I’m going to get straight to the point:
The Raid is one of the best action films I’ve ever seen.
It’s incredible and if you’re afraid of subtitles, then it’s your loss – This film literally pisses all over any action flick that have been produced out of Hollywood for at least 10 years.
With a production budget of just $900k The Raid has a very simple plot: A group of cops with varying experience in the field raid the ‘fortress’ of a crime lord, somewhere in Indonesia – but the raid doesn’t go as planned and soon the SWAT team find themselves outnumbered, outgunned and trapped. They have two choices – die or fight. Though the film isn’t as overly simplistic, there is some character development and underlying stories which give the character both personality and depth.
Normally I’m not rushing to go and see action films. I think they’re okay and serve a purpose, but I find they’re normally pretty much all the same – gimmicky, cheesy and over elaborate. The Raid, which does for the Indonesian martial art of Silat what Ong Bak did for Muay Thai is grounded in realism. According to Gareth Evans, the director (after seeing the film I fortunate enough to be present at a directors Q&A) very early on a decision was make not to use acrobatics or break the laws of physics with wires; which looks impressive, however the acrobatics draws the attention from the context of the fight itself.
Comparisons can be made with films like REC and even Carpenters’ Assault on Precinct 13 – but this film, which I fear will be remade and copied to within a inch of it’s life – really stands apart from anything that has been produced in the genre – and we’ve got Welsh film maker, Gareth Evans, who yesterday told us his guilty pleasure is ‘Commando’ to thank. It’s clear that he has respect for the genre and has been careful do avoid gimmicks and clichés and it’s interesting that he was able to edit as he went along, which is the advantage of shooting digitally – but also seems to be advantageous as the pacing of the film is perfect. forgot to breath because I was so drawn into it; credit needs to be given to Iko Uwais, an exceptional actor and martial artist who expertly portrays the hunter and the hunted as he negotiates his way though the building.This film will soon be given ‘cult’ status as 15 year old boys gather in bedrooms late at night to watch this over and over and with an American remake in the works (also executive produced by Evans) and a sequel which is currently being worked out, The Raid will go from strength to strength – However, I urge you to see this film sooner rather than later before it’s brilliance it diluted by hype.