Movies With Maricor - The Raid: Redemption

By Maricor Capulong of Lux Lucky This action packed Indonesian film extravaganza has captivated so many Martial arts film buffs alike...

By Maricor Capulong
of Lux Lucky

This action packed Indonesian film extravaganza has captivated so many Martial arts film buffs alike. This film introduces the Martial art of Pencak Sirat an Indonesian fighting technique that fully relies on hand to hand combat.

These Sirat fighters move quick like rabbits and snap strong like an angry cobra. I try not to describe the fighting style with cliched animal behaviors but honestly its the only way to describe the unique movements. Director Gareth Evans has reignited in me my love of foreign action movies, reminiscent of old kung fu Jackie Chan movies. As a new upcoming director, he had opted to do films in Indonesia first and eventually getting globally known through this film. Gareth Evans had built a strong support after his first film, Merantau, which was a huge success in Asia. Iko Uwais is Gareth Evans protege actor who had starred in his first film Merantau. Together they had built such a camaraderie, and through it birthed a new kind of action film that will have Hollywood rethinking the action genre.

Rama, played by Iko Uwais, is one of the elite SWAT task force that is ordered to infiltrate a rundown apartment complex. The force is led by Jaka, played amazingly by Joe Taslim, the hot headed leader of the group. There they infiltrate and arrest a list of criminals who resides in the building. Little did they know, they were being watched by the land lord of the compound. The land lord, being corrupt himself announces to his tenants to attack the intruders. The land lord proclaims the cops free game for all the tenants, in return for a lifetime of free rent. They are then attacked with an onslaught of gangs and hoodlums wielding machetes, guns and knives all in the name of free housing. A simple get-to-the-point story line, yet still intriguing enough to still be considered good writing. The situational premise makes you feel claustrophobic, the tight hallways and danger lurking in every corner gets your adrenaline pumping. The protagonists is dropped into a scenario that they did not anticipate, now they have to fight for their lives trying to escape.

I often wondered why there are no John Woo-like films being made anymore, in the likes of Face off, or Broken arrow. I feel like this move just re-awakened a 12 year old in me, cheering for the good guy and booing the bad ones. The performances of each actor is commendable, each character brings such heart into the film. We see Rama trying all his efforts to save his team mates and he is often abruptly faced with the decision to do the right thing. The actors in the film relied on mostly body movements to emphasize what they are thinking and what they are feeling, which to me is great acting in itself. Every whinst, every dazed look of exhaustion conveys the reality of being hunted down. A perfect scene example is when Rama is hiding behind a false dry wall, and the machete gang is hot on his trail. The leader of the gang stabs the wall with his machete, and actually cuts Rama’s face. The terror on Iko Uwais face conveying the fear of getting caught is a great silent performance for a novice action actor. To those who are usually turned off by English captioned foreign films, this movie would be for you. The dialogue is not too heavy, and the plot of the movie is brought out right at the beginning. There are some parts where they introduce subplots and twists, but not enough to bore anyone angry.

The fight choreography is probably about 60% percent of why I love this movie. The action sequence was to be applauded. Many of the viewers in the theater clapped so hard in one scene where Mad Dog (Yanyan Ruhian) had to fight two of the good guys. There were a few oohs and ahhhs when it came down to the violence in the sequences. It did not appear to have been heavily CGI’d, so people will also be impressed at how realistic the fatalities are in this film. My favorite scene was when Rama was being chased by the Machete Gang, and he was cornered to a locked door. Rama then runs full force into the Frey and eventually retired them all to the floor clutching injured body parts. This scene is reminiscent of Chan Wook Park’s “Old Boy” film, where Dae Su fights a hallway full of bad guys with a a hammer. A little less bloody than the Old Boy scene, but great fun none the less.

It is already planned that an American version is in the works for the year 2014. I have my qualms about American remakes simply because most foreign films rely heavily on the local social mores of the country it was originally written for. If this film was remade for American consumption, it would lose the heart of the story and its characters. I actually prefer the foreign versions, simply because they are more artistically innovative. The American film industry is still somewhat conservative in some subject matters, so most of the the story line gets lost in translation, conservative editing and rewriting.

May I add, that the music score for this movie was scored by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. The music is an asset to the firm. I am glad that Linkin Park is affiliated with this film, simply because they are one of my top bands. Okay so this must be the 20% of why I like the film.

So after the Hunger Games debacle, I have quenched my thirst for action and violence in this film.

I highly recommend this movie to the people who saw and did not like The Hunger Games, and in some sense get their moneys worth in this movie instead.

I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

♥ ♥ ♥.5/ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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