a praying/training montage by Rama (played by Iko Uwais, who also has credit as being the film’s fight choreographer). This is followed by a tender scene between Rama and his pregnant wife, as well as a strange moment with an older man who is assumed to be his father. This is really the only character development we see, and it’s very well done. The dialogue is limited, and seems mostly to be there to give the audience someone to care about.

This isn’t to say, however, that Rama is the only character that matters. There is Leader Guy and Old Guy on the good(ish) team, and Boss Man, Mad Dog and Admi (one of the only names that is easy to catch) on Team Crime Boss. It generally feels as though the entire reason they are their is that Old Guy, who is apparently a Lieutenant, basically told the Leader Guy that that was what they had to do. Honestly, there seems to be no good reasoning behind them doing it on that particular day, and it’s rather obvious that the Boss Team was expecting them. Poor planning on Leader Guy’s part, but I suppose he can’t be blamed for following orders.

First with the good. The acting in this movie is incredible. There are at least two instances where the relationship between characters are clear, despite the lack of an verbal acknowledgement. Not only that, but when a character is injured, they stay injured, which is rather rare in a lot of movies. The Effects and Makeup teams deserve some special commendation as well. The realism of the injuries and gore is absolutely amazing. Those wounds ooze with such realistic perfection that you can almost smell the blood coating the walls.

Iko Uwais, along with being quite a talented actor, did an amazing job with the fight choreography, along with actor Yayan Ruhian), who played Mad Dog. The two only have one scene together, and it is probably one of the coolest fight scenes I have ever seen. It basically looks like the Indonesian version of Yoda decided to take on two Indonesian Bruce Lee’s simultaneously. It is amazing.

What was really cool was the combination of martial arts and gun fighting. One flipped between a couple of guys just beating the shit out of each other to a full-on barrage of bullets coming from all sorts of guns. Not only that, but the guns actually ran out of bullets! And no one just shrugged off a mortal wound! It’s like being shot is actually something that might hurt or something. Hopefully whoever is in charge of American movies will watch this and figure out that realistic fights are actually several levels of awesome.

I do have a couple of minor complaints. One is the subtitles. Maybe it’s just me, but the constant replacement of “because” with “cos” started to drive me insane, as did the occasional other typos. The worst offense, however, is obscuring all of that beautiful fight choreography with constant shaky-cam. All I could think was “gods, keep the camera still! I want to see all of this ass-kicking with perfect clarity!” Alas, however, I was doomed to a state of near-nausea thanks to the constant motion-sickness-inducing shaking. This, mixed with the realistic gore, might give someone with a sensitive stomach reason enough to avoid The Raid.

Overall, The Raid: Redemption is one of the best action movies I’ve seen in years. The fighting is unreal and the sheer amount of blood and gore rivals even the most brutal of horror movies. Even taking into account my hatred of shaky-cam, and there is no trope I despise more, the fantastic acting more than makes up for it.

My Rating: 8/10

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About Pam-Marie Gx

Pam-Marie Gx

Reader, writer, student, movie-goer, drinker of rum - Pam-Marie is all these things, and more! She has a large appetite for both media and caffeine, and spends most of her time with some sort of electronic device close at hand. You can follow her on Twitter @PamMarieGx. She may even occasionally be amusing.

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