The Raid [also known as The Raid: Redemption] is an Indonesian action film Written/Directed/Edited by Welsh director, Gareth Evans [“Footsteps”, “Merantau” ] and stars Iko Uwais as rookie cop, “Jaka” and an elite SWAT team, who set out to breach a tower block owned by a ruthless crime Lord [Tama Riyadi] and armed thugs and killers.
The Raid is quite literally one of the best action films I have ever seen, it is on a par with classics such as “Die Hard” and “Hard Boiled” and contains some of the most explicit and exciting action scenes you will ever see.
The action scenes are a good place to start as the film is full of them in fact it doesn’t hold back for the full 101 minutes. The scenes were choreographed by Iko Uwais [Merantau] and are breathtaking, fast and will make you wince. One scene in particular sees Jaka and a SWAT team member trapped in a corridor filled with machete wielding killers.
The other exciting point about the action is that whilst in previous action films such as “Quantum of Solace” or “The Bourne Ultimatum” the action is edited so fast that you almost can’t see what is going on. Take the car chase at the beginning of Quantum of Solace for example.
The Raid doesn’t have the tendency to do this and cleverly so, the action instead of being cut down is shot long and frequently from different angles, it makes you feel the exhaustion of the characters and you want the pain and violence to be over like they do, and when the end of the film comes, you feel relieved.
The other of the film’s main highlights is the main star Iko Uwais, who makes for a great action star and could be set to be the new Bruce Lee or Jet Li. He does all of his own stunts and tackles the acting and emotional scenes with great skill too.
The story and formula has been done hundreds of times before but The Raid is an entirely new approach altogether, having the same setting and premise as other action films such as “Die Hard” or “Hard Boiled”, and having one guy against hundreds of thugs.
The building itself and everyday objects are used as weapons, in one instance a fridge is used as a bomb to take out a gang of thugs from the room next door and even the floorboards which are used as escape hatches.
The film is thrilling from start to finish and even though it is a foreign language film, you quickly forget about the subtitles.
Overall, The Raid is a non-stop thrill ride throughout and is a must see film for all action fans and fans of martial arts especially. It contains some of the best set pieces and fight scenes you will see in a movie and features great performances from the unknown cast.