Posts Tagged ‘kungfu’

The Raid: Redemption (2011)

June 17, 2012


At least 20 throats were cut open in this movie. I am not kidding. The violence in this movie is pushed to such extreme that I do not think there is more than 5 minutes when someone is not dying or being ripped open beyond any reparation.

The Raid is an Indonesian movie directed by Welsh director Gareth Evans. It has been hailed as a game changer of the action genre, scoring 83% on the tomatometer and 8.1 stars on IMDB.

The plot is minimal – the SWAT team is on a mission to raid a building occupied by a gallery of mobsters under the reign of the sadistic crime lord Tama. Among the SWAT team is Rama, whose goal in this mission is also to capture and return his brother Andi, also the righthand man of Tama. They start sweeping the lowlifes in the first level, and each level up means they will be encountering more violent resistance from more skilled and savage fighters.

Violence has been a tool for the filmmakers to develop certain plot point or certain conflicts between the characters. Ang Lee, regarding “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, once said that Kung Fu to him is like ballet, he uses it in favor of the plot and character development.

Plot in The Raid is just enough to create situations, in which the characters are required to punch each other into pulp. Its structure is similar to that of a porn movie, only the minimum of plot is served to create a situation where the characters can perform the sex. Yes, this kind of movies targets an audience for whom the plot or character development is a distraction rather than the driver.

There is a huge market for this kind of moviemaking considering the amount of praises The Raid is receiving. The problem is that it is technically brilliant, and it could be mistaken as a masterpiece. I enjoyed some early fight scenes until it was obvious this was all it could offer. However, it is not a great movie in the traditional sense of the art of movie making. A great movie uses plot and characters in order to reveal a certain quality of humanity or raise intriguing questions that deserve answering.

The Raid reveals nothing except cynical savage violence.

The Raid is directed and written by Gareth Evans, starring Iko Uwais, Ananda George and Ray Sahetapy.