on 9 April 2014
This ticks the majority of boxes for an action film and makes for exciting, if not always enjoyable, viewing. There is a lot to admire here and the action sequences make their Hollywood equivalents look tame in comparison. My only criticism, which boils down to personal taste to some extent, is that it is too violent. This might sound like an irrational criticism to level at this genre of film, and the level of brutality certainly adds to the tension, but for me this made it a difficult watch in places. This point notwithstanding, it remains an excellent action film that definitely doesn't pull any punches.
on 24 May 2012
Ok, bold title and a few caveats. The plot is SWAT team tries to get a drug baron in a block of flats...and that's it for plot and locations. The dialogue is in Indonesian so the translation may lose some nuance (but I doubt it) and overall it's every action cliche rolled into one script.
So why the title and 5 stars? Because everything is executed perfectly. The sweaty tension raising intro, the bombastic gunfights and most of all the incredibly brutal, fast and efficient martial arts.
I saw this on a Wednesday evening in a half full cinema- and yet there were spontaneous rounds of applause and cries of "oh god!" as you saw audacious action scene after visceral fistfight. It is a constant thrill with enough "plot" to allow you to recover before the next shot of adrenaline cinema kicks in. It reminds Hollywood it's not about money or how much blows up but how it blows up and two men fighting in a kitchen can be more exciting than watching a city being trashed by giant robots.
A must see for any fan of action movies.
on 22 October 2012
As soon as I saw the red-band trailer, I knew I had to see this movie, and got tickets for the first ever UK screening at Glasgow FrightFest. It was the last film of the day - so every seat in the cinema was already occupied by film fans and journalists who'd been sitting there all day, watching film after film. We squeezed into the last remaining seats in the back row, expecting the audience to be too tired to respond enthusiastically to a late-night action movie.
We couldn't have been more wrong.
THE RAID got half a dozen spontaneous rounds of applause, and a standing ovation at the end. Well deserved.
I've now seen it four times on the big screen, and bought the DVD on the day of release.
THE RAID, is a smart, lean, tightly-controlled thrill machine, perfectly calibrated to create maximum tension and adrenaline, without any of the dumbed-down compromises we've been conditioned to expect from Hollywood. This is, quite simply, the kind of action movie they just don't make any more. Imagine early-80s John Carpenter tension, fused with mid-80s John Woo Hong Kong action (but without Woo's cheesiness), and you're in the right ballpark. It's fast, dense, gritty, uncompromising, and utterly gripping, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with such action classics as DIE HARD, THE TERMINATOR, ALIENS and HARD BOILED.
Director Gareth Evans is going to be a major force in Hollywood. Get in on the ground floor.
on 2 August 2013
I'm not what you would call a film buff and I can't do 'critical reviews' but if you want a great action film then get The Raid. It simply doesn't stop from beginning to end.
Anyone with a passing interest in hand-to-hand combat or martial arts will love this film for the speed of the fight choreography - and there's plenty of shooting scenes if that's your preference.
Don't worry about the subtitles, it's very easy to follow.
on 12 October 2012
You'll find little plot development, character arc, tonal shift or emotional punch. The Raid is opting for visceral, hyperkinetic and relentless action. For action and I mean "real brutal" action that's balletically choreographed, blood gushing fight scenes that are exhilarating and a punishing assault on your senses. The reason for this mayhem is simple and brutally effective and manages to include fists, feet, elbows, knees of fury every technique and weapon under the sun. These guys give new meaning to fighting tooth and claw. The action is breath taking in it's violence with a jaw dropping machete fight that managers to out do all other bigger budget action films around. The plot is paper thin and identical to the much bigger budget Dredd 3D but in this case there no such thing as too much of a good thing. This movie isn't remotley subtle but when the bullets are flying (which is most of the time) it's a heart pounding experience with all the credentials to become a cult classic and in the case of Iko Uwais a new martial art star is born.
Don't be put off by being spoken in native Indonesian and having subtitles as if you go to the set up menu you can have the option for English language dubbing that is actually very well done and hardly destracts from the mayhem.
See if you like.......
Assault on Precinct 13
on 5 August 2012
The Raid takes action and fight cinema and strips it down to its purest, rawest and most essential elements. Complex back stories? Binned! Endless preamble building to big final 30 minutes finish? Binned! Anything but the most necessary dialogue? Binned!
What's left is an awesome level jumping computer game of a movie. One where spectacular, violent and eye popping martial arts violence is the only rule and gore splattered spectacle wins out. We are given enough background in the opening scene to make us care for the protagonist and then bang... He and his fellow cops are trying to capture floors as they ascend a tower packed full of tweaking drug crazies with machetes and no proper regard for personal safety. The resulting bloodbath is quite literally like nothing you've ever seen. This film is the bullet ballets of classic Hong Kong action writ large and taken beyond logic into some inspired realm of on screen ultraviolence, the like of which is going to be near impossible to top.
The Raid is a lean, vicious animal, stripped of any fat, honed to perfection and utterly efficient. If this film doesn't blow you through the living room wall into next doors house, there's something very, very wrong
The Raid [Blu-ray]
The Raid [DVD]
on 25 May 2012
Truly great action films are few and far between these days. I am and have always been a fan, and I'm always on the look out for the next `Die Hard'. But with the clichéd, lumbering nature of Hollywood muscle-pics we must look to Indonesia and `The Raid' (directed by Welshman Gareth Evans) to provide us with something truly fresh and invigorating, and all made for a mere $1 million.
The Raid represents exactly the kind of pure, uninhibited and exciting film making that I love. There is no watering down of violence to make it available to a wider audience and there are very few special effects. The Raid is all about intense, pulse-pounding action and incredible choreography performed by men who are masters of their art, showcasing the Indonesian martial art Pencak Silat, of which actors Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian are devotees.
The initial set-up takes barely ten minutes before the action begins. Deep in the slums of Jakata, Indonesia, a team of armed police attempt to secure a high rise apartment block which has become a haven for drug barons and violent criminals controlled by crime boss Tama and his right-hand man, `Mad Dog'. Among the team is Rama, a fresh-faced rookie with a young pregnant wife, and Lieutenant Wahyu, an ageing veteran with a hidden agenda. The heavily armed police enter at the ground floor tasked with reaching the top to remove Tama, but encounter resistance of an unprecedented scale from his henchmen; criminals armed with guns, knives, machetes and their bare hands. Police losses are high and the tower block becomes a death-trap, a maze of corridors packed with crazed assailants which the handful of survivors must now escape.
The Raid makes little apology for its simple plot and punchy characterisation, but succeeds emphatically in its objective, as one big shot of adrenaline; it is a film purely designed to make the heart pound and the palms sweat and it does both in equal measure. The action is relentless and brutal and the pace gathers to an intensity that had me literally on the edge of my seat throughout. For much of the film I sat entranced and open-mouthed, pulse-rate unusually high. This is the highest compliment I can pay to any film of the genre. Relief from the action comes in brief scenes of dialogue which enhance character and throw in a couple of well conceived plot twists. But the impact of The Raid lies in its stunningly choreographed fight scenes, athletically performed, enhanced by some terrific camera work which, rather than remaining static and removed, moves in, around and with the action to great effect. One such scene that sticks in the memory involves Rama, now unarmed, pursued and attacked by four of Tama's machete-wielding henchmen.
The savageness of the fight scenes will undoubtedly not be to the taste of everyone; heads are smashed against walls and floors, blades penetrate throats and stomachs, men are thrown from windows. But it all makes for an intense and thrilling experience and I can't remember ever being so absorbed and awe-struck by an action film. For once, believe the hype, because `The Raid' is totally mind-blowing entertainment. I loved it. 9.5/10.
on 6 February 2015
Not being a martial arts fan, I thought this film would not be for me. Coupled with the fact it was subtitled, and the storyline was pretty basic, I had the feeling I would be turning off pretty quickly, but you know what .......this was pretty well done, and I enjoyed it. The action was pretty much non stop, violence was pretty full on, there were moments of extreme tension, and for the martial arts buffs there were loads of preposterous scenes. It was subtitled, but really easy to follow. Not exactly my type of movie, but for its type, this was extremely well done.
on 23 January 2014
I feel sorry for those people who purchased this DVD thinking they'd get a serious, in-depth plot, and especially sorry for people who didn't realise that the film is in a foreign language, and that you might need to use subtitle or dubbed options. I always opt for subtitles, as the dubbed voices rarely have the same impact or emotion as the original.
The film never advertised itself in the above way, so maybe you should read up on a film in future, unless you go out of your way to buy films to moan about them. And funnily enough, it's an Indonesian film, set in Jakarta, so why do you think it would/should be in English?
This is exactly what it said on the tin. A non-stop action movie.
Not something to watch with the kids, or those of a gentle disposition, but if you want constant fighting, using a variety of weapons, including bare hands, then this is the film for you.
I watched it in both directions on a flight to/from Vegas, then came home and bought the DVD to watch again.
Who’d have thought that Indonisia would raise the bar when it came to action movies? ‘The Raid’ is hardly the most complicated film to review, but, if you’re into your gunplay and marshal-arts then you can’t go far wrong here. Oh, and you’ll need to be okay with subtitles.
Basically, the film is about a police raid on a towerblock containing some of the toughest (and deadly) criminals around. And – guess what – things don’t go too well for our boys in blue. It isn’t long before their bodies start piling up, leaving only our plucky new recruit (who just so happens to be damn good at kicking people) to survive and untangle the mess that’s quickly building up.
If you’re wondering what makes this so much better than all the other action movies out there – it’s the ‘look’ (well, for starters anyway). It has a very professional and gritty feel to it. The director (who, to my shame, I’ve never heard of) has obviously spent a lot of time framing each shot to give it quite a nice – almost ‘arty’ – feel. Then there are the fight scenes – they’re meticulously choreographed and, despite being technically as unrealistic as the next marshal arts film, they are really good fun to watch.
The actors are basically cast according to their looks. Bad people are ugly and good people have nice hair. However, at least everyone plays their part well and, even though all the talking is subtitled, it seems that everyone can actually act as well as is required for beating people to a pulp.
There are a few twists and turns in the plot – some you may see coming, others are less obvious. But I won’t go into them too much. All you need to know is that, if you’re okay with subtitles and love marshal arts or action films, then you’ll enjoy The Raid (and its sequel, if you’re curious about that!).