The Raid begins as SWAT team members sit geared up in their van, discussing the plan: how they will maneuver through the dark building before them. Many of them won’t make it through the mission: To bring down the drug-lord-run-historically-impenetrable 15-floor building and break up the crime syndicate.
The armed and uniformed men are tense. You get the hothead, a wanna-be hero, the calm & goal-oriented one. The music is fast and frenzied to match the mood. As they enter, the plot plays out like a video game—the team has 15 floors to climb and dethrone their man. He won’t go easily. In fact, once the team is discovered, the cunning slumlord unleashes his wrath.
What makes The Raid a stand out is the visually stunning martial arts. The actors perform their own stunts. Additionally, The Raid contains a delicious plot with a surprising kick delivered mid-way. (Another lovely result when you get same writer & director.)
The Raid has close-ups of stabbings, vicious beatings and a high level of blood that won’t let up. You might occasionally close your eyes and look away. The desensitized will indulge in its gore. Either way, you won’t be bored. What’s unclear is the name, The Raid: Redemption. The satisfying ending is left ripe for a sequel. What will that one be called now that Redemption has been used?
Writer/Director: Gareth Evans
Run time: 101