By Dave B.
The Raid: Redemption (2011, currently on Netflix) is an Indonesian action movie about an elite police squad that's tasked with clearing out an apartment complex that has been taken over by a criminal gang. The operation runs smoothly until an act of mercy causes the squad to be attacked by nearly every criminal resident in the complex. If the police are to survive, they must fight their way through hordes of armed thugs, all hellbent on their eradication.
Although the plot of The Raid is thin (nonexistent, really), it is one of the most entertaining movies I’ve ever seen. The action is mind-blowing. I think it’s fair to say that it's a contender for having the best fight choreography in film history. The Raid is infused with a level of brutality that can’t be done justice by words. I’m sitting there watching this movie with my jaw on the floor for 80 minutes of it’s 100 minute runtime. I can’t go into a lot of detail about this film’s script or acting because those things are irrelevant in the face of the unrelenting, overwhelming, awe-inspiring violence that infuses nearly every moment of The Raid. The fight scene between Mad Dog Prakoso and the two brothers (don’t worry about the characters, you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it) is quite possibly the greatest hand-to-hand combat that I’ve seen in any movie ever.
So what’s the verdict? If I were to judge this movie exclusively on what it’s intended to be, I would give it a perfect 10. When it first came out in 2011, the quality and intensity of its fight scenes were so far above what any other action movie had done that it spawned countless imitators. And few if any of those imitators have surpassed the level of carnage and physcial detail that this movie contains. Even a fantastic movie like John Wick has to make concessions to the preferences of Western audience for things like a story and meaning and an R-rating. The Raid: Redemption has none of those constraints (how it didn’t get an NC-17 rating for violence is beyond me). However, I have to (choose to) judge movies holistically, and The Raid’s lack of a plot means that I’m not going to give it the perfect score that its choreography and minimalistically savage tone deserve. That said, I highly recommend this movie to you if you’re a fan of action movies, at least if a nearly inhuman level of violence doesn’t bother you too much.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.