My apologies about the mistake. For some reason I’d made a note that this was a Malaysian movie when it’s in fact an Indonesian movie. Thanks to the commenter below for pointing that out!
It’s been a long time since I watched an awesome Japanese martial arts movie. Jackie Chan. Jet Li. Maybe they’re just not popular anymore, or they’re just getting old but I haven’t seen these two do anything noteworthy in over a decade. Then Ong-bak and it’s sequel came along with Tony Jaa and showed us that they too could do hand to hand combat just as well as the Japanese. Still, it’s been some years since these movies were released.
Taking me completely off guard is The Raid: Redemption, an Indonesia production which shows us that there’s still more fight left in Asian kung-fu cinema.
The Raid sees a young rookie join an elite swat team who are on a mission to take out a dangerous crime lord named Tama. They plan to take him in his home, a run-down apartment block that’s been converted into a fortress. Thirty floors filled with mobsters, crack heads, dealers and other assorted scum, all loyal to the money that Tama dishes out. If that’s not enough, they also have to get through his two main henchman, one known as the animal, and the other who controls him.
Needless to say The Raid has a pretty simple story. But it more than makes up for it with fast paced, crazy choreographed action, and incredibly tense stand offs. The main focus of the action is on hand to hand combat, although the movie does open with a fair bit of gunplay. I could describe the crazy stunts, the gravity defying fights, or the almost hypnotic fight choreography, but that would ruin it.
If there’s one flaw, I have to say it’s that just about every single bad guy in this movie must have studied martial arts for years, which seems a bit out of place considering they’re poor hoodlums. But there’s no doubt that The Raid asks you to leave your brain at the door, so I’m going to let this one slide.
Movie Rating: If you’re a fan of old school action and kung-fu movies, check out The Raid. Without a doubt one of the best action movies I’ve seen in a very long time.