The Raid YIFY
Okay, I'm 50 films off having reviewed 4,000, so I've seen a fair few flicks in my time. Many of them have been good, some bad, a lot of them middling. But very few of them blow me away, and the ones that do so tend to be the really intense thrillers that are packed with suspense and absolutely great action scenes. THE RAID was a great movie which I really enjoyed, and I heard the hype about the sequel but was afraid to believe it. I needn't have been; THE RAID 2 is an absolutely brilliant movie and one of the best films I've ever seen.This sequel doesn't slavishly copy the original, which is a good thing. Instead, it's a sprawling gangster movie, an Indonesian variant of the ones popular in Hong Kong and South Korea, enlivened with some incredibly violent and extremely well choreographed action sequences which usually take the "one vs. many" formula to the extreme. This stuff is great in itself, enlivened with larger than life characters and more depth than you'd expect from a typical thriller.Stuff continues in this vein up until the last forty five minutes, at which point you realise that everything preceding this point was just the build up to the denouement, which is an action spectacular unlike anything ever put on film. There's a stupendous car chase, a great three-way between top fighters, and the final kitchen one on one, which I think might well be the best fight ever put on film (and I've seen most of the Bruce Lee/Donnie Yen/Jackie Chan/Tony Jaa fights). Everything is perfect: the choreography, the music, the violence. Iko Uwais and Gareth Evans both go from strength to strength and everything just gels together perfectly. Go buy this now, you won't be disappointed!
The Raid YIFY
The film opens by introducing rookie cop Rama (Iko Uwais), who recites his morning prayers on a prayer rug, undergoes a grueling physical workout and then tenderly kisses his pregnant wife goodbye. He will be our avatar. The van carrying his team parks in front of the building and is met by a gray-haired man wearing a bulletproof vest over a bright sports shirt. He is the lieutenant, who has set up the raid. Wearing clothes that make you stand out from all the others is a dimwitted move, but then again how bright is Tama (Ray Sahetapy), the crimelord, by barricading himself on the top floor? Elementary strategy suggests he can be cornered there. He reminds me of my beloved movie cliche, the Climbing Killer.
"The Raid: Redemption," or as us cool kids like to say, "The Raid," certainly upped the game when it came to outrageously choreographed, totally brutal martial arts cinema. I know when I saw it that 30 seconds could not go by without someone in the audience oohing, ahhing, gasping, or just giggling as a means to release nervous energy. That first film is essentially one nonstop fight sequence contained entirely in one building that this police force is ... well ... raiding. It never lets up, never lets you breathe, and never stops topping itself.
The central problem with an American take on The Raid is not one with the cast and crew, none of the previous ideas would've been any better, there isn't a good way to remake this film in America. The Raid's narrative, setting, and even its action are entirely built around the nation it was created in. Gareth Evans came up with the film in the process of making a documentary about Pencak Silat, a huge part of the impetus for its creation came from the desire to show the world this martial art. Iko Uwais was not an actor when production started, he was a delivery man who'd spent his life practicing Silat. All of the action in this action movie is based around an indigenous martial art that is native to the film's home nation. Moving this film to the United States, robbing it of all of its cultural importance, completely kills its purpose. Those issues should stop the film before it starts, and that's before addressing the challenging cultural implications of cops engaging in violent drug raids in the US.
The storyline is straightforward, as befits a movie that doesn't want to spend much time getting bogged down with deep character development or exposition. Our hero, Rama (Iko Uwais), is a rookie cop who ends up on an unenviable mission: raid a fifteen-story apartment building that doubles as the fortress of crime lord Tama (Ray Sahetapy), the most notorious gangster in all of Indonesia. Rival gangs have attempted to get to Tama and failed, in part because he is protected by two fearsome bodyguards, Andi (Doni Alamsyah) and Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian), and in part because just about everyone living in the building is a criminal of some kind and it's in their best interests to keep Tama safe. Some tenants have guns, others have machetes. Also, inexplicably, there's one nice guy living there with a sick wife. He doesn't have knives, but he does confess to owning a spoon. The 20 cops engaging in the raid almost immediately find themselves outnumbered and outgunned. They stumble into the midst of a massacre and soon there are only a few of them left, including the grizzled veteran Jaka (Joe Taslim) and Rama. Jaka is straightforward but Rama has a secret: Andi, one of Tama's right-hand men, is his brother.
The film starts out with a brief, beautifully quiet set piece in which we meet Rama (Uwais) at home. But the peace doesn't last for long, as we see Rama - a rookie SWAT team member, natch - heading to a high-risk raid that will go bad. Very bad.
Deep in the heart of Jakarta's slums lies an impenetrable safe house for the world's most dangerous killers and gangsters. Until now, the rundown apartment block has been considered untouchable. Cloaked under the cover of pre-dawn darkness and silence, an elite swat team is tasked with raiding the safe house in order to take down the notorious drug lord that runs it. But when a chance encounter with a spotter blows their cover and news of their assault reaches the drug lord, they find themselves stranded on the 6th floor with no way out. The unit must fight their way through the city's worst to survive their mission.
When "The Raid" started and the special forces are moving into the building and handily taking over the floors, I was thinking, "How can this go on for two hours?" But it does and it does so brilliantly. It turns out that the tenants in the building can easily be turned into enemies out for the cops' blood and that slows the raid down considerably. Plus throw in a diminutive but ferocious henchmen (Yayan Ruhian as Mad Dog, the name of a similar styled character in "Hard-Boiled") who's like an evil Energizer Bunny that just can't be stopped, and well you have a pretty tough assignment. The film is elegantly simple in its plot and the pace never lags. I think you get one breather -- that's it. (My teenage son exclaimed, "why doesn't someone give him a glass of water or something, I'd feel a whole lot better if they did.") Otherwise it is a mix of relentless action and tension.
The Japanese action movie Re:Born is likely the closest thing the world will ever see to The Raid 3. Gareth Evans's 2012 action movie The Raid: Redemption became an all-time action classic, the film following a team of Jakarta police officers who engage in a harrowing raid of an apartment complex populated by criminals and killers. Evans's 2014 follow-up The Raid 2 would earn just as much adulation, but despite initially planning the series as a trilogy, Evans ultimately decided not to move ahead with The Raid 3 after returning to his native Wales from Indonesia. 041b061a72