Hand over your testosterone mate, because this film already has bags of it.
When The Raid was released no-one could have quite expected the great buzz it caused. Such was the buzz it went through a flurry of festivals, including Toronto 2011 where it won the Midnight Madness award. This small Indonesian film had a budget of merely $1.1 Million which for any feature film is tiny but considering its an action this is quite remarkable.
The director is Gareth Evans, unknown to most of the world he has a short film career to date, his first feature film Footsteps released in 2006 where it went on to critical acclaim. Oddly despite being born in wales he has been involved in Indonesian cinema, starting when he created the documentary The Mystic Arts of Indonesia: Pencak Silat.
The Raid is a fairly self explanatory title, a SWAT team is set to take down the leader of an army of drug dealers and killer going by the name of Tama. In order to get to him they must first take over his main base of an apartment block, and so the body count begins. Rama (Iko Uwais) and his team begin their assault, only for them to be quickly over run by Tama’s men. This is when the ride trully begins, no time for introductions the fighting begins right away. The only thing we learn is that Rama has a wife who he has promised to return to after the mission.
People have criticized (quite rightly not many) that the lack of character development in this film renders all the action pointless. If you ask me their missing the point the fighting is done in such a way that it is the character development, each one shows different emotions through their fights. Rama is the films main hero, having lost most of his men through various horribly mostly hand to hand deaths its now left to him to complete the job. If you have heard of The Raid then you no doubt will have heard the praise for choreography the film has got. I can only add to that praise, never have I felt so gripped and yet still wanting to turn away from the screen for fear that even I might break a bone.
This film is not for those looking for great speeches or indeed back stories. The raid is all about a roller-coaster of extreme fighting, with the chain lift acting as the only breather before being propelled back into the adrenaline that is The Raid.