The Raid Redemption 2011 Movie Scene Joe Taslim as Jaka and Pierre Gruno as Wahyu leading their team into the hornet's nest

The Raid: Redemption [2011]

If you’re looking for a movie featuring non-stop action, you’ve just found it. The Raid: Redemption is a brutal Indonesian martial arts movie that’s going to make you fall in love with this genre once again. It has huge replay value and I’ve already seen it at least six times. It’s a perfect choice for those nights when you want to watch people kick the shit out of each other. However, that’s not all they’re going to be doing. There will be guns, metal bars, knives, and most importantly, machetes, lots and lots of machetes. The movie doesn’t hold anything back showcasing incredibly choreographed fights and gruesome kills.

Actually, this is more of a horror movie than it is an action movie. Mostly because only in horror movies have I seen scenes featuring this type of brutal violence. We will be following a police squad conducting a raid on a crime boss hiding out in a huge apartment building. As you can already guess, shit will hit the fan instantly. So, yes, The Raid: Redemption or Serbuan Maut is a single-location martial arts movie, similar the Bruce Lee’s last movie Game of Death. In it, Bruce must fight his way through a five-level pagoda until he reaches the final boss. And since we’re talking about Indonesian Special Forces, I also must mention Tropa de Elite

Although, I would say this leveled structure is more similar to video games today than a relatively obscure martial arts movie from the late seventies. Anyways, who cares about any of that? Once the fighting starts, none of that will matter. To make things even better, those short moments of rest will be full of tension. The tension that’s just going to keep rising and rising until explodes in the next glorious fighting sequence. All the technical aspects were excellent but most of all camera work. Okay, I guess the cinematography was also great.

Especially when you consider the fact that the budget for The Raid: Redemption was just $1.1 million! It just goes on to show you that if you have the right people, money is not going to be a problem. And did they have the right people for this movie or what? First of all, the martial art you can see in The Raid: Redemption is Silat or Pencak Silat. It’s a traditional Indonesian martial art and the star of this movie, Iko Uwais won the national championship in the Silat Demonstration category back in 2005.

This is his second movie role, after Merentau, and while Gareth Evans and his wife were talking to him, he was working as a delivery man for a phone company in Jakarta. Yayan Ruhian who plays Mad Dog, used to train Indonesian Secret Service, Military and Police forces in the art of Silat. So, we’ve got two extremely skilled fighters opposite of each other guaranteeing one hell of a final fight. I should also mention Joe Taslim who knew not only how to fight but also how to act. Unlike our usual Rabbit Reviews format when it comes to movie recommendations, I’m going to skip the summary.

It’s really not that important and I want this movie to have an air of mystery about it. I’ll just add that the apartment building run by this gang boss offers an interesting setting. The residents pay their rent with loyalty and willingness to step up when the time comes. You can draw parallels between this environment and the projects in the US, France, or UK. We also should not forget about Italy and its rough neighborhoods, like the ones in Naples. What makes the Indonesian ones different are those fucking machetes. Now that’s a weapon that strikes fear into my heart.

Finally, if we’re talking about movies like The Raid: Redemption, there are simply none. I have yet to see a movie that matches its ferocious pacing, frenzied fights, and brutal shootouts. Perhaps the only ones that come close are war movies like Black Hawk Down. It also features a group of highly skilled operators caught in a tricky situation. Luckily, it would appear that we’re going to get a sequel to The Raid pretty soon. And I also can’t wait to see how Gareth Evans’s career goes, he’s one of those special ones.

Director: Gareth Evans

Writer: Gareth Evans

Cast: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Donny Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Verdi Solaiman

Fun Facts: All the weapons you see in the movie are Airsoft versions of the real guns. This was done to cut down costs and avoid all the security issues.


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