Wow. That’s pretty much all I would really have to say about The Raid: Redemption, but you stopped by for a movie review, and that’s what you’ll get; but WOW. I have not seen an action movie on par with this in YEARS.

The Raid:Redemption is an Indonesian action film directed by Gareth Evans, and stars Iko Uwais. The main plot of the movie is that a bunch of evil bad guys run this huge slum-house, and the Indonesian S.W.A.T. Team has to go in there and clean out the trash. Simple enough right? Just take 20 of your best men and send them in against, I don’t, HUNDREDS of the most bad-ass scum and villiany the likes of which Indonesia has eever seen; should be easy right? If that were the case, I wouldn’t be writing this review right now. Needless to say, it doesn’t go exactly the way S.W.A.T. thought it would, and the baddies get the upper-hand and the remaining few police officers that don’t get viciously murdered  have to punch, kick, shoot, knife, and machete their way out of the building.

That’s the basic plot and it leads us through the rest of the action in the film. The fights in this movie probably would have melted my face off in the movie theater. It was so raw and evil, and it makes the fights between Bane and Batman look like a white-belt induction at a children’s karate dojo. (I apologize now if that statement makes no sense, I know nothing about martial arts, other than it looks cool) When you have a guy throw another guy through a window, only to have that person’s body land on staircase and pretty much snap in half; well Christian Bale yelling and hitting his chest just pales in comparison.

The thing that I loved the most about the movie is just how REAL the performances are. Iko Uwais steals the show as the protagonist, Rama. He MUST get out of this hell-hole of a building in order to get back to his pregnant wife.  The majority of the action centers around him and his story. He brings a fast and kinetic feel to all his fights and doesn’t hesitate to be extremely brutal when dealing with the thugs he takes on. Gareth Evans also chooses to do a lot of tracking shots while filming the action, which I really appreciated.  Nothing I hate more from an action movie, than to have shots of just hands, or a shaky look at a foot hitting a face. Set the camera down and let the choreographers show you what they get paid for. This film does just that. When the action is going, so is the camera, but in a way that only kept me engaged and not reaching for a vomit bag.

The Raid: Redemption is also a movie that begs for a sequel. There is a subplot involving a bigger organization pulling the strings on the movie’s ‘Big Bad’ and it would be great to get to see who/what that is.  According to wikipedia there is a sequel being developed now:

While developing The Raid in script form, Evans started to toy around with the idea of creating a link between it and the initial project; Berandal. And it’s now confirmed that Berandal will serve as a sequel to The Raid.Evans has also stated his intention to make a trilogy.

Sony has pre-bought U.S., Latin American and Spanish rights to the upcoming sequel. Alliance/Momentum has pre-bought for the United Kingdom and Canada; Koch Media has acquired the film for German speaking territories; Korea Screen has pre-bought Korea; and HGC has pre-bought China. Deals for other major territories are also in negotiations.

Tentatively titled Berandal for the Indonesian market and as The Raid: Retaliation for U.S. market, the sequel will have a “significantly larger” budget than its predecessor, and its shooting schedule is to include approximately 100 days of physical production.The pre-production is expected to begin in September 2012 while the filming is expected in January 2013.

Man, I really hope Evans decides to go the ‘Threequel’ route with these. If he keeps up with the groundwork he’s already laid down, it can only get better!

The Raid: Redemption is being released on DVD and Bluray August 14, 2012.

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