RELEASED: 18th May 2012
DIRECTOR: Gareth Evans
CAST: Iko Uwais, Donny Alamsyah, Joe Taslim, Ray Sahetapy, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno, Tegar Satrya, Eka ‘Piranha’ Rahmadia, Verdi Solaiman, Ananda George, Yusuf Opilus, Iang Darmawan, M. Iman Aji, Zaenal Arifin and Hanggi Maisya
BOX OFFICE WORLDWIDE: $9.1m
The Raid: Redemption takes us to Jakarta, Indonesia, where we follow an elite police force, being led by Lieutenant Wahyu, head on a mission to infiltrate an apartment building that is a safe house for a powerful and cruel crime lord named Tama Riyadi and eliminate him. Unfortunately for them however their appearance is known no sooner than they enter the apartment block and they must fight with limited ammunition against a block of armed and dangerous criminal occupants and in order to get him.
The Raid: Redemption is a Indonesian action film from Welsh director Gareth Evans that came out in 2011 (or 2012 in the UK) and since its release has gained a massive cult following, spawned a sequel and, as far as I’m aware, the American remake is still technically in development. As we follow this elite police force heading towards an apartment block in the Jakarta slums to infiltrate and eliminate a crime lord that resides there, we focus one character before that in Rama, as he prays and says his goodbyes to his pregnant wife and his father, promising to bring ‘him home’. Rama becomes the linchpin for the audience as he’s a rookie member of this elite squad, while the Sergeant (Jaka) is the team leader, giving us exposition in his conversations with Lieutenant Wahyu, it’s clear that Rama is the protagonist and one that we root for the most. The story is simple, straight-forward but keeps you immersed with the film is its action. Sweet mother of god, the action, mostly hand-to-hand combat sequences, are just beautiful to watch, especially if you’re interested in how to do fight choreography for a film/short. You feel every bone-crunching punch, every knee to the face and every single stab wound as its visually presented with some use of free-hand camera shots that don’t confuse you as to what’s going on on-screen, you know exactly who is who. The ensemble is solid in the roles required from them. Joe Taslim is really good as Jaka, Ray Sahetapy is solid as Tama, the crime lord that is that paranoid he has cameras on virtually every floor to see what’s happening and what everyone in the block is going, which comes into play during the course of the film. Yayan Ruhian is really good as Mad Dog, Tama’s muscle and just a cold-blooded figure. Donny Alamsyah is also good as Andi, Tama’s consigliere who appears to be more layered than he appears to be as the film progresses. Finally, this is the film that I first noticed Iko Uwais and I’ve enjoyed his performances ever since, but for me I just love him in the role of Rama.
FAVOURITE SCENE: The two on one bout between Rama and Andi against Mad Dog.
FAVOURITE QUOTE: “Pulling a trigger is like ordering a takeout.” – Mad Dog
DID YOU KNOW: Every actor who played a member of the SWAT team went through a training program with KOPASKA (Indonesian Navy’s Special Ops) to study the techniques used in the force including weapons use and hand signals.