Serbuan maut (The Raid: Redemption)
Release Date: March 23, 2012
Director: Gareth Evans
Stars: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy
Runtime: 101 min
Tagline: 1 Ruthless Crime Lord, 20 Elite Cops, 30 Floors of Hell
Wouldn’t 30 Floors of Hell have made a decent title? Maybe I only think so.
Rama (Iko Uwais) is the rookie officer on a SWAT team that has just infiltrated a tenement run by a ruthless crime lord, Tama (Ray Sahetapy). After their cover is blown by a young spotter, Tama offers lifetime sanctuary to every killer, thug, thief and gangster who will bring him the intruders’ heads. Now Rama must guide the remaining officers through the run-down building – every floor and every room – and complete the mission, and escape with his life.
The actors aren’t very well-known, but some bring some solid performances to their characters, at least for a full-throttle action flick; and especially for most of them being stuntmen. The Raid offers pure entertainment, and that’s the main thing I took from it; and that Indonesians actually make pretty impressive films, especially with a budget of 1.1 million dollars.
The characters are pretty well-developed, especially Rama as he has a baby boy on the way and we want him out alive, as we don’t a child without a father out there. The plot is also well-developed, with the a few pleasant plot twists that are thrown at you, which in ways are sort of surprising – but it also left me thinking, “I should have saw that coming.”
The only flaws that I felt the film possessed was that some of the action sequences felt a bit dragged out, making me want someone to win the fight already. Though, the stunts were still sweet and some fights you could really get into, and if the good guy loses, the characters are generally likeable that you can be disappointed to see them go.
It’s a film that doesn’t have many flaws. The action is pretty non-stop, which makes it that much more enjoyable. There’s a few minutes of character or plot development in between, but don’t you worry, the action will be back in about one to three minutes. The action sequences are very memorable, and the stunts are very cool, and the kills are quite amazing – from people being killed with just their opponents’ hands; to guns, to knives, to walls, to even broken doors.
If you don’t like reading subtitles the whole way through, don’t worry for those of you just tremble at the very thought – you have the option to watch it in Indonesian, English or even French. I personally don’t prefer the English choice for foreign films as their lips are quite out of sync, and the people who do the voice-over just annoy the heck out of me (so I just went with Indonesian). I like to read books, so in a way you’re just reading a story with the visuals just laid right there for you.
I wouldn’t be so bold to say this should win Best Film in a Foreign Language at the Academy Awards, but I wouldn’t say it shouldn’t be considered for at least a nomination, as it’s pretty well done and uses its simple, and occasionally [somewhat] complex, plot very much to its advantage. If there’s an award for Best Action film in a Foreign Language out there, though, this film will have that one in the bag.
The film is well-edited and well-made, and was a wicked experience with very cool stunts, and is a film I wouldn’t be against watching again in the future (maybe at least two or three months).
This is where I’d usually say who the film stars, but there wasn’t any stars that I was familiar with.
It’s a little-flawed foreign film that should really be checked out, as a great film is offered for those action fans who have the lack of stunt action late-winter blues. Just those of the faint of heart should beware, though it’s like an action fan’s (especially for those fans who love stunts) wet dream. Judging by its box office earnings, it hasn’t been seen by as many as it should be (cashing in a bit more than four million; hopefully it’ll do well with its home media sales). It offers a really stellar action film experience that should be seen, and is the finest action film of 2012 (but I’m seeing The Expendables 2 soon, so that statement may not stand strong in a few days).