Title: The Raid
Director: Gareth Evans
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Stars: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy
Review by: Allan
“There is no such thing as too much action, fact!”
After a quick morning workout rookie cop Rama (Uwais) kisses his pregnant wife goodbye and sets out knowing today is not going to be a good day. He is part of small team of armed officers set to arrest crime lord Tama (Sahetapy). The only thing stopping them is a high-rise building run by the criminal and practically full to the brim of bad guys with all manner of weaponry available. At first the raid looks to be simple enough, get in, search a floor and subdue the inhabitants before moving on to the next floor. All this changes once they reach the fifth level. The unwanted fuzz get rumbled and with the promise of rent free living for anyone that helps fight the law it becomes a free for all. Guns, knives, fists and feet are all put to good use by both sides. With his fellow officers getting taken out one by one will Rama make it out to see his family and is there more to the raid than it appears?
Warning: while viewing The Raid there is a 98.5% chance your heart-rate will quicken, your jaw will drop numerous times and the occasional expletive will be exclaimed, especially if you have been brought up on a healthy cinematic diet of Die Hard, Leon, Ong-Bak and the better works of John Woo. Writer, director and editor Gareth Evans has managed to craft such a fantastically blood thirsty love poem to the pure action movie. The tightly choreographed explosive sequences on show here are some of the best in recent memory, long, gut punching shots with frantic balletic fights using knives, guns and anything else that can be easily reached in the grim apartment block. Only pausing occasionally to allow Uwais, his colleagues and the audience to catch a brief breath before the next onslaught of bone breaking mayhem occurs. Every beat enhanced with the nervous, pulse quickening and thumping score.
Playing out much like a big screen Streets of Rage with Rama duking it out with a lot of nameless thugs before facing off against an end of level style bigger badder henchman, character development and actual drama is on short supply. It doesn’t really matter because you will be too busy holding your breath as one man army Uwais takes on a building full of taekwondo trained butt kickers.
Iko Uwais truly is a leading man in the making, he can do all the required fighting stuff and you feel his pain as all the young rookie wants is to reunite his family and see his unborn son. The rest of the cast are outstanding whether they’re shouting at one another or knocking seven shades of spit out them instead.
With everything turned up to maximum and all the standard genre clichés on show this is not a film for everyone and those with a slightly sensitive nature may be better off just watching Avengers Assemble a third time. This is a very violent, blood thirsty flick. However if there is a bigger, better, non-stop action packed fight movie than The Raid this year; it will be a very, very good yet testosterone filled year.
In conclusion, believe the hype, The Raid is The Action Movie Of 2012. Roll on parts two and three!