The Raid: Redemption (2011)

This is an Indonesian action movie and - contrary to what you might expect from the title - is not a sequel to anything as far as I can tell. In my younger days, I studied a tiny bit of Penjac Silat (or Pencak Silat) and it is represented here in a very fluid manner. I remember thinking that the art was a bit too structured and robotic to be used for realistic defense, but I think that the instructor was just too regimented in its implementation. The moves have more flourish (as you would expect in a movie) and the stances are considerably more open than I was taught.

So, you may have guessed that this is a martial arts film. The premise is that a small group of police enter an apartment complex, and they find themselves needing to fight their way out after the raid fails. The main cop is pretty darn skilled, and he wades through these thugs like Batman. Well, not quite as quickly as Batman, but pretty quick.

The whole premise puts me in mind of the recent re-imagining of Judge Dredd. In fact, several scenes look almost directly ported from one to the other. I'm not sure if this movie - which came out before Dredd - managed to copy the scenes before Dredd came out, or if Dredd stole them. I suppose it's possible both just came up with the idea at the same time. I'd say Dredd was better overall as a movie, but the kickassedness in this movie was definitely better.

The whole movie is dubbed into English, and that rarely goes well. Voice actors that they get for these things are always pretty poor, and the translation is... faulty. It's like they stuck the script in Google Translate and then didn't tweak anything before handing it over; the street slag is probably the most entertaining part of the movie. It's a bit of a shame, as the actors look like they are doing a pretty good job. Not great, but pretty good for an action flick

As is usually the case, there isn't enough explanation as to why people are beating on each other rather than just shooting. There is also no good reason why no one has a phone to call for backup. Even the bad guys rely on an intercom system to talk to each other.So, I guess you can say that the premise is a bit weak overall.

The special effects were actually darn good.
The acting was a mixed bag.
The story was fairly bad.
Dialogue was horrible.
The action was great. Very good fight scenes.
Cinematography was decent.
Editing was not great - too many cuts in the fight scenes.

All told, it's a good movie if you're just looking for a Jackie Chan fix without Jackie.



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