August 28, 2012

Tuff Fest II: The Raid (2011)

Hey cool kids, I'm back with another post from my Tuff Fest series.
Simul-posted here: The Movie Advocate

The Raid is a simple movie: 20 cops ascend the floors of highrise that acts as the center of operations for the town's biggest Crime Lord.  That's all right there on the poster, and that's pretty much all you need to know.  But, like any good story, you don't necessarily need an awful lot of complexity.  What you need are good, engaging characters, and a believable, enticing conflict.  Well shoot if The Raid doesn't completely deliver on those points.

The thing that makes The Raid special is the action.  Any fan of unusual, unique tactical gun fights, and unpredictable, breathtaking martial arts absolutely needs to see this movie.  The movie brings to mind several other recent classics from the genre, namely The Protector, but also others from various other genres, such as Attack the Block and La Horde.

The latter two examples come to mind almost exclusively because a majority of the action occurs in the same confined world of a highrise apartment building, with our protagonists slowly stalking the halls, searching for some semblance of safety. The paranoia and anxiety are almost palpable in these two movies, and The Raid is no different.  Every level they climb, the further we delve into the story's (somewhat) intricate web of betrayal and social commentary.

Plus the fights are completely bad ass.  But that maybe goes without saying.  I think with martial arts movies, people try to justify their enjoyment of them by attempting to give more focus to the story, as though that would make them seem more high-brow.  But let's not kid ourselves people: This movie is about fighting, with guns and with fists, and I'm here to say that it is some of the best, most surprising fighting I've seen in a movie in a long time.

If all of this doesn't convince you that this movie is fairly awesome, maybe you'll be convinced by the facts that there is a US remake in the works, there's an Indonesian sequel in the works, and the new Judge Dredd movie, so far, appears to be a direct rip-off.  This movie shook up a lot of people who make movies, for one reason or another, and I think there's a good reason for that.

Over all, this movie is just darn fun to watch.

-Luke Hunter James-Erickson

p.s. Oh yeah, I should also mention that it was foolishly re-titled "The Raid: Redemption" a few weeks prior to it's American/Indonesian release.

To see all the movies written about so far, click here: Tuff Fest II
To see all the movies written about during Tuff Fest I, click here: Tuff Fest I 
For an explanation as to what this is all about, click here: Tuff Fest Introduction.

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