Monday, 17 September 2012

Challenge Excepted: Indonesia

Back into Asia . . .

A Welsh director, an Indonesian martial arts star and a tower block of violence, it can only be, The Raid.

It had been recommended by many and I finally goto to watch The Raid. And it was exactly what I had expected.

I'm not one for martial arts based films but I do enjoy a good violent thriller, good guys vs bad guys in a the middle of a massive drug ring or business thing. The set up was great, 20 elite cops trying to invade a tower block controlled by the most violent crime lord.

The story is focused on expectant father and rookie policeman, Rama, who, along with a 20 man SWAT team attempt to infiltrate the building. After the set up what follows is many shoot outs, knife fights and good ld fashioned fighting as the remaining SWAT team climb up higher and eventually reach the top.

As with all films about cops and criminals there are going to be the signature details, such as the corrupt cop, the family connection, the one decent guy to helps the good guys, the climatic show down, death of several henchmen and usually, the down played triumphant end. To be honest some of these elements are very much like the newly released Dredd, but more on that later. While reading about the fim when it was first released I was intrigued (and amused) that the directer, Gareth Evans was from Wales and moved to Indonesia after making a documentary. He had to move all that way to make the films he wanted.

After the success of the film there is no surprise that rumours of sequels began, Evans is already in development. Another rumour, also expected, is that there will be an American remake but with Gareth Evans on as Executive Producer there is some hope. But I really don't understand why the USA has to remake every successful foreign film out there. To remake The Raid would be like remaking Let the Right One In . . . oh wait . . .

Anyway I thought this film really stood out and having to read subtitles every now and then really was not a bother. Having said that, martial art movies still aren't my thing but The Raid is my exception.

The Raid made the cover of Little White Lies, if you can get your hands on a copy, its a good read.

End Line: A tower of guns, blood and welcoming predictable story devices

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