I love a good kung fu movie, but things get messy when everyone has guns, knives, and swords. The Raid: Redemption (subtitled in English) has some amazing fighting scenes, but in between these sequences, it gets to be a little much. There isn’t much maming or guts flying, but prepare to watch a lot of people get their necks sliced, get stabbed through the eye, or other disgusting things like that. If slicing and dicing doesn’t bother you at all, you should feel quite at home here. Don’t expect a story though.
There is a plot to The Raid, but it’s mostly a setup. A SWAT team heads into a big apartment building to take out a drug lord who just so happens to be on the top floor. They battle their way to the top and have to fight almost every resident in the building (they’re all addicted to drugs, it seems). The action is exciting and quite original at times. There are moments when you think you could be watching a great Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan movie, but there are a few too many camera cuts for the action to feel quite as visceral as Chan or Lee’s best. Haywire (review) had better action sequences as well, though there are, again, definitely standouts in The Raid.
If you need a kung fu fix, about halfway through the film, the kung fu kicks in (literally), but I must warn you, you have to sit through a lot of gunfights before things get truly exciting and ridiculous.
- Great kung fu in second and third act
- A few really unique battles
- One insane short kung fu guy who is crazy insane
- The story is so bad its literally laughable
- Too many gunfights at the beginning
- Too gory for my tastes a lot of the time (CGI blood sometimes)
- No memorable characters or performances except the crazy-insane guy
- Boring, unthreatening main villain