The Raid: Redemption


30 March 2012| No Comments on The Raid: Redemption     by Sean Chavel


Gratuitous violence, but the primitive bloodhound in me was entertained. The Raid: Redemption (Indonesian, with English subtitles) has guns ripping flesh and mixed martial arts bust-ups between good and bad forces. The entire flick consists of a siege of a special-forces police team breaking into the turf of a brutal crime lord. The apartment block is as scummy an urban fortress as you’ll find in gritty Asian terrain. The action is broken up by a few obligatory subplots. But the bulk of the movie is guys shooting through walls, slicing others with machetes, hammering heads with blunt objects, and breaking limbs through hand-to-hand combat.

Jaka (Joe Taslim), the squad leader, is betrayed by a department denying his team much needed back-up. The choice is to either shoot their way out of there in retreat, or blast their way to the top until they terminate boss Tama (Ray Sahetaphy), the kind of evil sadist who uses hammers, chains and point-blank pistols to torture his captives. You would rather be dead than to kneel helplessly before him.

The movie is done in urban tones of gray, steel blue, black and brown colors. Jaka’s team is fully loaded, but there is an endless stream of bad guys (like a video game). Jaka’s presence recedes so the heroism of rookie Rama (Iko Uwais) can ascend – he’s got the chops for mixed martial arts and can disarm any thug with a machete and his Brandon Lee / Steven Seagal moves. Each story beat has Rama apprehending or taking out, ahh hmm, three or four thugs at a time. Tama declares by loudspeaker that all residents will be offered lifelong security and protection if they bring the heads of policemen, so of course, new opposition keeps coming.

“The Raid” is a prototypical example of bloody action Asian cinema. But it’s also one of those movies that is more awesome for its beginning one-third then for the concluding two-thirds. It never rests, but an inevitable seepage of poor logic takes over a little. Still, it’s a rousing carnage spectacle.

100 Minutes. Rated R.


Film Cousins: “Assault at Precinct 13” (1977); “The Warriors” (1979); “Trespass” (1992); “S.W.A.T.” (2003).


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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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