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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Raid

What I know about Indonesian cinema could be fitted on the end of a pinhead.
A very small pinhead. A pinhead so small that it wouldn't be visible to the naked eye.
Yet today Kelly and myself availed ourselves of the Orange Wednesday deal and went to see the uber-violent, and much lauded, 'The Raid'.
We both came away from it stunned at how such a limited story stretched over a hundred odd minutes could be so exhilaratingly entertaining.
Here's the spoiler, so if you don't want to know what it is about I would advice you to look to your right and pick a blog that I've got listed as a favourite and amuse yourself reading them until I return with an update that tickles your fancy.
Got that?
The Raid is about an Indonesian SWAT team sent on a mission to extract a gang leader from a block of flats that he rules with an iron fist.
The whole block is very nearly solely occupied by junkies, scum, thieves and assorted villains who are under the protection of the gang leader at a cost.
The twist is that it's not an official raid, but more a hit on the gang leader by persons unknown.
A back story is that one of the rookie cops has a brother who is the gang leaders right hand man.
As soon as the SWAT team arrive it isn't long before they suffer major casualties and there are only a handful of survivors left fighting for their lives with no back up.
Cue mayhem.
That's it in a nutshell.
I am actually very surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did.
For long periods of time there is zero dialogue and just one fight scene rolling into another with the body count increasingly rising and rising, yet it is done with such style that I would say that it verged on balletic.
The choreography would shame some professional dancers.
It just looks exhaustingly fantastic.
The violence isn't the draw, but instead the relentless and physically daunting aspects of the interaction between the fighters.
If anyone had asked me if I could have sat through two guys trading blows for five minutes or more without a break then I would have told them it wasn't possible, but as with anything, when it is done to such a high standard, you can find a degree of appreciation for it.
I'm not even going to claim it was grudging admiration.
This film just flew by and I was transfixed throughout.
I've just seen that it has been grabbed to be remade for US audiences and for the life of me I can't see how they will match this one.
Fans of action movies will love the original, and those, like me, who can take or leave action films could be just as surprised at how much enjoyment they could get out of it.
Well worth a swatch as we would colloquially say.

1 comment:

  1. Im going to have a look at this based on the review.
    Sounds better than the trailer makes it out to be.