If you only see one action film this year that’s not based on comic book characters or literary spies, then make sure it’s The Raid. This film is 101 minutes of pure, non-stop action, impeccable choreography and good ol’ fashioned blood and guts.
Quality action films are a rare breed these days thanks to the likes of Vin Diesel, The Stath and Sylvester Stallone (post Rocky 4). But The Raid is a breathe of fresh air, as director Gareth Evans hasn’t fucked it all up with mindless plot twists and unnecessary hot chicks in skimpy clothing.
The concept behind The Raid is simple: 20 cops raid a commission homes-style block in the Indonesian slums in an attempt to bring down a powerful drug lord. But when the bad guys find out, they lock the place down and trap them inside. So in order to escape, the cops need to get passed thirty stories of low-life thugs and raging psychopaths… using any means necessary.
Sure, there are some semi-important plot details involving a rookie cop and a dodgy lieutenant, but you can watch The Raid without even reading the sub-titles and still get a kick.
The action comes hard and fast; utilising an incredible array of weapons and fighting styles. Thumbs up to the actors and fight choreographers, because every punch, kick, head-butt, flip, duck and weave looks real and will have you moving around your seat like a dog with worms.
Newcomer Iko Uwais plays the film’s hero, and he also clocks up the most kills… by a lot. He is as exciting to watch as Bruce Lee, Jet Li or Jackie Chanin their prime; displaying incredible speed and believable power.
A lot of people will be put-off by some of the unnecessary violence, so I wouldn’t encourage taking your mother or first-date unless they suggest it.
But for anyone who loves ultra-violent, over-the-top, cult Asian cinema – The Raid is a must-see. Don’t waste your time on The Hunger Games, The Raidoffers something fresh and original. This is what cinema screens are made for.
The Raid opens in cinemas nationally on Thursday March 22.