Starring: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy
Director: Gareth Evans
Running Time: 101 mins
The Raid: Redemption is an Indonesian film about a SWAT team that is sent on a do-or-die mission to bring down the leader of a formidable gang, however it quickly becomes trapped in a high rise block controlled by the criminals, and littered with enemies at every turn.
Okay, this film has been lauded recently as one of the greatest action movies of its time, and being particularly influential in changing the way that much action is filmed nowadays, and for me, there is no doubting that it deserves that credit, because it is full of great battling, shot expertly by director Gareth Evans. However, I struggled to really be thrilled by this film due to its lack of story exposition, relatively mediocre acting, and a serious lack of dialogue in exchange for some overly long-winded action scenes.
However, let’s start with the main positive, which was that the action was very impressive. This film isn’t meant to be a display of great storytelling, nor is it meant to bring across much emotion or deeper value, it’s just all about epic fights, battles and all-round explosive action, an intention which I had absolutely no problem with.
In fact, I liked how excessive a lot of the action looked here (not how excessively long it went on for). There’s some great direction and cinematography that really helps to make the action scenes very eye-catching, whilst they don’t feel too much like martial arts, even though that’s what’s going on, it just seems a lot more like an all-round simply entertaining action flick.
Despite that, I have got to say that some of the fighting scenes did really drag out. Not helped by the fact that there’s next to no dialogue for minutes on end (not even a cheesy Hollywood catchphrase to boot), as well as a lack of backing music to add some sort of atmosphere to the film.
I can see that the intention of that was to create a tense environment within the dilapidated setting of this apartment block, but I found its excessively dull image unappealing, which did take away from the thrill of the film a great deal. Although the fights look cool, the rest of the movie is very grey and brown, whilst the fact that you’ve got often no music, and some very echoey sounds was just a little frustrating for me.
Finally, I didn’t find this film at all attention-grabbing. From the start, although its portrayal of on-screen action is original, everything seems a little bit clichéd, and seeing as it assumes you’re invested in the story from the first second because it is such a familiar genre, it skips a little bit of exposition, which left me a little in the dark as to where the whole thing was going, therefore losing my interest from the off.
Overall, this gets a 7.0, because despite a great approach to its action, this film falls down in its story, image and ability to get you quickly and fully engrossed.