The Raid (2012)

The Raid Redemption.jpgAttack The Block

Director: Gareth Evans
Running Time: 101 minutes
Starring: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy, Joe Taslim

In 2012, The Raid came out of nowhere and took the world by storm. In a year packed with the last entry into Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Avengers and Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth, an Indonesian martial arts film from a Welsh director kicked enough fuss to be noticed.

The Raid focuses on a police S.W.A.T team, who infiltrate an apartment block where a powerful crime lord resides at the top floor. The gangsters are made aware of the police's infiltration, and trap them, making it a battle between the S.W.A.T force and a block full of the crime lord's killers and thugs.

It's clear why the film receives so much praise, and that is due to its bloody brilliant action (emphasis on the word bloody). These scenes are impressively choreographed, with the actors moving fluidly from each action to the next to make for a breathtaking watch.

"No, I can scream louder than you!"

But it's clear there is not a lot else to praise here. The biggest weaknesses come about due to the poor script, written by director Gareth Evans. Clunky lines are evident throughout, but it's the poor attention to the characters which will catch your eye. They each come of as generic and underwritten, especially the villains, who feel derivative from their first appearance.

The lack of any attempt to give the characters some development or personality makes it evident of how little Gareth Evans is interested in treating them like actual characters. Instead, they are merely vessels to be used in order to enact the fight scenes, and to pile up the body count to a poor techno soundtrack.

The Raid's biggest strength lies within its impressive choreography, but that can only go so far over a 1 hour 40 minute runtime with a weak script and poor character development.