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The Raid

The Raid

Released 18 May 2012
Director Gareth Evans
Starring Iko Uwais, Ananda George
Writer(s) Gareth Evans
Producer(s) Ario Sagantoro
Origin Indonesia, United States
Running Time 112 minutes
Genre Action
Rating 18

Fists of fury.

Set in a high rise so tough that it puts Die Hard's Nakatomi Plaza to shame, with an action hero harder than John McClane, and a villain even more diabolical than Hans Gruber, The Raid brings back bone-crunching beat-em-up as a genre with uber-violence and bullet-time ahoy. A Streets of Rage like progression through a host of psychopaths, thieves, murderers and other assorted crooks, sees a SWAT team become trapped in a tower block in Jakarta while attempting to take down a ruthless crime boss.

Welsh director Gareth Evans has been cultivating his craft in martial arts movies since 2009's Merantau, and in his current offering he's received his highest budget yet. It shows! Bringing the Indonesian martial art Pencak Silat to Western audiences for the first time, his cinematography exquisitely captures the fast violent pace and extraordinary athleticism of the brutal sport. But what's really great about The Raid is that it doesn't spare on the inventive gore and high tension scenes, which, as any fan of high octane actioners can attest, is wonderful news.

When police sergeant Jaka gathers a SWAT team to raid particularly malevolent slumlord Tama Riyadi's base, he gets a wave of resistance he doesn't bargain for, but will main characters Lieutenant Wahyu, rookie cop Rama as well as a highly trained police squad prove a match for a hoard of bloodthirsty thugs?

Rest assured there's a high body count and largely disposable cast but if you like the sound of fist on face, you're sure to like The Raid.

- Cormac O’Brien