Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Raid Review

So, a certain "Emerald Knight" recently celebrated his birthday, thus receiving many a tiding; the majority of, which, of course, where works of sequential art and storytelling, and copies of celluloid story features. Basically I got some presents. They were comics. And Films. I thought I'd do some short (and I mean short) reviews of some of the films I got, starting with The Raid! Well then, on with the ramblings!

The Raid (The Raid: Redemption):

I first saw the trailer for this film a while back, and was instantly intrigued, partially by my desire to watch more foreign films (and this one seemed to suit me down to the ground) but mainly due to the music, the stunts, and the action; 'twas most audibly and visually pleasing. In other words, it looked "the balls". 
I finally saw it on blu-ray this week, the day after it was released, and let me tell you, it exceeded every single one of my expectations! 

The camera work was a sight to behold, the fight scenes daring and brilliantly choreographed (made even better for the knowledge that a now bruised and broken group of actors did the fights themselves), the acting solid, and the story while minimal, was strong enough and even surprised me at a few points, not so much with twists, but more with where they decided to take some of the characters. All of these factors combine brilliantly to make the build up tense, and the pay-off  satisfying! It is quite a rare occurrence that a film manages to evoke a truly physical and verbal response from me (although recently, DKR, Avengers, and Dredd all made me cheer and gasp) so you know it's a really good film when I do. The intensity of this movie   means you can feel the tension build in each scene, and feel the brunt of every blow taken by every character! The staging and choreography of the fight scenes make them so engaging that you can't help but cheer or grimace, both of which I did in equal measure throughout the film. Something that is done quite often in films, such as our character tackling an enemy, throwing him over his shoulder, then shooting him, is done in such a way in  The Raid that it makes it that much more entertaining. 

The film is Indonesian, but directed by Gareth Evans, who is Welsh, meaning there is a nice mix of Western and Eastern film-making. My only real gripes are that some plot points felt a little too contrived, and some feel that one of the fight scenes nearer the end dragged on a tiny bit (I didn't feel that it was too long, but a few of the people I saw it with thought it did, so I thought it worth noting), but these are only minor gripes that shouldn't get in the way of your enjoyment of the film! Plus it has enough throat punches and groin kicks to over shadow Taken by far, now who'd of thought that possible?

(I can't exactly call it a perfect movie now can I?)

Will I be re-watching it? YES!
Do I recommend it? YES!

Now some basic notes about the film:

Runtime: 1 hrs. 41 min.
Domestic Gross: $4,105,287
Director: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Donny Alamsyah 

Hmm. Did I say that was going to be short?

Next up: The Dark Knight Returns

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