An elite swat team swarm into a building to capture an imfamous drug lord in Jakarta. But the building is a fortress with the drug lord’s thugs ready to take the cops off in some very brutal attacks. Find out more in the review of The Raid: Redemption.
Rating:3/5 stars (Three stars)
Star cast: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Ray Sahetapy, Yayan Ruhian, Doni Alamsyah, Pierre Gruno.
What’s Good: Exciting action sequences; some fabulous performances; breathtaking stunts; the background score.
What’s Bad: The basic plot; some audiences might be put off by the gore.
Verdict: The Raid: Redemption is an excellent action fare but its prospects at the Indian box-office are very limited.
Loo break: None.
Watch or Not?: Watch it if you want to see an out-and-out action film.
Pt. Merantau Films’ The Raid: Redemption is the English sub-titled version of the Indonesian action film Serbuan Maut.
The film begins with Rama (Iko Uwais), a young police officer in Jakarta, leaving his home early in the morning after a round of strenuous exercises. Rama tells his pregnant wife that he’ll be back home for sure. Before he leaves, he promises his father that he will find someone. Who that someone is, is not clear.
Inside a police van, Rama teams up with other members of his elite SWAT team, under the leadership of Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim). Their mission: to impregnate a safe house for Jakarta’s most dangerous killers and gangsters and take down the landlord of the apartment block, the notorious drug lord, Tama (Ray Sahetapy). Tama has two notorious aides, Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian) and Andi (Doni Alamsyah), who help him run their illegal drug operations in the building. The building has never been successfully attacked before, either by the police or by any rival gang. Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno) is accompanying the SWAT team on the raid.
The police enter the building and swiftly secure a few floors in the multi-storeyed structure. But soon, a spotter blows their cover and news of their assault reaches the drug lord. The building’s lights are cut and all the exits blocked.
Stranded on the sixth floor with no way out, the unit faces a deadly assault from the rag tag but dangerous army of the drug lord as well as from the residents of the building, who are baying for the police’s blood.
Under a gruesome attack from the criminals, Sergeant Jaka loses several men. He then asks Lieutenant Wahyu for permission to call in for reinforcements but the latter refuses because, he implies, the raid was an unauthorised one. Stuck in such a situation, Sergeant Jaka and Rama lead two small teams comprising of a few men and attempt to break out of the building. Tama, in the meantime, unleashes his aides, Mad Dog and Andi, as a final attack on the surviving SWAT members.
Are the policemen able to do the impossible? Do they receive some help from the building’s residents? Did Tama know about the attack before hand? What was Lieutenant Wahyu’s aim behind conduction an unauthorised raid? The rest of the drama answers all these questions.
The Raid: Redemption Review: Script Analysis
First and foremost, it must be said that The Raid: Redemption has some wonderfully exciting action sequences. Almost the complete drama has intense hand to hand combat sequences, gun fights and many martial arts duels. Having said that, it must be added that Gareth Evans’ story has little beyond the basic plot, a slight family connection (in the case of Rama) and a hint of a conspiracy (Lieutenant Wahyu’s illegal behaviour). The rest of the narrative, as mentioned, is made up of many action sequences that happen within the confines of the derelict building. A section of the audience, which is not interested in the gory action, will be put off.
However, for the youth and fans of the action genre, The Raid: Redemption will be as good as it gets. The writer-director Gareth Evans has deftly combined the elements of Kung Fu with guerilla warfare and to marvellous results. In fact, the screenplay is solely focused on making the most of the action. At times, the audience finds itself rooting for the police survivors and hopes that they will make it out.
The Raid: Redemption Review: Star Performances
Iko Uwais is fabulous as Rama. He wows with his performance and excels in the fighting scenes. His honest and serious characterisation endears him to the viewer. Joe Taslim is competent as Sergeant Jaka. Ray Sahetapy is villainous to a fault as Tama. Yayan Ruhian, as Mad Dog, terrifies the audience with his martial arts performances. Doni Alamsyah (as Andi) supports well. Pierre Gruno, as Lieutenant Wahyu, is fair. Others, mostly fighters and stuntmen, offer good support.
The Raid: Redemption Review: Direction & Technical Aspects
Gareth Evans’ direction is very good as he manages to keep the viewer engaged by offering edge of the seat entertainment. Stunts, by Yayan Ruhian and Iko Uwais, are breathtaking. Aria Prayogi, Joseph Trapanese and Fajar Yuskemal’s background score sets the pace of the drama. Matt Flannery’s cinematography captures the fight scenes very well. Editing, by Gareth Evans, is sharp.
The Raid: Redemption Review: The Last Word
On the whole, The Raid: Redemption is an excellent action fare. But the fact that it has a limited target audience, that it has no known faces and that it has not been promoted well, will mean that its prospects at the Indian box-office are very limited.