Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Doni Alamsyah, Iko Uwais, Ray Sahetaphy, Joe Taslim, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno, Tegar Satrya, Iang Darmawan
Written by: Gareth Evans
Directed by: Gareth Evans
MPAA Rating: R for strong brutal bloody violence throughout, and language
Language: Indonesian, with English subtitles
Running Time: 101
Date: 09/08/2011
IMDB

The Raid: Redemption (2012)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Killing Floors

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

"Clever" may not be the right word for The Raid: Redemption, but it's certainly economical, compact, and potent. Writer/director Gareth Evans -- who was born in Wales and now makes movies in Indonesia -- has come up with a good idea for a single-setting story, taking place over the course of one day, allowing for more focus on fighting.

Rookie cop Rama (Iko Uwais) prepares for a day on the job as a member of a special-forces team: their mission is to infiltrate a fifteen-story industrial apartment building and extract a sinister crime lord (Ray Sahetaphy). But when the team is spotted and the alarm is sounded, every resident of the building -- a collection of thieves and killers -- tries to destroy them. Rama finds himself alone, with only his martial arts skills to protect him. But things get more complicated when he tries to protect a wounded colleague, and -- even more shocking -- when he discovers the identity of the crime lord's right-hand man. It all comes down to a brutal fight with the aptly-named Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian).

The concept of the floors growing ever more dangerous as they get higher, with escape only on the bottom floor, is intriguing, and Evans brilliantly uses the look and feel of the dirty concrete and graffiti to emphasize menace. He often gets the camera close to the action, which sometimes has a potent, visceral effect, but sometimes gets a little too close; there's some off-kilter shakiness and some routine filmmaker's tricks that can distract from the experience. Ultimately, the movie is too purposefully violent for kids, and the "redemption" of the title never really comes into play (no one is redeemed).

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