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:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.