The Raid: Redemption (2011) – A Review

The Raid Redemption action movie
The Raid: Redemption

There has been a lot of raves from action fans about this Indonesian film and now after having finally gotten to see it I can see why.

The Raid (that’s how I refer to it, I don’t include ‘Redemption to it. I’m still not sure why they tacked that on) is a bare bones story that is mainly a setup to have action scenes strung throughout the entire film. And it works.

The story is very simple. A 20-man SWAT team stages a raid on a tenement building that holds a notorious crime lord. As they progress up each story things look like it will go smoothly, until on the sixth floor they encounter a lookout who alerts the entire building to their presence.

Now the squad is faced with endless encounters of criminal tenants who are willing to go to any lengths to kill them thanks to the instructions of the lead criminal who is monitoring their movements throughout his building.

The film doesn’t get much more complicated than that. There are shootouts, explosions, snipers, stabbings, hand-to-hand combat and deadly confrontations that really get gruesome and creative. Fortunately, all the action is very entertaining. Things get pretty hardcore, so it’s no wonder action fans have been raving about it.

The Raid: Redemption 2011 foreign action film
Getting into some mortal combat

The action does subside long enough for us to get to know our main character played by Iko Uwais, a rookie officer who will soon be a father and has an estranged brother who he just happens to bump into during all this chaos. This story feels somewhat like padding. It’s not really that interesting, but their reunion culminates in them engaging in a pretty impressive fight against one of the buildings most lethal residents.

The Raid has some impressive visuals, a cool style and some glorious choreography that are performed beautifully by the actors. It’s certainly not a very deep film, but it simply delivers on being an entertaining action-packed adrenaline ride. Action fans should really enjoy it.

There has been talk of a U.S. remake which is good since you can’t see the The Raid anywhere……oh wait…yes you can watch The Raid! It’s on DVD! So why bother remaking it? Not a good idea.

I imagine an American version would just tone down the gore, replace the cultural martial arts talent with snappy editing and become a very hollow film. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong, but The Raid works fine without any help from Hollywood getting their hands on it.


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2 Responses

  1. I make up a Best Films list every year, and this was my vote for Best Action and Best Foreign Film! I loved this flick, despite the outcry among some action fans that this film ripped-off the concurrent DREDD; supposedly, a leaked version of the latter's script inspired THE RAID, but they were different enough. What's odd is that I actually got a bit tired of being in the DREDD building considering the fact I wanted to see more of the city itself. THE RAID was awesome, and yes I really hope there's isn't going to be a remake…in fact, I will be pissed!

  2. I still haven't seen Dredd. I was really surprised to hear people saying real positive things about it. I was expecting it to be some half-ass lazy actioner and people just dismissing it, but it sounds like it's actually worthwhile.

    Last I heard a Hollywood remake of The Raid is in the works. Like I said I don't know why. I can't figure out if they'll just Americanize it and drop the martial arts altogether or replace that with just explosions and guns. I don't know. It seems pretty pointless.

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