The Raid (2012 – Cinema)

“Pulling the trigger is like ordering takeout”

‘The Raid’ is an action film built around introducing the ancient Indonesian Martial arts system Pencak Silat to a cinema audience.  The movie is a relentlessly paced, violent, brutal and thrilling ride with a very simple story line; Police raid a tower block full of gun-toting criminals and must fight to survive.  ‘The Raid’ left me totally exhausted by the end as the action barely lets up for even a second, with no romantic subplots and hardly any scenes pausing to dwell on character. By the end you feel as if you’ve been trapped in the block with the characters and subjected to a violent 101 minute physical and psychological assault.  The bone-crushing violence had me and the audience I saw ‘The Raid’ with audibly wincing and whispered exclamations like “Fuckin’ hell!” and “Holy shit!” could be heard as we watched the action unfold.  The breathtaking fights are performed by Silat stars like Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian . The movie is like a visceral blend of the jaw dropping martial arts fury of 2003’s Muay Thai flick ‘Ong-Bak’ and the choreographed Gun-Fu of John Woo’s 1992 Hong Kong classic ‘Hard Boiled’.  Unusually ‘The Raid’ is directed by Welsh-born lad Gareth Evans and it will be interesting to see what he does with a promised sequel.

Although it’s up against some stiff completion from films later in this year, at this point I’m naming ‘The Raid’ as my film of 2012.  However it may not be to everyone’s taste as, as 30 minutes into my screening a burly bald Essex bloke, no doubt vexed by the bewildering collision of images and subtitles stood up and shouted to the cinema “What a load of bollocks!” and stormed out.

 

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