Oh my goodness. What a kickass movie! Not since Ong Bak in 2004 have I been so impressed by a movie. From Indonesia, this film is really what action movies should be all about. Breathtaking action. The special effects are here, but you know there is pure human action taking place, and what a hell of a lot of fun this is. In addition there is also a bit of heart and a hell of a lot of politics involved. But make no doubt about it, The Raid is as action filled as it gets!
Made by British Director Gareth Evans who is now based in Indonesia (fascinating history, wikipedia him) this film, look, I am a fanboy of martial arts films. But when the person accompanying you is a known ‘art-house’ culture vulture also appreciates and enjoys this movie, then, well, you know there is something more to this movie then pointless kicking around. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I love pointless kicks and punches. But the sheer level of beauty choreographed would not be able to keep you entranced, if there was not a deeper story. For me, there are unanswered questions about the move. Just how deep does the rabbit hole go in terms of Jakarta’s corruption. Who was the mysterious man in room 726? How do the brothers fair in the future. Everything for me was gripping from start to finish, I loved this film. Who knows, there could well be a sequel to this film, but for now, it is that sense of mystery which I loved as the credits rolled. I cared about the characters, I wanted to know what happened in their past and what happened.
For me, The Raid was like a mix between Infernal Affairs and Ong Bak. Ong Bak’s impressive action, most definitely had a prescence here. This time with Pencack Silat as the martial arts style. Gripping stuff. But ‘The Raid’ also reminded me of the great Hong Kong Film in terms of getting underneath the skin of Jakarta. Of course, it was made on a budget, so we did not get a feel of the urban landscape of Jakarta that Infernal Affairs offered in its view of Hong Kong. But it was that deeper story. The parallel lives. Yes, it was that little bit simpler, but no less compelling and making the audience like me ask for more.
It has been over a decade since I have last seen an Indonesian Film, so I am glad to have watched this one. And this is memorable in so many ways. Action, adventure and a human touch made this a fantastic film to see, and if it is on at a cinema near you (it may be called The Raid: Redemption) then go check it out! It is the most fun you will have for a long time, but you will leave the cinema wanting something more. I garuntee it. Grea work by all involved, and long may the kick-ass action continue!