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Movie Review – The Raid: Redemption

Posted on the 20 April 2012 by Plotdevice39 @PlotDevices

Now pick your jaw off the floor and get ready for this review.  We as a film audience have been spoiled and lied to time and time again.  Action movies are about as common as the air we breathe so we almost become numb to the sort of whiz bang effect that these types of movies can have on us.  You can go to any rental store or even check out Netflix and realize that the action genre is over bloated with bad action movies.  Stuff with too much shaky cam or crappy fight scenes or hell, not enough action to sate the lust that we have for bone crunching punches and unlimited ammo usage.  I am not knocking all action films, just the bad ones that we pass for entertainment.  There is one thing that amazes me though and that is the international film market for action movies.

Hong Kong hit the scenes with the John Woo classics that look like American films pumped up on the juice and it showed.  It set the standard for duel wielding guns with an almost ballet like style to the gun fights.  Then for those kung fu enthusiasts, look no further to Thailand that reinvigorate the fight genre with Ong Bak and making Tony Jaa a household name.  But for the ultimate in cinematic satisfaction, we look to Welsh director Gareth Evans and his Indonesian film, The Raid: Redemption.

Movie Review – The Raid: Redemption

The Raid is basically this, a group of elite forces are sent to take out the big boss in his derelict fortress of an apartment complex, only to be trapped in the building and now forced to fight and claw their way out of there alive using whatever the hell they have.  There is some story and character development, but that is all thrown away for the Grand Buffet of carnage that is served up to us on a plate that was used to stop the onslaught of bullets that are let loose in this film.  It’s almost like Evan’s childhood consisted of bedtime stories from Soldier of Fortune magazine and his television viewing was replaced with the 80s action films.  The wanton and beautiful display of bad ass dudes kicking ass is almost enough to cause a heart attack.  What the film lacks in a passable story is made up for sheer destruction that takes place on the screen.

I got to hand it to Evans and The Raid, cause this is what an action movie is supposed to be.  The film is basically a series of action movie tropes, but done right.  You got scenes where countless thugs are just using full auto bursting guns with a seemingly endless stream of bullets.  In fact, only like 4 people in the movie, all cops, seemed to remember to reload their guns.  It’s like they forgot the guns that never run out of ammo at the gear check in the station.  You have a high body count that would make any action star blush along with bulletproof bodies, requiring entire clips to take down one person.  It plays out like a video game where each floor of the apartment houses a new enemy type.  There is a floor where everyone knows martial arts or a floor with only machete wielding, killing machines and then the big boss is at the top.  It might all seem too ridiculous to exist, but believe me that it does and it is wonderful.

Movie Review – The Raid: Redemption

Edited for maximum violence and a certain love of the ultra violent genre that it mimics, The Raid is a purist genre film that everyone will love, everyone being action film fans.  Gareth managed to cobble together some amazing fight scenes that had me pumping my fist in the air because you knew what was coming and it didn’t disappoint.  Long take, full frame fight scenes punctuate the artistic and acrobatic fights that Gareth choose to commemorate on film.  The fights are brutal with a certain weight to them that makes the impact and bone breaks all the better.  Gareth serves up a series of highlight scenes for us that in any other movie, would serve as the climax to the film.

It is fanboy pandering at it’s best, but it is the best that we will get in the action genre.  From scenes that feature the classic two on one combat, operatic fight scenes and gratuitous gun porn, The Raid is the best at what it does and that is making violence look like art.  Believe me, the pandering is thick but delicious.  Every kill is held on frame just a bit longer so that we can soak in the visual and fight scenes act as an adrenaline shot to the heart.  I left the theater wanting to high five my friend who went with me to see it, but realized that my medical coverage was almost up and rotator cuff surgery is expensive for the amount of high fiving we would do upon exiting the theater.  If you are a fan of the action film genre, go and see this movie now while you still can.

Rating: 5 guns cocking out of 5

*images via RottenTomatoes


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