Months have passed since I read the first raving reviews of The Raid. My patience was being tested and couldn’t wait to finally see this movie. I was afraid that my expectations would be too high, so prepared to be disappointed. I had seen (and reviewed) Gareth Evans’ Merantau a while ago. The story of that movie wasn’t too good, but it delivered some great action and showcased the fighting skills of Iko Uwais. Although he is a part of a team here, the story does revolve around him.
If you have not heard about The Raid yet, let me get you up to speed. It’s about a SWAT team that needs to capture a crime boss who’s hidden away at the top of a building. The team needs to get there, but it is an impenetrable fortress with thugs on every floor. That’s most of the story, but as this is an action movie it’s enough to take the viewer on a thrill ride. And what a ride it is! I can’t remember the last time a movie made me swear out loud with a big smile on my face after seeing some brutal/graphic move/action scene. This movie is filled with them from beginning to end and if you can’t stand the look of violence and blood then this movie isn’t for you. The body count is extremely high and the ways in which people die is plentiful. Roger Ebert compared it to a videogame (for various reasons) he has a point. I’m someone who enjoys these type of videogames though and probably would play a lot of it had it been one.
Does this movie have drama and characters you care for? I really can’t say it has, although you automatically root for the good guys, but it really is the action that is shown that makes you want to see more. It hardly ever gives you a moment to breathe and that’s what I want in an action movie. I honestly can’t think of an action movie that will be able to outdo what I witnessed in The Raid and I’m already looking forward to the sequel.