Posted April 3, 2012 by Alex Moss Editor in Films
 
 

The Raid


On a mission to arrest the ruthless crime lord Tama

On a mission to arrest the ruthless crime
lord Tama
(Ray Sahetapy) who runs
the city, an elite police SWAT team carries out a raid on the crumbling
15-storey Jakarta apartment block that is his headquarters.

Housing
the worst killers, drug dealers, thieves and gangsters in town, the building is
a maze, a high-rise death trap.
Led by the tough, no-nonsense Jaka (Joe
Taslim
) the team methodically make their way through the building, floor by
floor, cuffing suspects and climbing higher, towards the penthouse, where Tama
waits with his two most trusted henchmen; the intelligent, business-like Andi (Doni Alamsyah) and the psychotic,
fearsome Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian).

Suddenly,
ambushed and decimated by Tama’s heavily armed, machine gun-totting
footsoldiers, the surviving members of the team, led by rookie cop and
expectant father Rama (Iko Uwais), must
engage in an increasingly desperate battle for survival. With no escape, no chance of
reinforcements and with guns giving way to sticks, knives, machetes and furious
hand-to-hand combat, Rama faces the fight of his life.

A tense,
sweaty, pulse-pounding shot of adrenaline straight to the heart that’s already
wowed audiences at the Toronto and Sundance festivals, The Raid is an action movie game-changer not because it does
anything particularly original or innovative (it really doesn’t) but because it
strips the genre back to basics and delivers a lean, stripped-to-the-bone carnival
ride.

The plot
is brutally simplistic – lone hero cop takes on army of baddies, much
ass-kicking ensues – but you don’t go to see a movie like The Raid expecting All The
President’s Men
. And The Raid truly is a movie! It’s constantly in motion, a propulsive engine that builds
and builds and builds momentum,
putting you on the edge of your seat from the first scenes of the film and
keeping you there as Rama trains, prays, suits up, joins his team and is on the
way to the job, the tension and claustrophobia building to unbearable heights
as the team venture into enemy territory before exploding into violence. From that point on, The Raid is one extended, relentless,
visceral fight occurring more or less in real-time as Uwais bounces around the
building like a human cartoon character indulging in outrageously balletic,
bruising, bone-crunching scenes of violence that have a scrappy elegance to
them that feels utterly real.

Welsh
writer/director Gareth Evans has
crafted a dazzling, beautiful piece of mayhem and in Iko Uwais has unleashed on
the world an action star with intensity and charisma to burn. The
Raid
is frankly a stunning film; there’s nothing superfluous about it,
absolutely no flab. What you see
is what you get; pure entertainment.
It’ll leave you breathless and battered in a corner.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com