Friday, April 13, 2012

Ryan Watches A Motion Picture #97: The Raid: Redemption (2011)

Excuse me sir, my face does not need a machete.

Dirty apartments
Hardest points on the body?
Ouch, elbows and knees.

The Raid: Redemption. To be fair, even before going to see it, the movie had already won a point with me. I squeal inwardly when a movie gives me a sub-title. Especially ones like The Redemption. Stick an epic sub-title on your movie and I'll pay good money to see it. Money I earned by putting children to work in diamond mines. You know what I mean, good money. I'd go see Princess Diaries: Dark Reckoning, or A Heartland Christmas: Rain of Blood. These things just sell me.

So it's pretty good. I won't say The Raid is inspired, but I will say it's quite satisfying. It's Indonesian, and it's always a nice change of pace to see a foreign film in a cinema: it reminds you that there's other people on the planet, you know? In their own countries? Speaking in different languages, shooting each other, breaking each other's bones. Just like us.

The movie kind of plays through like a video game. It starts with a mere 5 minutes of exposition, throws some stylish opening credits your way, and gets with the action. Mission laid out: there's an apartment building full of baddies that need stomping, and you, rookie, are going to have to fight your way through them to get to the two mini-bosses you have to face before you get to the big boss. Mission accepted. Mission start.

The fights are well choreographed and don't rely on much shaky-cam, which is a definite plus. When someone gets kneed in the face, I don't want the camera flopping around like an epileptic duck. I want to see a knee hit a face. If you're using a shaky camera style it's probably because your stunt guys suck and you don't want us to notice.

There are some great deaths given to some (relatively) bad people, which always entertains. The gore's either not extreme or I'm too desensitized to judge properly. If it's not that extreme and I still have a healthy brain gauge, I'm glad for it. The gore walks a fair line without getting stupid or showy. Though get ready to see stabbings. Lots of them. The sort where you see the knife go in and out in the same shot. Several times. That doesn't happen in movies terribly often: I believe you can show a knife going into a body, but if you pull it back out it earns you a harsh rating from the ratings board. Ratings be damned, The Raid says, laughing bullets.

So: A dish of satisfyingly meaty and moist martial arts. Best enjoyed with friends.

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