The Raid

"Very Good"

The Raid Review


This riotously entertaining Indonesian action-thriller is packed with cleverly staged carnage. There's very little in the way of characterisation or plot, although there's just enough of both to hold our interest.

Rookie cop Rama (Uwais) kisses his pregnant wife goodbye and heads out for an intense day at work. The team is raiding a run-down tower block to capture vicious mobster Tama (Sahetapy). Led by tough-guy Jaka (Taslim), they aren't remotely ready for what happens next, as Tama offers the building's residents free rent for life if they kill the cops before they reach the 15th floor.

Full-on war ensues, and soon there are only a handful of police officers left.

Then Rama runs into his brother Andi (Alamsyah), who's one of Tama's righthand goons.

There are a few convenient plot points along the way, including the fact that the cowardly police commander Wahyu (Gruno) is operating outside the system, which means they can't call for back-up. And in the hallways there's a wiry thug (Ruhian) who prefers to fight with his hands rather than guns or knives, which leads to two insanely spectacular fights as he takes on Jaka first, then the brothers together. These encounters are so inventively choreographed (by Uwais and Ruhian) that they never seem repetitive. Which is no mean feat.

That said, every scene majors on head-smashing, bone-splintering brutality. The battles in the corridors are like kickboxing with added knives and guns, captured skilfully by Matt Flannery's tactile camerawork. The fact that every sequence has its own pace and personality keeps the film from being boring, and director Evans continually stirs in moments of pitch-black humour to keep us laughing in between the gasping and wincing.

It's surprising how entertaining this film is, since it's essentially just a series of scenes in which men bash each other in the head or stab each other in the neck. The bare-bones plot is just enough to keep us engaged, even with brazenly cheap filmmaking cliches like a pregnant wife back home and a beloved black-sheep brother. But when combined with energetic, full-on direction, editing, sound, acting and stunts, they make the film a ludicrously enjoyable guilty pleasure.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 83 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 4th August 1954

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Gareth Huw Evans

Producer: Ario Sagantoro

Starring: as Maj. Neal Benton, as Katy Bishop, as Capt. Lionel Foster, as Lt. Keating

Also starring:

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