DVD Review: The Raid - Redemption

As much as I love great character development and a good story, sometimes it must all be put aside for one ass kicking ride. Such is The Raid: Redemption.

When a SWAT team is assigned to take down a crime lord in his own high rise apartment slum, things go awry when the team's quickly discovered and turns into the target of every low-life tenant of the building. As their numbers dwindle, the few remaining cops become trapped and must fight their way out, all while being hunted by the crime lord's thugs and mercenaries.

There isn't much plot to The Raid, but it does provide just enough to justify the nearly 100 minutes of pure adrenaline action. The film boasts some truly amazing fight sequences, enough to satisfy any action junkie's addiction. Though, if not in the right mood, or not a fan of violent action to start, the multiple extended scenes of hand-to-hand combat could easily feel tedious.

Of course, the film provides a main hero to root for in the form of Rama (Iko Uwais), who is merely set up as a young cop with a pregnant wife. However, it is soon discovered that he is the ultimate badass as he defeats a crowd of bad guys all by himself, and more than once. As the film progresses, attempts to develop his character further are made, some of which work, but also some of which feel extremely cliched. In the end it doesn't matter, because no one is watching The Raid looking for a flawed hero or misunderstood villain.

The Raid: Redemption (who was being redeemed, again?) may have more or less stock characters and a paper thin plot, but it offers exactly what it advertises. Anyone hoping for something else will be sorely disappointed.


  1. (Possible Spoilers) I think maybe the redemption was for Andi? I think that was his name.

    I might be in the minority for this flick, but I actually really liked the story. I know nobody is gonna talk about the story in a movie like this, but I thought it was strong in comparison to what it could have been (and having seen this director/actor combo's previous effort--Merantau--it could have been *a lot* worse).

    1. I considered Andi being the one "redeemed" and you may well be right. It just seems silly to me to make that part of the title for what is essentially a supporting character and not the main guy.

      And don't get me wrong, I liked to the story too. It was enough to justify the action but not half-assed nor overly complex. I guessed the relationship between Rama and Andi in a heartbeat, so that was the most cliched it got for me, but I still enjoyed it.

  2. Hi, Rachel!

    I found your review while scouring the web for the perspectives of other bloggers.

    I also agree with Nick:
    (Possible spoilers ahead!) I believe that the redemption may have been for Andi, but Andi chose not to take it, saying he belonged in the dark as Rama belong in his uniform, because "it fits".

    I'm just throwing another theory out there, but it could also have been the potential redemption of the SWAT team. But not everyone is redeemed, because not all of them make it out. I'm basing my theory on the part of the story when it was revealed that the mission was not sanctioned by the department. Because there was no back-up support (due to the department not knowing), this put the whole team in even greater danger, and Lieutenant Wahyu (who we later find out orchestrated the raid out of personal interest) was responsible. The team had to save themselves from their own crooked leader. As a result, many of them perished, leaving only Rama and Bowo as the redeemed in the end.

    Great post! Indeed, it was a kick-ass film.

    1. Thanks for your take, Maria! I certainly hadn't thought of the team being the one redeemed.

      Upon reflection, I wonder if it might Rama. In the beginning, Bowo (I think) mentioned looked down on Rama for just being a rookie on the team, but it was that "rookie" that saved Bowo and took down almost 30 stories of bad guys.

      I find it interesting that there can be several takes on this point for a film that at first seemed like a purely fun action flick.


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