It’s not very often you go to your local multiplex to find an Indonesian subtitled film on the bill. In fact, it’s never. At least I can’t remember it ever happening before.
Does this mean we’re all becoming incredibly sophisticated and art house?
Nope. It means that someone in Asia has come up with an interesting way to frame endless scenes of mayhem and high-octane violence and called it ‘The Raid: Redemption.’
The plot is pretty simple. A police raid a rundown Jakarta tower block with the aim of arresting the evil drug lord that lives there.
Unfortunately, a gang member blows there cover and alerts his boss who proceeds to unleash the buildings lowlifes on the hapless officers.
After the twentieth guy gets his brains blown out of his head at close range, we realize this Asian movie isn’t exactly Kurosawa. And we’re very glad of it because it is hugely entertaining.
It uses the limitations of its one location to great effect, getting some highly imaginative kills in the process. Yet still manages to have enough down time between the fight sequences to create some drama and narrative thrust.
It’s also choc-a-block with clichés.
The mammoth Kung Fu action sequences, brothers on different sides of the law, the corrupt cop, and the psychopath henchman, ‘The Raid’ has them all. Yet such is the body count we hardly have time to think about it. Nor should we.
The action is handled with such panache and visual style that we forgive ‘The Raid‘ its deficiencies.