The Raid: Redemption (2011) Review

So……it’s been a while since I’ve posted. ZA bit of it has to do with school, and a lot of it has to do with just not watching anything. I’m trying to get better, but I guess it’s a work in progress. 

So anyways I watched The Raid: Redemption (2011) last night and holy moly what a film. Everything about this film is incredible. I would normally go into my breakdowns but this is so good that they’re all going to be me raving about how good it is. Let’s do them anyways. 

The story and plot works very well for me as while it’s got a simple premise, it’s the execution that makes it the hit that it became. There are so many twists the story and plot takes that I don’t want to spoil them here. One thing I can say though is that the film is paced very well, it establishes the main character, the mission, the situation, and just how screwed they are within the first 10 minutes or so. Just enough to get us to care about the characters and their motivations before the shit hits the fan. It gives some small moments for character interactions and relationships to be built between the bloodshed. While this is a film that takes the Die Hard approach to an action film of “everything takes place in one building” I think this is one of the best of that sort. It makes great use of the location and geography of it’s location to add to the suspense and action of the film. 

The characters and acting all also worked well throughout the film. It worked well to get me caring about the characters without giving much away about their backstories or their lives, most of the information about the characters that we get is through their actions. Everyone in the film does a great job as well, with everyone fitting their roles well and really helping create the world of the film. All the performances were great, considering these guys were all doing their own stunts as well. 

The action and stunts were incredible. These guys got the crap beat out of them for this film, and it really shows. It was visceral and brutal but beautiful at the same time. I loved the way they covered the multiple person fight scenes with having them enter the scene when its their turn or they’re recovering. It’s a brilliant way to handle these kinds of fights. The action is really the highlight of the film. Another thing i loved about it was the use of attacking the joints in the fights as I don’t think a lot of other action and martial arts films do that. It’s hard to chose a favourite fight because they’re all so good, but if I had to it would probably be the ending fight with Mad Dog as that it’s the longest, one of the most brutal fights, and has the most story significance. At this point we’ve seen how dangerous Mad Dog is and how beat down the two opponents are. There’s a slow build-up before it begins, and when it begins they all take a beating. It’s an incredible fight if you haven’t’ seen it yet.

The editing, production design, and cinematography are all pretty good. The production design helps set apart the main characters from everything else with how broken down and dirty everything is. The cinematography is great as well, one the action gets going everything stays clear and doesn’t get distracting. There’s also a lot of different shots throughout the film that are effective at telling the story during the more quiet or tense moments. But then everything opens up and stays clear when the fights happen. The editing helps that as well as in the beginning and during the gun fights it does a few kind of Hollywood things where things are a little fast and shaky, but as the film goes on it clears up and let’s things breath, especially during the fights. 

Now, there have been a bunch of films released that tried to use this style, with the most well known being Dredd (2012) even though the similarities in location and story are kind of coincidences as that film had been in development for a long time and had already been shooting most of the film by the time this film came out. I think that of all the similar films that this one might be the best.

Over-all this film was incredible and I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to see it. Two-Thumbs up ! Watch it if you haven’t.

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