The Raid Movie Review
Cast & Crew
Director : Gareth Huw Evans
Producer : Ario Sagantoro
Screenwriter : Gareth Huw Evans
Starring : Iko Uwais, Donny Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Joe Taslim, Ray Sahetapy, Pierre Gruno, Tegar Satrya, Iang Darmawan
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.
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