Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own local movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy!
High Desert Daily
(Victorville) When heading to the movie theater, you often want an escape: whether it be in the form of fantasy, action, horror, comedy, drama, or any other genre you can think of. Often that escape comes with a good dose of violence, as many tend to flock to films that have a good blend of bloodshed and hand to hand combat. With The Raid-Redemption, the audience is treated to this and much more.
The Indonesian film, which features English subtitles, comes to the silver screen from Welsh Director Gareth Evans. The film follows what seems to be a simple premise: rookie officer Rama (Iko Uwais) leaves his wife and unborn child to go on a dangerous raid of a massive building belonging to crime lord Tama (Ray Sahetapy). Rama is one of twenty SWAT officers who go in to bring down the crime lord, but that is not so simple. Tama has been housing some of the most dangerous people around, housed level after level in this stronghold, all with a hate for the police. It will take a lot of bullets, blood and hand-to-hand combat to reach their goal, if they can even do so.
The film features some of the best cinematic violence I have ever seen. Let it be said from the beginning, this is not a film for those squeamish around blood. Violence not only comes in the form of hailstorms of bullets, but also as some of the most impressive martial arts to be displayed on the big screen. The Indonesian martial arts form Pencak Silat takes center stage, and is it ever exhilarating. The high-speed punches and kicks, plus the use of weapons and small confined hallways is nothing short of spectacular. Actor Iko Uwais shows the world something that we haven’t seen in a major release film in some time: what an action film should be about, the action.
Now, this is technically considered an action film, but there are some very noticeable signs of survival horror as well. The tension, the feeling of defeat, it all creeps in to the audience’s mind, fully immersing us in this drab but stylish world. An aspect of the film that helps in creating that feeling is the score, which for the United States version is done by Mike Shinoda, known for being in the band Linkin Park. The score builds the tension perfectly, making moments in the film feel like your heart is beating on double and triple time.
Easily the best action flick in recent memory, The Raid-Redemption should be a requirement for any fan of the action flick genre. It is easy to see why a sequel has already been committed through Sony, and why an American remake is in the works.
Only in theaters for a limited time, make sure you go and see this perfect example of an action flick done right.