A group of Special Forces unit has entered into an apartment complex with the sole purpose of dragging out the drug lord who is cooped up in the top story floor. When things turned sour the tenants are ordered to kill the cops. Rama (Iko Uwais) is seeing his comrade’s fall one by one and now must make his way out, but the way out is nearly impossible to reach. In an effort to survive, Rama must move make his way up in what turns to be a fight for survival.
For the past months I had been eagerly waiting for the release of The Raid. The was plenty to read about and plenty of praise from many different outlets that it was hard for Asian cinema enthusiast not to be excited. Now that I’ve had an opportunity to watch the film, boy did it meet and exceed my expectations. The Raid was an adrenaline filled action thriller like I have never seen before. So everything that was written all over the net regarding the movie prior to its Blu-ray release was spot on. There was a small ramp up time, but before you know it the action began and it simply never let up. Moment after moment of incredible choreographed action passed by and with each sequence I just couldn’t help but to enjoy the oh sweet violence. I am not one to simply enjoy violence without little of everything else, but The Raid just took it to a whole new level.
The Raid contained some of the most memorable and shocking moments I’ve seen in martial arts movie in a while, it is just simply brutal and unapologetic, did I mention that it was extremely violent already? Mind you, there is no complexity with the story, it is very straight forward and you can see the ending a mile away. However, with everything that happens before it gets to the twist at the end, it just simply doesn’t matter. If you truly just watched the 75 minutes of close quarters fighting then the ending is just a good rest. I thought I knew action movies, but this just re-writes the genre. The bad guys were scary, especially Mad Dog and what ensues when he gets down to the action is simply unforgettable!
The movie is far from perfect and to be honest you must leave your brain at the door. The Raid: Redemption is not filled with a complex or a touching story; it is a full-fledged relentless action movie. If you are looking for something more then look elsewhere, but if action is your thing, boy a you up for a treat! The acting is bland and sometimes questionable, but we are not hoping for an Academy Award for this right? It is an action film and that’s all that it is aiming for.
The Raid: Redemption has arrived on Blu-ray with 1080p MPEG4-AVC encode framed at 1.78:1. I had higher hopes for a better transfer for The Raid: Redemption, but even with the few complaints that I have I still feel that it looks great for what it appears a low budget film. The film is most dark so black levels are good for the most part, but they are inconsistent in a few shots. The CGI seems to benefit a lot from dark theme as it doesn’t become an eye sore. Colors are good throughout, but the darkness takes away from them. Detailing is good in various lighted scenes, but is far from exceptional. A few shots do appear to contain too much softness in the picture. The good thing is that the image doesn’t appear to have anomalies like artifacting or banding and it remains consistent. The movie doesn’t feature an excellent transfer, but it’s far from being “bad”.
The Raid: Redemption arrives on Blu-ray with a Indonesian/Bahasa and English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless tracks. I am fair believer that if you watch a foreign film it must be watched in its original language. A voice over track will only take away from the real experience. Anyway, the track is excellent; it keeps everything at a minimum during non-action moments, but picks up with incredible power when the action starts. The gun fights are exceptional as viewers will hear the bullets buzzing through the soundstage. The punching, slashing, stabbing features so real brutal and accurate reproduction from the speakers it just a joy. The rears feature good activity once the action starts and the bass provides excellent support. I would say The Raid sounds great all around.
Commentary with Writer/Director Gareth Evans – The track is actually very entertaining and every fan of the film should take the time to listen to it. Gareth Evans does a good job breaking down the movie and has a good charisma. It’s definitely time well spent.
Behind the Scenes Video Blogs – There’s a total of 6 video blogs that feature different topics. The list of them are below:
Blog 1: Boot camp
Blog 2: Set Location, Camera & Lighting, Make up & Special Effects
Blog 3: Courtyard, Hole Drop
Blog 4: Drugs Lab, Tama’s Office
Blog 5: Machete Gang & Corridor, Jaka vs. Mad Dog
Blog 6: Post Production
An Evening with Gareth Evans, Mike Shinoda & Joe Trapanese – This piece appears to be a Q&A of sorts, the three participants answer questions and give their thoughts to the audience.
Behind the Music Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese talk about the challenges behind creating the score for The Raid.
An Anatomy of a Scene – Director Gareth Evans breaks down the “Hole drop” and how he came up with it. Very cool piece!
In Conversation with Gareth Evans and Mike Shinoda Hard Shoot – This one seems to be almost like a quick ad type featurette. The two participants break down 4 different topics based on the movie and it features clips of the film.
Inside the Score – This is an advertisement of sort for The Raid featuring music from the film.
Claycat’s The Raid – Allow a bunch of clay cats give you their version of The Raid.
THE RAID TV show ad (circa 1994) – Watch a trailer for an old Japanese anime version of The Raid.
UltraViolet Digital Copy
The Raid: Redemption was carrying a lot of hype, luckily it fully delivered. It’s not meant to be anything other than an over the top extremely violent action movie and anyone expecting anything other than that should really look elsewhere. The Raid featured fantastic choreographed fight sequences and action that I haven’t seen in years. The movie really makes some of the recent American action flicks look like total child’s play. The Raid is not trying to be something it is not and that’s what makes it even better. The video transfer could of been better, but the low budget could of been the culprit. The audio is stunning once the action picks up. The Blu-ray is jammed packed with supplements so fans can keep their seats once the credits roll. If you are an action fan, then this is a no brainer.