Mar 162012


An elite police squad is sent on an assignment to take down a notorious crime lord.  All they need to do is storm the building, find the head honcho, and get out. Sounds simple right? Check out our review of The Raid (Serbuan maut) after the jump.

The Raid has a very simple plot and that’s why it works – it lets the action do the talking.

In a city in Indonesia there is a building. In this building there is notorious crime lord and his drug lab. An elite police squad has been charged with raiding the building and taking down the crime lord. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. The inhabitants of this building aren’t exactly your standard tenants – they are for the most part all participants in the criminal undertakings, and they are willing to do anything (ANYTHING!) to project their livelihood and their boss. Sure the cops can make it into the building, but can they make it out?


Much of the film follows rookie cop Rama (Iko Uwasis) who turns out to be quite the fighter. We first meet him early in the morning before the raid – he is destroying a punching bag and then kissing his pregnant wife and telling her he’ll be home later. He has the motivation to get through this ordeal and we can only assume that it is that motivation which elevates him to a one-man kicking-punching-stabbing-slicing-killing machine. Iko Uwasis is absolutely phenomenal – there is simple no other way to describe his performance. The moves he pulls off are just astounding and you’ll be left in awe at his physical prowess. It’s not just his martial arts that are impressive – he manages add a lot of life to his character. You can’t help but be totally invested in his outcome and cheer for him in every single fight.

It’s not only Iko Uwasis who delivers an amazing performance. It seems that director/writer Gareth Evans has assembled every single Indonesian elite mixed martial arts fighter and put them in this one building. From the unstoppable and terrifying Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian) to the loyal and physically impressive squad leader Jaka (Joe Taslim) – every man in this film is extremely impressive and very entertaining to watch. With a body count that has to stretch into three figures, there is a lot to be impressed by.


The film has been masterfully directed, shot, edited, and choreographed. It’s hard to even begin to think about how long it must have taken to choreograph the extraordinary fight scenes (95% of the film!) – particularly the scenes which contain upwards of ten fighters. Some of the impressive fight scenes have been filmed in a single long-shot; while other scenes show us the view from multiple perspectives. It is a very tight film and there is hardly a wasted second in it. The film also has an incredibly grimy feel about it, which mirrors it’s setting perfectly. The high-energy and intense score completes the package and adds brilliantly to the overall atmosphere of the film.

To put it simply, The Raid is a film that can’t be missed. It’s wall-to-wall action that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Action fans, this is the film you’ve been waiting for.


The Facts

Director: Gareth Evans
Writer(s): Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy
Runtime: 101 minutes
Release date(s): Australia & New Zealand: March 22nd 2012