(Hy)Lights #3: The RAID – Redemption

Original Date: July 23, 2012

I have enjoyed martial arts movies in the past like “Hero”, “Crouching Tiger: Hidden Dragon”, “House of Flying Daggers”, “Jet Li’s Fearless” and some others that would take too much time to mention but I haven’t seen every martial arts movie that’s been made, but when I heard of this movie called “The Raid” and saw some previews on it and after that, I really need to see this movie.  Now it was originally called “The Raid” in its original Indonesian title but it was changed to the title we got now because Sony Pictures Classics couldn’t secure the rights of the title. It was released in 2011 during the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), and then in 2012 during Sundance and released in limited theaters.

Anyway, the plot to the movie: As a rookie member of an elite special-forces team, Rama (Iko Uwais) is instructed to hang back during a covert mission involving the extraction of a brutal crime lord from a rundown fifteen-story apartment block. But when a spotter blows their cover, boss Tama (Ray Sahetaphy) offers lifelong sanctuary to every every killer, gangster, and thief in the building in exchange for their heads. Now Rama must stand in for the team’s fallen leader (Joe Taslim) and use every iota of his fighting strength – winding through every floor and every room to complete the mission and escape with his life.

Now I don’t see this movie as character driven because the main character is a bit of a rookie cop cliché, such as he was a pregnant wife and we wonder if he’ll be alive until the end of the movie but the thing about that is…..it doesn’t make the movie any less exciting as it is and the movie does do some things right.

Over the months or a year, I have heard people all over the internet explaining the rule of “Show, Don’t Tell!” and guess what?  This movie gets it. Yes, it’s a foreign film but hey, subtitles do help you. As for the action scenes and the fights, they were the best part of the movie. They were wonderfully choreographed and I have heard the actors themselves did their own fight scenes and when you see the fight scenes in them, you will wonder how do they stay alive after that? Some of the time, the action does slow down for a minute and it does drag down but in my opinion, it really doesn’t drag that much and it actually correctly pace because you do need to spread your action scenes and skimp on the bullshit because too many “action” movies happen to do that, you know, like a certain Michael Bay franchise.

As for the music, in the U.S. version it was scored by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Joseph Trapanese (who previously collaborated with Daft Punk in the score of “Tron: Legacy”). The score is very energetic and it really compliments the fighting scenes throughout. I do know of the original Indonesian version score but I have not heard of that score but if you know me so far, I happen to like it when music producers that isn’t regular movie composers does this to show something unique than the usual movie score.

FINAL VERDICT: The movie does have flaws mostly in the character/story department but it manages to be interesting for the better part. The action and fighting scenes are an incredible feat to witness and it makes more of a cinematic experience of an action film more than just “here’s a fight scene, they fight, move on, fight scene, move on”.  This is an action film with a scholar’s degree….in beating the fuck out of you.

Also, I heard of Screen Gems is going to make an U.S. version of this………Yeah, I don’t see that being as good as this.

The Raid: Redemption gets the grade of

9/10 – Full Price.

 

 

And that’s another look at (Hy)Lights.

So, until then, this is MAK2.0 aka HybridMedia, bringing all the ass-whuppings in one apartment building.

THE RAID: REDEMPTION – courtesy of CELLULOID NIGHTMARES (worldwide); SONY PICTURES CLASSICS (NA distribution).

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