At this point in time, I have gotten the chance to watch and review almost every type of movie there was. I have reviewed funny, serious, old and new movies but the other day I realized that this blog is oddly absent of any movie involving martial arts. The day has come for that unfortunate absence to be changed and the catalyst for that change was a film called The Raid Redemption.
The entire film, save the first five minutes, are on the grounds of the same apartment building. The building is owned by the notorious crime lord Tama Riyadi (Ray Sahetapy) where he allows his hordes of murderous mobsters to live. Wanted by rival gangs and the police alike, Tama’s building is prepared for the constant threat of a raid. The events of this film follow a police task force that raids the building, focusing mainly on a man named Rama (Iko Uwais) who has a pregnant wife waiting for him. The team, led by Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim) under the guidance of Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno), encounters complications as was bound to happen and they suddenly find themselves stuck in a building full of psychopaths trying to kill them. As team members are picked off and their numbers dwindle, Rama finds himself stepping into the leadership role of a very small group. With help from a member of Tama’s gang that Rama knows from his past, Rama battles his way through the building to try and complete their mission and survive.
I found it surprising how few lines of dialogue there were in the film but ultimately, this film was not about dialogue. The first fourth of the movie was made up of intesnly suspenseful scenes where not much happens, the rigid calm before the storm breaks. After an unbearable amount of stealth and suspense, the team gets spotted and the battle begins. The early action sequences featured very few hand to hand combat scenes and derive most of the action from some impressive gunshots. Eventually the ammo runs out and hand to hand combat is the only option. Starting with a fight in hallway where Rama takes out twenty-some armed gangsters, the film delivers some of the most impressive fight scenes I have seen in a while. The hits are hard and the film is very violent but action fans will not be disappointed as the action sequences feature guns, knives, fists and anything in the environment that could serve as a weapon throughout the film.
Originally filmed in Indonesian, there are two different versions of the film that you can watch: the subbed version or the dubbed version. I watched the dubbed version and I can honestly say, the dub work was not the best but it never is. Though it was a fault in the film, it didn’t bother me that much because this wasn’t a film that you went to listen to, it was a film you went to watch. The story line was nothing overly unique; it wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t groundbreaking. Without the brilliant action sequences, this film would be average, not bad but average. What makes this film a must see are the fights. I give The Raid Redemption a 7 out lf 10 and recommend it to anybody that lives for those long, drawn out fight scenes.