Director: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Ray Sahetapy and Yayan Ruhian
Set in modern day Indonesia mostly in the Jakarta slums, The Raid is an extremely violent, cold blooded, martial arts action film about an Indonesian SWAT team who in an attempted raid on a rundown apartment building, in order to capture an infamous cold blooded Mob leader; get trapped inside and now have to fight for their survival.
Starring Iko Uwais (Rama) as the main lead and SWAT team member, he and his squad take part in a raid to finally get Tama ( Ray Sahetapy) a notorious crime and slum lord in Jakarta Indonesia. The raid due to happen early in the morning is headed by Lieutenant Wahyu ( Pierre Gruno) and Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim) who plan to get inside the building also ran by the man whom all the fuss is about, take out a few of his men and take him into custody. However things don’t go according to plan and they find themselves not only trapped but sandwiched between the walls. Now without complete knowledge of the different blocks and levels in the building they find themselves prey to predators that do.
Obviously video game inspired, as characters blast and tear their way through each floor (each time more violently than the other), their pain regardless of who, is easily heard and felt by even the most cynical of audience members (e.g. Watch and hear the groans and strains of the injured and dying in the halls soon to be graveyard of each floor). The fights thanks to the choreography of interestingly enough Iko Uwais the main lead and Yayan Ruhian who plays Mad Dog the ruthless enforcer and right hand man of Tama, provide the accurate aggressive compliment to the bullets hailed first before hand to hand combat becomes the only other option afterwards.
As previously mentioned the “groans and strains” are easily heard and felt , but that is particularly due to the fine sound and sound design work of Ethan Beigel, Paul Hammond and Aria Prayogi who also give audience the chance to understand what being trapped in a concrete box with bullets flying at you sound like.
In this violent story where killing is neither an option nor the “cool” thing to do, but the only way of surviving in this type of world; it is a pleasure seeing violence shown for the hauntingly horrific, yet realistic act that it is, rather than the unrealistic cartoonlike joke commonly seen in action films. The frantic pace at whom the main character and the rest of the cast fight at, help their plight and will to survive seem very authentic, regardless of sometimes unbelievable martial arts moves. As a story it is quite simple in plot and unpretentious with what is going on, neither being deep, complicated, complex or twist turning, just telling it like it is. Even though it is not a bad film, I would only recommend this to those who love action films but are tired of seeing the same thing and want something a bit different. I would also recommend it be watched either at a cinema or if at home with a magnificent surround sound system to be able to get the full experience you deserve.