Deep in the heart of one of Jakarta's most deprived slums stands an impenetrable high-rise apartment block. To most it is 30 floors of Hell to be avoided at all costs but for many of the city's most dangerous killers and gangsters, including the area's most notorious crime lord, it is a fortress-like safe house protecting them from the law. Even for the bravest and most experienced police officers it is considered a no-go area. In a desperate bid to flush these violent criminals and their leader from their haven once and for all, an elite SWAT team is tasked with infiltrating the building and raiding the apartments floor by floor, taking out anyone who stands in their way. Cloaked under the cover of predawn darkness, the SWAT members make their move and enter the block not realising that this is the easier part of the mission. Once inside, it soon becomes terrifyingly apparent that the real problem at hand is surviving long enough to be able to get out again.
There's only so much chop sockey that a man can take...
- The Raid review by RP
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You rated this film: 3
I seem to have watched a few 'action' films set in tower blocks recently - and here's another. I don't know quite what the fascination with the particular building design is, but if you've seen 'Dredd' then I reckon you'll recognise the plot of this one: law enforcement team enter dodgy tower block to get big boss baddie. Err, that's it.
The difference is that this - despite starting off as a gun-laden SWAT team assignment - is a violent Indonesian martial arts movie with much kicking, punching, knives and machetes and spilling of blood. If you like the genre then you'll probably like this: the action is non-stop and the fight scenes lengthy and well choreographed.
But after a while I longed for some semblance of a plot (or at least an original plot), better dialogue, more character development. I know that may be asking a lot from a film like this, but after a while there's only so much chop sockey that a man can take.
I'll give it 3/5 stars. Despite the non-stop action I found it profoundly average.
An intense and gruesome modern martial arts movie The Raid was somewhat of a surprise to someone for whom the phrase “not interested” is an understatement. Directed by Welshman Gareth Huw Evans the film is set in Indonesia and centres around a well protected criminal safe house, located in a Jakarta slum; as a small SWAT team are authorised to go undercover and infiltrate the house, hoping to arrest it’s most notorious and dangerous inhabitant, the sadistic drug baron Tama (Ray Sahetapy). When their cover is blown however and Tama cuts the power to the house, a thrilling battle ensues with the two SWAT agents seeming to have only one another and their excellent martial arts skills to rely on.
A couple of twists and surprises make The Raid that little bit more special than its modern counterparts, whilst its thriller elements give it more depth than I first expected.
Visually it looks very good, although being filmed in that gritty hand held camera style that is so popular it manages to retain a sense of class, which is complimented by the excellent fight choreography and impressive performances, particularly that of Sahetapy and Iko Uwais who plays one of Tama’s rival SWAT agents Rama.
There was still not quite enough to The Raid for it to truly blow my expectations out the water, but for someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy action movies and isn’t particularly impressed by martial arts, it was a great way to spend 90 minutes and for those interested in the genre this unusual Welsh take on an Indonesia action-thriller comes fairly highly recommended.