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The Raid: Redemption Theatrical Review

By Apr 12, 2012 04:20 PM EST

The Raid: Redemption Is A film for adrenaline seekers and the curious.

A kick to the head, a fist to the body, guns blazing, explosions rocking the hallways, knives slashing, bodies everywhere and that's only the first 15 minutes of film The Raid: Redemption.  With amazing choreography, realistic combat and creative cinematography the movie makes a big hit.  Don't look for an original story, but that's not the attraction here.
Played out on a vertical field this brutal film concerns a police raid on a crime lord's apartment house bunker.  An elite special select police team enters the 12 story building covering all exits then scrambles to the 6th floor before facing off with incredible martial arts foes armed with an arsenal of weapons from machetes to automatic pistols.  The police are lead by Rama (Iko Uwais) and the plan involves getting Tama (Ray Sahetaphy), boss of a meth/crime ring, and bringing him down.
From the first confrontation to the blazing ending Director Gareth Huw Evans keeps his film exciting moving at a fast clip with hand-to-hand combat on every floor.  It's an upward battle that takes several twists and turns each of which becomes a devastating confrontation.  Evans wastes no time showing the 90-minute blood bath using his creative martial arts choreography with damaging blows too numerous to count. 
The slug fest continues throughout with several showcase clashes including one that lasts over 5 minutes between Rama and Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian) and then a 10 minute clash with Rama and Andi (Doni Alamsyah) against Mad Dog.  Brilliantly choreographed the fights look real and very brutal.  Needless to say the three actors are professional athletes in martial arts. Uwais and Ruhian trained in the Indonesian art of Pencak Wilat martial arts and have mastered the fighting style. Alamsyah has mastered many martial arts including Pencak Silat, Karate, Aikido, Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, Wing Chun and assorted military martial arts.
Catching your breath between fights is not an option in The Raid: Redemption as Evans does not slow down.  Even the conversations are short and concise continuing the feel of urgency.  Several close ups of violence are ghastly and very realistic adding an element of horror to the already terror filled movie.  Just when you think things are over, they're not, because Evans always has one more last brutal twist that completes the storyline.
Creative filming makes the movie a hit for martial arts fans.  Using hand held, crane, mobile and steady cams the crew gets into the tiniest nooks, exterior window shots, explosion rapports, close up body contact and wide-angle extreme group fights even in relatively confined locations within the apartment complex.
The Raid: Redemption has been rated R by the MPAA for strong brutal bloody violence throughout, and language.  Not for the timid the film showcases martial arts and extreme violence.  The film is shown in Indonesian with English Subtitles, but don't worry three isn't much meaningful dialogue to read; you are there for the action.
FINAL ANALYSIS:  A film for adrenaline seekers and the curious. (B) 

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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 101 minutes
Distributed By: Sony Pictures Classics

For more information about The Raid: Redemption visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

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