'The Raid: Redemption' Review By Bryan Yentz

... At the climax of our sordid, passionate tryst, THE RAID: REDEMPTION made me its bitch. . . And ya know what? I'm okay with that...
  • OVERALL
    4.5
    SUPERB
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Visuals
I lie on a bed. . . My body is twisted in sheets painted with sweat. My eyes are wide as they stare at the ceiling above; my mouth stretched into an ear-to-ear grin. . . My hand reaches for a smoke sitting on the bedside table. I spark it to life, take a hit and lean back into the pillows once more. "That was amazing". . . The words fumble out of my mouth. . . I'm still speechless. My lover says nothing. She can't. She isn't human. She is an inanimate composition of celluloid that just passed through a collection of reels, projected upon a glorious silver screen and allowed me to witness her in all of her bone-shattering, tendon-ripping, fridge-exploding glory. She is THE RAID: REDEMPTION. . . And yes, dear readers. . . I did have a mangasm. Multiple, actually.

For those of you unfamiliar with THE RAID: REDEMPTION--which was originally simply titled, "THE RAID" (and is a far better title than the gratuitous "REDEMPTION" tag they tacked on), go watch the trailer NOW. For the rest of you, rest assured that it's not only an amazingly choreographed film overflowing with gallons of creatively spilled blood and set-pieces, but it truly is--to this critic--one of the greatest action films ever conceived. In a time where ingenuity is hard to come by--especially within the action realm--Gareth Evans (a Welsh director doing an Indonesian film) has gone right for the simple jugular. This isn't about exposition, it's not about deep characterization, it's about spectacularly vicious combat set amidst tight corridors, sable stairwells and garishly-lit rooms. While there's just enough motivation and humanity to make you care for the protagonists, THE RAID is about the action. The tackle you, toss you, break you, bleed you action. Every scene of beautifully choreographed carnage one-ups the last and rarely slows down to allow the viewer to catch his breath. It's an endless concoction of brilliant bullet ballets, close-quarter-combat, and sweat-dripping tension. I could (and want) to spoil every violent vignette, but I'll just say that the premiere had EVERYONE in the theater cheering and clapping after EVERY fight scene.

Amping the kick-ass factor to eleven was that of the exquisite sound design and musical score by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. The soundtrack pulses and bristles with industrial beats and hard-edged synth as it compliments ear-piercing sounds of clicking-guns, metal-grating knives, and the constant drumming of machine gun fire. Like the rest of the film, the sound herein is something you don't just listen to; you experience it. The audio is so effective that you feel as though you're right there alongside Rama (our hero and the man responsible for ALL of the choreography) and his unlucky band of SWAT.

One of the only elements that caused my brow to raise was that of a tacked-on element of the story towards the finale which seemed to make the entire slum-war appear a wee bit convoluted. This does set up for a sequel (as it's already going into preproduction), but this last ditch-effort of an explanation regarding a certain betrayal left me more confused than satisfied. Aside from that, there's a moment early on in which a "split-up" occurs. There's no reasoning behind why one group of Rama's team maneuvers one path while the rest take another--the editing during this minor moment doesn't help matters either (it was also edited by Gareth Evans). I was also curious as to why the SWAT team forego their weapons at this point--out of ammo, I guess? Regardless, these are drops of negativity within an ocean of pure excellence.

It's a day after I witnessed the film, and I'm still giddy. It's rare that I'm willing to watch a film directly after witnessing it for the first time, but I've already seen it twice now, and have no issue going back again. I honestly can't understand anyone not loving this film unless they don't like action films. If that's the case, then they have absolutely no business watching it, nor deserve to be in the same vicinity of such a magnificent piece of adrenaline-fueled mayhem. At the climax of our sordid, passionate tryst, THE RAID: REDEMPTION made me its bitch. . . And ya know what? I'm okay with that.

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Comments (13)

  1. Mr.K

    @bryanyentz Definitely the best CQC fight sequence in the whole movie.

    1 year agoby @mr-kFlag

  2. Bryan Yentz

    @mr-k,

    Haha, dude the whole flick was brutal! I loved this movie. I think my favorite fight is the CQC hallway scene where Rama keeps digging the knife into all of those thugs.

    1 year agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  3. Mr.K

    @bryanyentz I watched this movie. The fight where Rama has to fight the guy that can do freestyle fighting was brutal.

    1 year agoby @mr-kFlag

  4. Bryan Yentz

    @herman Chou,

    Thanks for reading, man! And yeah, I had heard of the fighting style and dug how it was depicted in this film. Maybe I should even check out the entire doc dedicated to it from the same director as this.

    2 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  5. Herman Chou

    Hi Bryan.Great review,should learn from u.I've seen this movie.And I already book a seat for tonight.Superb action, the close counter combat? It's called Pencak Silat from Indonesia.It's not a perfect action movie...but defenitly kick some ass.

    2 years agoby @hermansusantoFlag

  6. Bryan Yentz

    @andrea Raimadjo,

    Haha, no problem! Glad ya dug it, and even happier that the American audiences could enjoy it as those in Indonesia--it is an amazing film after all.

    @Worth5Bucks,
    Hahaha, I know, I'm so lucky--I have no problem admitting that. Agh, that does suck... Might just have to hold out for DVD, even still, the wait will just make finally viewing that much better, my friend!

    Thanks for reading everyone!

    2 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  7. Worth5Bucks

    @bryanyentz AGHHH! ive been wanting to see this movie sooooooooooo frickin bad. But there is not a single showing in indiana. Thanks for this review. awesome job!

    2 years agoby @mattbierwagenFlag

  8. Andrea Raimadjo

    Thanks for the review. I'm Indonesian and I have watched this movie. First I thought, clap after fight maybe only did with us, in Indonesia. It amazed me that you wrote the people in US did the same thing. lol .

    2 years agoby @Andrea-RaimadjoFlag

  9. Nicholaus XX

    @bryanyentz -- The pleasure is all mine.

    2 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag

  10. Bryan Yentz

    @XxNickTheFilmCriticXx,

    Haha, thanks, man! Those are some truly complimentary words, and I thank ya from the bottom of my bullet-riddled heart. And once again, I'm f*ckin' humbled to be placed in your list!

    Thanks for reading, man!

    @jay.A.Ottley,

    Haha, yeah, if I had given it anything less, I think I would have just saved you the time and killed myself! Thanks for reading and the compliment man! Means a lot!

    2 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  11. Jay.A.Ottley

    @bryanyentz f*cking A... I've seen this as well, and well i expected to see that 4.5 rating other wise i would have had to kill you :)

    Awesome review dude, one of your best yet

    2 years agoby @jayaottleyFlag

  12. Nicholaus XX

    @bryanyentz -- Out(f*cking)standing review, man. The humor, detail, and passion that you put into these reviews make them nothing short of poetic.

    Oh, and guess what? This review is also going into my "favorite reviews" list! I'm now very interested in this movie and will watch it the first chance I get.

    Again, excellent work, man.

    2 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag