Customer Review

98 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-Stop Violence And Excitement: Not Much Plot, But A Must-See For Action Movie Ethusiasts, June 6, 2012
This review is from: The Raid: Redemption [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
"The Raid: Redemption" is a movie that pulls no punches. Or maybe that's all it pulls. It's been a long while since I've seen a film so relentless, so brutal, and so unapologetically violent. Writer/Director Gareth Evans' film is a non-stop barrage of fisticuffs, shoot-outs, and explosions. It is a well choreographed exercise in action movie mayhem and it succeeds wholly in its intentions. If you want a nuanced screenplay, in-depth characterizations, or an intricate plot--"The Raid: Redemption" might not be your first choice of entertainment. Don't get me wrong, I like and expect those things too. But if you give yourself over to the visceral experience of this down and dirty movie, it provides more thrills and excitement than a slate of Hollywood blockbusters. If you like action films, this micro-budgeted indie flick shot in Indonesia (yes, it's subtitled but, believe me, the dialogue is relatively minimal) has got to be on the top of your must-see list.

Evans reunites with the star, Iko Uwais, of his previous film "Merantau." While "Merantau" showed promise, it was plagued with a relatively uninspired plot and some serious pacing issues. While I'd still recommend it to fans of the genre, it didn't fully come together in the way that I hoped it would. Both Uwais, as a martial artist and a screen presence, and Evans, as a creative force, have upped their game in "The Raid: Redemption." Uwais plays an upstanding cop who is part of a SWAT team in Jakarta. The plot is very simple on the surface. The officers must infiltrate a slum apartment building that houses a gangland overlord and his band of criminal mercenaries. But on their way to the penthouse suite, they must fend off countless attacks as their numbers dwindle. There is a little political back story, as well, with corruption and greed factoring into the equation as to just why the building is being raided in the first place. You need more plot? Too bad.

What you get instead is relentless action. The pacing is dynamic and the tension escalates throughout. There are some terrific combat scenes, lots of gunfire, and an endless array of hand-to hand fight sequences. The martial arts aspect to the fighting is exciting and extremely well done without being too over the top. "The Raid: Redemption" did quite well on the film festival circuit (winning audience awards in Amsterdam, Toronto, and Dublin) and with the majority of mainstream critics (including raves from the Los Angeles Times and USA Today). The reason seems very simple. The movie doesn't aspire to be anything other than what it is. Evans focused on making a brutal and exhausting bit of ultra-violent escapism. And that's exactly what he and his team delivers. Is it a perfect film? Not particularly. Could it have benefited from improved storytelling? Probably. But what it does provide more than compensates for what it doesn't. In the end, this movie may not be for everyone. That's perfectly fine. But I suspect that the film's reputation will only grow in certain circles making it a true cult classic a few years down the line. About 4 1/2 stars, I'll round up for the sheer madness of it all! KGHarris, 6/12.

Included Bonus Features:
Commentary with Writer/Director Gareth Evans
6 behind-the-scenes video blogs with Gareth Evans
Behind the Music: Featurette with Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and composer Joe Trapanese
Inside the Score: A trailer teaser for Mike Shinoda's first feature score
An Evening with Gareth Evans, Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese feaurette
Conversation with Gareth Evans and Mike Shinoda: Details on the hard shoot, score, stunts, and themes
An Anatomy of a Scene: Outlines hole drop sequence
THE RAID TV Show Ad (circa 1994): Spoof of an actual 1994 Japanese anime TV commercial
Claycat's The Raid: Lee Hardcastle's UK claymation short film with a Mike Shinoda music score
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 10, 2012 8:57:13 PM PDT
EZM says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Aug 3, 2012 10:41:51 AM PDT
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Posted on Sep 11, 2012 11:04:04 PM PDT
Jokey Tiger says:
Thanks for taking your time to break it down. You nailed it, i have seen this movie on redbox and i just bought it. I just have to have it, yes i see this movie being a cult classic. Great action movie, impossible to sleep through this movie if you like action movies.

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 7:57:34 PM PST
Georgedc says:
Thanks for the extensive review!

I'm sure it's a great action film but i'm wondering if this is a 1-time view kinda movie or something you would want to watch multiple times? It'll be a blind buy on blu ray for me. what do you think?
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