Written and directed by Gareth Evans, the movie focusses on an ill-fated attempt by a team of elite cops to storm a building that happens to be the stronghold of an infamous gangster, Tama (Ray Sahetapy). The opening shots of the movie introduce us to Rama (Iko Uwais), a rookie cop and a soon-to-be father. Rama has a long day ahead, thanks to the aforementioned raid.
Rama and his teammates are led by Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim). Tama is assisted by Mad Dog and Andy, the brawn and brains respectively. The team enters the building as planned but find themselves the target of an array of opponents, including machete wielding thugs and sharpshooters. Does Rama manage to come out with life and limb intact?
Gareth shows a deft hand in direction and has incorporated some twists and turns along the way that may not surprise astute viewers, but does help raise the movie a notch above than being just another run-of-the-mill actioner.
|Iko Uwais in 'The Raid: Redemption'|
Iko has the dashing looks and martial arts skills and looks all set to have a successful career ahead. He also handled the stunts (along with Yayan Ruhian) and the action choreography is just plain amazing. Special mention must be made of Rama’s encounter with the machete gang. This is easily the best fight scene in the movie, possibly rivaled by the climactic fight with Mad Dog.
Some of the Mad Dog’s scenes reminded me of The Dark Knight’s Joker. I believe the director wanted to create a sense of dread of an implacable enemy akin to the Joker. While Joker was a madman bent on anarchy using his smarts, Mad Dog is the polar opposite. He lives up to his name and uses his physical skills to beat his opponent(s) to death.
Ray Sahetapy is a veteran actor and gives us a great villain in Tama, who is quite ruthless when it comes to protecting his turf.
|Ray Sahetapy as Tama|
The theme music by Mike Shinoda enhances the movie, especially in the climactic scenes.
This is one heck of an action movie with enough character moments for the actors to become more than just cardboard cutouts as is usually the case in movies of this genre.
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