This year was the tenth anniversary of The Raid: Redemption which was pretty surprising to me. It premiered at the TIFF in 2011, but it would premiere seven months the next year in Indonesia. It took me a few years to see it for the first time, which only happened after I bought the movie. After my first watch of the movie, I immediately understood why I had heard so many good things about the movie. This isn’t like any other martial arts movie that I’ve ever seen.
The Raid: Redemption was written and directed by Gareth Evans. He was also the editor of the movie. Evans has such an amazing sense of action. He not only knew the perfect ways to pace out the fights but also how to keep them clear in both editing as well as in camera. The writing is something I can’t completely give a critique because I don’t know Indonesian. The translated dialogue is pretty goofy, but that can happen in translation. That doesn’t mean that the writing is bad, it just means translating writing is hard.
The cast for The Raid is simply amazing. It stars Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Donny Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno, Ray Sahetapy, and Tegar Sathya. You spend most of your time watching Iko Uwais and he carries the film well. Joe Taslim is the actor that I’ve seen the most outside of the movie. The cast does a lot of their own stunts in the fights, which makes the fight scenes even more impressive. I do know that the movie allowed most of the cast to be in the first of the new Star Wars trilogy.
The plot of The Raid follows Rama as he joins a squad on a raid. The raid is on an apartment controlled by a crime lord. Unbeknownst to the rest of his squad Rama’s brother works for the crime lord as one of his lieutenants. Things quickly get out of hand and the squad suffers many casualties. Rama and an injured member of the squad are separated from the rest of the survivors. The survivors learn the real reason behind the raid and how it involves the crime lord. The brothers also confront each other and that is seen by the crime lord.
I really want to talk about the fight scenes throughout the entire movie. Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian did the fight choreography for the movie. They are the main people in most of the fights, Iko being the major player in the fights. The final fight that involves both of them is one of the most intense fights and it feels like people are really fighting for their life. The CG is used in interesting ways and isn’t something that draws you out of the fights. In the United States the music was done by Mike Shinoda and Joseph Trapanese and the music is fantastic. I do wish I could hear the Indonesian score though.
The Raid: Redemption is a fantastic martial arts movie that also has elements of horror in it. I plan on following up with the sequel to this movie. I also hope to finally watch the horror movie that Gareth Evans made for Netflix. I give The Raid: Redemption 9 machetes out of 10.