Tag Archives: Berandal

The Raid: Redemption

11 Sep

Knee to the face!

In 2011, Gareth Evans wrote and directed the Indonesian action film, The Raid: Redemption. The movie follows an elite SWAT team that raids a dilapidated building in Jakarta. By the way, the building is an impenetrable safe house for the city’s most notorious criminals and it’s run by the ruthless drug lord, Tama.

The protagonist, a young SWAT member named Rama (martial artist Iko Uwais), battles his way through the building, but appears to be looking for someone other than Tama. We get glimpses into Rama’s life like when he cares for his pregnant wife and visits his ageing father. All these moments are supposed to lead to a shocking revelation about Rama, but the revelation isn’t shocking at all – just painfully predictable.

Like most action movies, The Raid lacks a solid and cohesive storyline. The director tries to include some subplots, but the smaller storylines don’t turn into anything meaningful or add to the movie. For example, Wahyu, a fellow SWAT member, is obviously a crooked cop. Evans tries to flush out Wahyu’s relationship with Tama and his thugs, but it never adds up to anything important. So really…who cares?

But what The Raid lacks in plot, it makes up for in ass-kicking. Choreographers and stars Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian focus on the traditional Indonesian martial art Pencak Silat. I’ve never heard of Pencak Silat, but is it ever awesome to watch. For 90% of the movie I was on the edge of my seat yelling things at the screen like “Tune that guy!”and “Kick his ass.”  After the movie finished, I had the urge to look up numbers for different martial arts centres for classes and take the C-Train  at 1 am just to beat up all the weirdos on it.

Welsh director Gareth Evans and Iko Uwais collaborated in 2009 on Merantau, which I must find and watch immediately. A third film Berandal is in the works and it’ll serve as a direct sequel to The Raid. If you’re a fan of action movies, you have to see The Raid. Check out the clip below for an awesome action scene.

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