THE RAID: REDEMPTION Hurts So F***ing Good


I’ve had my ass kicked plenty of times. People have punched me in the face and stomach, kneed me in the groin repeatedly, delivered spin kicks to my skull, threw me down flights of stairs, attempted to drown me in water both chlorinated and non, and laughed maniacally the entire time. If I had been beaten up mercilessly the way the characters in The Raid (lame U.S. title: The Raid: Redemption) had I would likely have cherished every painful moment with a smile. When the guys (not many ladies here – total sausage party) get the ever-lovin’ holy Mary Mother of God fuckin’ hell whipped out of their souls in a series of relentlessly awesome fight scenes you literally feel every sucker punch, swept leg, and splintered spinal column. Watching this flick on Blu-ray with a million dollar home theater set-up is a must. I would also recommend investing in a sound health insurance plan before pressing the Play button.

Until The Raid came along I had no idea super cool action movies could come from Indonesia, only palm oil and hi-top sneakers. Turns out the country has its own special form of martial art called pencak silat, which I believe is Indonesian for “Fuck yeah I broke your jaw with my right big toenail”. A highly-trained Jakarta SWAT team invades the 30-story-tall stronghold of a batshit crazy drug lord who monitors everything that happens in his building via a series of outdated television sets my grandparents owned at the time of Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. The cops think they can move through each floor like Solid Snake taking out dudes silently and restraining the ones they let live with garbage bag ties, because fuck handcuffs. Of course some asshole kid gives their position away by yelling like Eddie Murphy used to when he did his bit about being a kid and chasing the ice cream truck (“Watch how fast I make these lil’ motherfuckers run!”) and soon some serious shit is going down. It starts out with almost every SWAT copper who wasn’t given a name by the writers getting mowed down by machine gunfire, which leaves something like four guys left alive. Fortunately these are the ones who either kick unholy amounts of ass or serve a function to the threadbare plot. You won’t have much trouble figuring out who’s who.

The man god of this movie is Indonesian actor, stuntman, fight coordinator, and martial artist extraordi-fucking-naire Iko Uwais as the main cop character Rama. He’s got a pregnant wife at home and surprisingly she never shows up at the building at some stupid moment to be taken hostage by the bad guy. But there are times during the movie with Rama is stumbling through the halls in a daze after his latest punishing dust-up and he thinks of his wife looking all pregno-sexy and then he snaps out of his stupor because he knows he must live so he can tap that pregnant ass when he gets home. That is if he’s not sore and/or bleeding all over his body. If that’s the case I’m sure he can put a towel on the bed first or something. One of the villain’s henchmen is named Mad Dog because somebody’s been watching Hard-Boiled or Back to the Future Part III a lot lately. The makers of The Raid held a contest to find the world’s greatest Al Leong lookalike and then they decided to cast the runner-up. He’s called Mad Dog not because he foams from the mouth or likes to bite your neighbor’s ankles when they go out to fetch the morning paper. In the final scene it takes two guys to put this dog. The man’s got moves that would make a cobra weep.

The Raid‘s plot is structured much like a video game. The briefing scene in the SWAT van where the team commander lays out the mission parameters could be an introductory cut scene from a Call of Duty-type first person shooter. Then you have to fight your way up many floors of an apartment complex full of disposable killers who rush at you screaming with knives, guns, and machetes. Yep, there be machetes in this fucking flick. I so happy. There are no secret levels but in between fights there are more cut scenes with little plot surprises. Then there’s the fight with the big boss, the happy ending, and the rolling of the credits. If you watch The Raid from beginning to end without incurring any bodily damage and you manage to collect every hidden scroll located in the drug lord’s hideout you can re-watch it and Rama suddenly becomes an Ewok with a flamethrower and a big blue cock shaped like Jabberjaw. This may be the greatest video game movie ever made.

We Americans tend to take great foreign film masterpieces like The Raid and dumb them down for general release. But outside of slapping that annoying-as-fuck Redemption at the end of the title for reasons blissfully unbeknownst to me and many others and replacing the old score with a pretty damn great new one by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Joseph Trapanese (who also helped compose two of my absolute favorite movie scores of recent years – Tron: Legacy and Oblivion) there were no major changes made. Thank fuck. For you film score completist nerds the Blu-ray for The Raid contains both scores. I switched over to the original during the movie but couldn’t stand it but for a few seconds. This round goes to good old-fashioned Yankee tinkering.

My advice: go watch The Raid or fuck you. This movie will hit you so hard and so fast and so many wonderful goddamn times that your unborn children will have bruises until they graduate with medical school. Because this movie will make you beat them.

By the way, this movie was directed by a Welshman named Gareth. Your argument is valid. Assholes.

This article reached a thousand words because of this.

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