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A little while ago, a little known Indonesian film, made quite a splatter on the global action scene. That film was The Raid Redemption. As I went through countless reviews, I couldn’t find a single review which spoke poorly about it. Roger Ebert gave it a single star out of four sighting a total lack of script but the box office registers showed otherwise. I was of the opinion that it might just be similar to Shiri which I thought was wonderful and anything near that would make for an engrossing watch.

The Raid Redemption is an out and out action film with almost 80% of the films running time taken up in set pieces leaving almost no room for any charecter development or drama. But then again after sitting through this movie I have very little to whine about. The story is simple. It can only be sighted as an excuse for jumping into the action which is the movies USP and so to speak its heart and soul. A SWAT team of 20 elite commandos is assigned the task of entering a 15 storey building holding within it a ruthless Mob boss and his army of killers and thugs. Their mission is to take down the Mob Boss and bring him out. Once inside the building, the team realises that they are trapped with no way out of the building and with only each other for company. What follows is a grueling one and a half hour of struggle which involves everything form bursting cylinders to machetes, to blood curdling fist fights.

The Raid Redemption is for the action junkies, those testosterone charged hillbillies who would watch a movie sometimes just to see things being blown to bits which includes bodies. The basic plot is set up within the first few minutes of the initial credits and then we are bang in the middle of action. The basic cast involves just one primary charecter in Rama(Iko Owais) who is a rookie in the team and has his own reasons of entering the building which involves a key team member of the Mob Boss.

Now, the most vital question. What makes the action of The Raid Redemption click???. We have seen a number of movies which probably had a fatter budget and even more well known actors but the action in The Raid Redemption has a ferocity about it which has not been seen in recent times. It makes you feel bad and keeps you at the edge of your seat. take for instance the final battle sequence between two key cast members and an almost infallible villain. We know, how the scene is going to end. We know that the baddie will be killed, but the director skillfully stretches the scene a bit longer just to make us believe otherwise. We feel something might go wrong and almost root for the good guys. There are numerous such moments which will really grab your attention and make you feel dizzy.

The Indonesian martial art of PENCAK SILAT is seamlessly interwoven into the action sequences comprising of gunfights and take downs. There is plenty of martial arts action to keep the fans of the genre delighted. The director has done well to remember that the movie involves a SWAT team and gang lord and so there are plenty of gun battles too to keep a hold of sort of the reality. The bottom line is that the action is extremely well done and the proceedings make us just feel that much for the characters which results in making the action sequences meaningful for all we care is to see the good guys safely home to their wives and daughters etc etc.

However, the movie offers very little other than the good looking action interns of drama or storytelling. So people looking for anything more than action should look somewhere else. But for the lovers of action, The Raid redemption is the best bet till now in this year. I had a blast watching this one and would probably watch it a  few more time until it satisfies that almost insatiable taste for action. Go for it only if you are lover of the genre.

Rating : 4/5 (4 out of 5 Stars)


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