The Indonesians Are On A “Mission”
Surely I was lucky enough being chosen by Indonesia International Fantastic Film Festival (iNAFFF) committee as one of local movie-reviewers to see it on the big screen as a closing movie last fall.
Yes, The Raid from Merantau Films and XYZ Films has become global most-awaited action movie after won Midnight Madness Award on 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Afterwards, Sony Pictures called for a Hollywood remake after got the rights for international release first including U.S. market and Indonesia later on March 23, 2012.
An elite group of SWAT police officers receive a very difficult task, invade an apartment building that has been taken over by large network of dangerous criminals led by Tama. The chief Jaka with two of his reliable members, Rama and Andi moves one level to another, only to see their best plans being sidelined. Yet character revelations start bubbling to surface which should be done by a series of immense fights using guns, knives or even bare fists. Who will be the last man standing with less victims on his side?
Director Gareth Evans continue his success from Merantau (2009) by upping the intensity in such bigger way. The location itself creates some unintentional claustrophobic atmosphere to make sure those cat and mouse fights have really nowhere to hide. Shaky-cam and quick cuts are used perfectly to maximize viewers’ involvement into dynamic sense of rhythm. So, you feel like capture those moments with your own taste before transform ‘em all into some certain reactions like grasp, goosebumps etc.
Jakarta born, Iko Uwais clearly made the most gigantic impact with his extraordinary fighting skills on display which known as Pencak Silat, our very own traditional martial-art. Yeah, you might compare him with Thai’s Tony Jaa from Ong Bak. Combined with cold-blooded Donny Alamsyah, the duo are serious combo to beat. High-experienced actor, Ray Sahetapy also nailed his role as a super villain Tama with slick face expressions and dreadful voice tones. Another name who stole the show is Yayan Ruhian whose crazy act as Mad Dog might be remembered by the fans of the movie for a long time.
Violence is definitely an issue here, so it couldn’t avoid to be rated R. Bath blood between one-on-one or group combatants are everywhere in the building. Sometimes you just don’t see it clearly in front of your eyes because flashy editing from Evans are smart enough to present what should be seen or not without lose any meaning of it. “Hardcore” music scoring from Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal successfully brought the audience into silent mode for most of 101 minutes intriguing action with less predictable twists along the way.
Even though the budget is fair low, approximately $1,1 million, it is effectively spent into every department of the movie. Basic storyline, however, outplayed by convincing choreography from the casts. The Raid is a non-stop action from start to finish, let the final battle alone is near flawless. Absolutely impressive to keep audiences on the edge of their seats, even still breathless when the credit titles rolling. A must-see in the cinema to feel some rare “vibrant” experiences. Respectful Evans has deliberately sent the message towards international viewers that lesser-known Indonesian movie industry is about to change in the next few years.
Taken from the review of #TheRaid by @asliga on www.imdb.com