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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Aug 20: The Raid: Redemption

Monday

Aug 20: The Raid: Redemption

"A SWAT team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs."
Directed by: Gareth Evans, Rated: R, 101 minutes

Once in awhile a movie comes along that's simply too awesome to ignore. The Raid: Redemption is one of those movies, as it takes a great idea to incredible heights. The film features some stellar fight sequences that leave you smiling with joy (as they're so badass) with a simple, yet genius, story thrown in the mix. If you're a fan of Jackie Chan, Jet Li, or Tony Jaa, The Raid is for you. Hell, if you're not even a fan of martial arts action flicks, you'll still enjoy this movie. Yes, it's that good. 

This scene only leads to awesome and then continues to more awesome. 

The Raid follows an Indonesian SWAT team that's sent into an apartment complex to take down a drug lord named Wahyu (Pierre Gruno). Of course, this drug lord is always prepared for any incoming invasions (he's fought off multiple rival gang attacks) and has turned the building into a safe house for thieves, beggars, addicts, and other criminals, all who are willing to do whatever it takes to keep the building. After the mission goes wrong and Wahyu is alerted of their presence, the SWAT team is trapped inside the building with hundreds of criminals wanting to kill them. Led by Jaka (Joe Taslim) and Rama (Iko Uwais), the team realize the only way out is to finish their mission and take down Wahyu, which means making their way up 15 flights of stairs, with armed criminals on each floor. Along with the street scum tenants, Wahyu also has his two right hand men, Mad Dog (Yayan Rhuan), a martial arts beast who kills anyone in his way and Andi (Donny Alamasyah), a genius that found himself at the top after proving to be an intellectual asset to the drug lord. 

Wahyu is very reminiscent of Old Boy. Hell, he even uses a hammer. 

As mentioned, the plot is simple and is the perfect vehicle to drive everything forward with allowing as much action as possible, which is all phenomenal. The movie blends a great combination of gun fights and fist fights with each filmed with intensity and brutality. Unlike most films, once the SWAT team runs out of ammo, they fight with anything they can find, knowing full well that their guns are useless. Once the initial firefight plays out and fists and feet start flying, The Raid: Redemption crosses the line of awesome and into the realm of incredible. Iko Uwais, who ends up playing the hero in the film, kicks more ass than Jason Bourne and Jean Claude Van Damme and takes down baddies in the coolest, most original ways. There are so many bits in the action you've seen before and turns the movie into something more unexpected and unpredictable than you'd think. Along with Uwais, Yayan Rhuan "co-steals" the show as Mad Dog and turns out to be a much cooler villain than you'd think. At first, you think he's just some scumbag fighter who has a way with martial arts, but once you see him in action you understand how brutal the man really is. 

Uwais is going to be a huge star. Get used to that face. 

I have always been a fan of Asian cinema and martial arts flicks in general. The Raid: Redemption is hands down, one of the best I have seen and I eagerly, eagerly, anticipate its sequel. Director Gareth Evans, yes a Welsh man making an Indonesian movie, manages to turn the action into something unforgettable and uses the camera as a beautiful tool to capture it all. Evans uses a handful of camera tricks that heighten the intensity even more, employing long takes and quick cuts that actually let you enjoy the action. My only complaint of the film is that The Raid made me feel incredibly out of shape, and any hope I may have had at being my own action star was immediately squashed after viewing the film. But, as a plus to that I can only assume all of those involved in the film were born under some special kung-fu star sign. They've been badass since birth, I just write movie reviews. 

The Good:
a simple story that's perfect for an action film, without filling itself up with too much fluff that's unimportant 
The Better:
the cast, led by Iko Uwais who shows that he's the new badass in town
The Best:
action sequences full of so much cool and brutality that you can't help but smile and camerawork that lets you enjoy the whole thing

Overall: 8.8/10

Trailer:

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8 Comments:

At August 20, 2012 at 6:49 PM , Blogger Sati. said...

Woah, 9,4, huh? I read so many good things about this movie I really need to see it, though I share your feeling out of shape after seeing films like that. I feel so fat and clumsy after seeing Hathaway in tDKR.

 
At August 20, 2012 at 6:50 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Me attempting scissor kicks in my living room after watching this movie just supported the notion that I'm out of shape lol.

 
At August 21, 2012 at 6:07 AM , Anonymous The Movie Waffler said...

The site's looking so much better since your changes. I'm running a new blogathon you might be interested in
http://www.themoviewaffler.com/p/winning-streak-blogathon.html

 
At August 21, 2012 at 11:12 AM , Blogger Nick said...

When is it "due"? lol. I'm editing the 2nd episode of our podcast now among a billion other things. I love the idea, I just need a time frame?

Thanks for the feedback on the layout!

 
At August 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM , Blogger Mavi said...

woo high praise... but I tend to disagree... A film for me this was a one trick pony and that trick grew tiresome fairly quickly...

http://bit.ly/SiuNG1

 
At August 22, 2012 at 10:12 AM , Blogger Nick said...

I could understand that point but I just found it too amazing. I could watch it over and over as well. Good review though!

 
At August 23, 2012 at 6:31 AM , Blogger Benend said...


Films like this serve as an example of what can be achieved if you have lots of talent and passion for what you do. I attended a Q/A with Gareth Evans and the guy is so cool, he's definitely going places. He's now a cult hero of South Wales!

 
At August 23, 2012 at 8:38 AM , Blogger Nick said...

I'm jealous! I would have loved to attend the Q&A. Glad to know he's cool in real life.. can't wait for the sequel!

 

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