In Gareth Evans’ The Raid: Redemption, a team of elite Indonesian cops tries to take down a drug lord in his 30-floor fortress of a building. Before long the majority of the team is ambushed and a few cops are left to either get out of the building or finish the mission, either way, floors of financially motivated tenants are trying to kill them.
I had the opportunity to see this film at its 2012 Sundance Film Festival premiere. I didn’t know what to expect, but at first I was not at all impressed. The fact that the cast was made up of non-actors was painfully obvious, and the dialogue seemed more informative than natural. The plot was weak and predictable. But it occurred to me that this is not a film to be viewed with a critical mind, but rather a bag of popcorn.
The amazingly choreographed fight scenes throughout the film make The Raid a fun film to watch. Yayan Ruhian, who plays Mad Dog, is a master choreographer and a skilled Indonesian martial arts expert. The athleticism that these “actors” put into the scenes is just jaw dropping. This film never, never, never gets old. It is by far one of my favorite action films ever. The directing and the editing compliment the fights so well, that I can look past the poor acting, flat characters and thin layered plot.
When it comes to music scoring, the rule of thumb is that if the audience does not notice the music, a composer has done a good job. In this case, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park accomplished that exactly. I had to watch the film a second time and remind myself to listen to the music in order to hear it. The music has Linkin Park’s fingerprints all over it. Regardless of if you like their relatively new digital style, it goes so well with this movie. Considering that this is Mike’s first feature film score, he did a great job.
Get this film on Blu-ray and convince all your friends to watch it because they won’t forget it. I have shown many people, and not one of them regrets the experience.