The Raid: Redemption

The Raid: Redemption

The Raid: Redemption (2011)

A special police unit infiltrates a highrise apartment building to take down the drug lord who runs the place only to find themselves trapped inside with a building full of bloodthirsty gangsters who they must fight their way through in order to escape.

This is an action film that is equal parts “Judgement Night”, “Assault on Precinct 13” and ‘roid rage.  The cop film genre gets flipped on its head as the cops are forced on the defensive – outgunned and badly outnumbered.  Cut off from any reinforcements, the mission becomes at best a secondary consideration as the cops are forced to battle for their lives in an attempt just to escape.

After a brief setup, this is non-stop action as the small band of SWAT officers are forced to shoot, punch and karate chop their way through a seemingly endless horde of nameless bad guys.  Add in a couple “boss fights” with the drug lord’s top guards and it becomes a full on fighting game brought to life.  The dialog is short and perfunctory, as is the story.  Plot twists exist only in the form of a constant string of betrayals which mostly serve to set up more fighting.  The fights, however, are well choreographed and many have their own internal beauty and flow – showing that you can advance a story with fists and roundhouse kicks as well as with witty banter.

This is art in much the same way that the guys cleaning and gutting fish at the market is: if you can appreciate a guy filleting a fish inside of five seconds, you’ll love the crisp, clean, smooth brutality of this film.  If all you see is a guy chopping up a fish with a knife, go watch a nice romantic comedy.

Stars: 4.5/5

 

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