Movie Review: The Raid: Redemption
This is a 2011 Indonesia film directed by Gareth Evans and was originally released as “The Deadly raid” or simply “The Raid” in Indonesia, however when the movie was released in the US the distributor couldn’t get the license to use that title so it was renamed “The Raid: Redemption”. The film stars Iko Uwais as Rama a rookie SWAT officer who was part of the 20-man Detachment 88 special police squad led by Sgt. Jaka played by Joe Taslim. Their mission was to arrest Tama Riyadi, a crime lord whose strong hold is located in an apartment building in the middle of the slums in Jakarta. The entire building was under Tama’s control and its inhabitants his army. He has two lieutenants, Andi played by Donny Alamsyah (who we will find out later is Rama’s brother) and Mad Dog, Tama’s ruthless henchman.
The team was able to enter the building undetected until they reached the 6th floor where a young lookout chanced upon them and managed to sound the alarm before he was shot to death. It was then that the situation got real sticky for the team. Tama sounded the alarm and shut down the building trapping the SWAT team inside. Two snipers from outside took out their means of transportation and started picking off members of the team who had the misfortune of exposing themselves. Then, Tama took the game a little further by announcing on the PA system that he will grant free permanent residence to those who kill the intruders. And this is where the nightmare began for the SWAT team.
During the battle, Jaka learns from Wahyu that the mission isn’t sanctioned by the force, meaning nobody knows their location and no backup or reinforcements will arrive. The team backed into an empty apartment where they narrowly escape thanks to Rama’s improvised explosion. By then only 5 of the team remain and they got separated trying to escape from the apartment after the explosion.
Jaka was confronted by Mad Dog and held at gun point. He was led into an empty room where Mad Dog challenged him to a hand to hand combat. Mad Dog proved true to this name sake and after a brutal fight was able to kill Jaka.
Rama on the other hand left his wounded companion with one of the tenant he helped earlier and proceeded to look for his other team members. Andi took the chance to abduct his brother and help him escape, unfortunately he was seen my Tama through the CCTV. He was being brutally beaten by Mad Dog when Rama chanced upon them. Mad Dog confident in his fighting abilities allowed Rama to untie his brother and in tandem they faced off with Mad Dog in a battle to the death. Mad Dog was defeated after a very long and vicious battle. They found Tama on the 15th floor but before they could make the arrest Lt. Wahyu losses it and shot one of the team members in the head. The others just had enough time to dodge the bullets and hide. Believing he could use Tama was leverage to get out of the building. As Lt. Wahyu was leading Tama out of the building, the crime lord boasted that his actions will be in vain because of the massive corruption in the police force and that the crime lord will be out of jail in no time at all. Wahyu loses control shot Tama in the head , he would have committed suicide but he ran out of bullets. It was then that Rama and Andi over powered him and subdued the crazy lieutenant.
Andi handed over to Rama the list of Tama’s contacts in the police but when Rama enjoined him to return home Andi refused saying that he was where he belonged. He had finally found something he was good at and he rocks at it. The two brother separated, each going his separate ways and each moving towards a totally different direction.
Honestly it was one of the best martial movies I have ever seen…it’s not gory but there is enough cruelty in the way the killings were made to make me cringe at certain points of the movie. I remember really hating Mad Dog when I first saw him. He was an arrogant man, not very tall and even very intimidating and yet he had his walk that makes me want to sneer at him. But once the fighting started I realized why he was called such and I was amazed at his fighting skills. He was around 5’5 to 5’6 at best, a bit on the skinny side and sporting longish hair (kindda remind of me of hubby actually, but I didn’t say anything in front of him of course… hehehe! though looks-wise he looks more like hubby’s friend from the office) but he was a very, very skilled and powerful fighter. The Actor who played Mad Dog was Yayan Ruhian, he was handsome or anything but damn, I would go out with him anytime. Talk about a guy who can protect you.
The fight scenes were to die for in this film. It was vicious, it was engaging and it so epic. I also love the way that the martial style of each character was so easily distinguished in the film. It was like watching one martial art fighting style squaring off with another fighting style. I have always been fascinated with the Indonesia martial art, Silat, and anybody who know a little about martial arts and would be honest about it will tell you that Silat is one of the best and most brutal fighting styles. This was also highly exhibited in the film. Rama was using Pencak Silat; Mad Dog utilized Muay Thai while Jaka was using a combination of Wushu and Judo. I repeat it was one of the most intense martial arts movies I have ever seen.
There were several brutal killing scenes in the movie but to my opinion it was necessary to deliver the story. It was simply a very, very well made film. This is one action movie every self-respecting action fan should see.