Joe Taslim as Jaka, with orders from Pierre Gruno as Wahyu, tried to freeze an association of narcotics and gambling in a rundown block apartment. Jaka himself brought his men consisting of Iko Uwais as Rama and others. At that place, Ray Sahetapy as Tama is the ringleader of the association. Tama was not only alone, but many martial arts experts also helped him especially Yayan Ruhian as Mad Dog. In this film directed by Gareth Evans, the movie is about blood, violence, and blood-and-violence. Everything is violence, no bullsh*t. It’s just violence, blood, head to head, death blows, and thrillers.
Since today, “The Raid: Redemption” has a 86 percent rating critics on the Rotten Tomatoes. Critics always say this film as a modern breakthrough of martial-art and new modern innovation of the action genre. I remember watching this film when I was 12 years old. I watched it with my friends and I also forgot how many times I’ve watched. Indonesian films are rarely like this and become a major influence on filmmaking, especially in Indonesia. Yeah, we got good films in that country. But unfortunately, these films always reap controversy with a lot of closed minded people.
Gareth Evans knows his audience, knowing who will watch this film. You sit in a theater without knowing what this movie really was but you certainly know that this might be a decent action movie. After you leave the theater, you still think about it. Your heart still pounds every hit from every character in this movie. There was no ado, no dialogue, no plot, no character, no sympathy, no empathy, all there was one another. It brings you classic action films or martial arts. You can call it such as “The Matrix”, “Die Hard” or “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.
If you are a non-American audience, maybe you wonder actually what martial arts this name is. “The Raid: Redemption” doesn’t really matter what the title really was. In conclusion, this movie tells you that this is Pencak Silat. The rest, nothing. The plot is predictable, no one is safe but surely bad guy would lose. This film was able to maintain the intensity of action from beginning to end. Unlike other Hollywood films, Evans invites you to steal every breath when watching this film.
The weird story of this movie was Gareth Evans as the Welsh director. Because, how come this man came to Indonesia and thought he wanted to make a film about Pencak Silat? While all the cast is Indonesian, the movie depicts martial arts as basically local depictions. Gareth Evans studied the mistakes of previous films especially “Merantau”. He refined the idea of the action genre that was so brutal and became this film. This film is also a visualization of video games such as “Hitman” or “Max Payne”. There is one mission they must do, fight to the top. The SWAT team tried to enter and break every door. On the other hand, the boss on the last floor was spying on them.
The cast is mostly male and only a few are female, especially Rama’s backlash to his wife. Yet, my last word, “The Raid: Redemption” directed by Gareth Evans is a hand to hand combat provides an essence of action films, especially in Indonesian filmmaking. In the midst of the widespread oversaturated filmmaking in Indonesia, especially there are so much cliche mediocre horror movies, this piece comes from the middle. Yet, this is not about stories, not about characters, not about where they are. But, it’s just action and action. It’s about violence and violence. Do I have to say it again?
4 out of 5 stars.