Glory in Blood and Broken Bones
Hailed as one of the best action flicks ever made, the Indonesian film “The Raid: Redemption” recently released in U.S. theaters. The New University sent two bros to watch it, and they had a kick-ass time. Here is their review, in dialogue format.
YK: If you want to enjoy “The Raid,” you have to take it as an action film. Don’t expect a deep plot or character development. Just focus on one thing and one thing only: How will the good guys beat the crap out of the bad guys? Will it be with a knife or a knee to the head?
JI: Personally, I liked it when someone got their heads smashed into the walls. Multiple times. I’ve never wanted to clap so badly in a movie theater.
YK: Every fight scene in this movie is worth clapping for. But the plot leaves much to be desired.
JI: Yeah, the plot is pretty much like a video game. An Indonesian elite SWAT team raids a run-down apartment occupied by a powerful drug lord and countless gangsters all armed to the teeth. Predictably, the team’s mission soon goes wrong and every floor becomes a battleground for survival. It’s like “Counter-Strike” with Pencak Silat, which is pretty much the best martial art since kung fu.
YK: The shallowness of the plot gives the movie much space for the one thing I paid my money for: ass-kicking.
JI: Totally, bro. I think that what makes “The Raid” so damn enjoyable is the fact that it’s not filmed like any other action movie that I’ve ever seen. The director, Gareth Evans, uses the camera to show how talented these actors and stuntmen are at beating the living crap out of each other.
YK: I agree, bro. The cinematography complements the heart-racing yet artistic choreography that goes on in every fight scene. One scene that I enjoyed in particular was when the main protagonist Rama (Iko Uwais) faces four machete-wielding gangsters in a narrow hallway. Every shot captures how close Rama is to meeting death. At the same time, the audience is able to see every punch, kick and flying knees in that one sequence.
JI: Not going to lie, I was really surprised at how there was more Pencak Silat used than actual firearms. Guns are pretty much nonexistent after like 15 minutes into the film. But not that it’s a bad thing; I really want to learn Pencak Silat now. You never know when you’ll be in a situation where you’ll be facing dozens of Indonesian gangsters who are armed with blades and are good at Pencak Silat.
YK: Rama is your stereotypical good cop. Unwavering in morals and standing up for everything right in the name of justice. He’s a very likable character and you want him to stay alive even though he’s hardly developed at all. You just want to see him beat up every man in existence.
JI: I think Rama is the most developed character in the movie anyways. But not that it matters. Remember Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian)?
YK: Hell yeah, bro, the dude’s a BAMF!
JI: So Mad Dog is probably the skinniest and shortest dude in the movie, but he kicks some serious ass.
YK: More like using his knees.
JI: Nothing can stop Mad Dog. Not even hell can stop Mad Dog.
YK: What I love about Mad Dog is how he prefers to kill with his fists instead of guns. Sure, his principles make us go through lengthy fight scenes, but the beauty of them makes it so darn rewarding. Long message short, guns are for pussies.
JI: You said it, bro.
*Bumps fists with YK*
And regardless of the film’s shortcomings (and there are quite a few), you really get involved in the fight sequences. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t breathe at some parts.
YK: Leaving the movie theater felt like the after-effects of Red Bull. So much adrenaline ran through my body during the film.
JI: Speaking of adrenaline, “The Raid” has got to be one of the best action films to take total advantage of sound effects. Every time someone got hit, I thought a bone was broken. But it wasn’t. It definitely made every punch and kick more painful than it was. I’m telling you, everyone in this movie is a man through and through.
YK: “The Raid” is just a rollercoaster of violence. It’s so action-packed, it makes any Jason Statham film look like “The Vow.”
JI: Oh God, don’t even mention that movie, bro. Anyways, “The Raid” is an experience that every boy should watch to become a man. Watch it — and go kick some major ass, boys.
Jun’s Rating: 4 out of 5
Young’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5