Worst Neighbors EVER!

THE RAID: REDEMPTION (2012)  Director: Gareth Evans  Starring: Iko Uwaris, Joe Taslim, Piere Gruno, Ray Saheptapy  Rating: Unrated, but lots of graphic violence with guns and kung fu fighting. 

I’m in a sharing kind of mood today. So before we begin this review, let me tell you a little something about myself.

For 15 years I lived in New York City in a neighborhood known as Hell’s Kitchen. The apartment building I called home for that time was a decent place to live.  There was heat in the winter, cool breezes in the summer, and the Wi-Fi signals were easy to steal. My neighbors kept to themselves and weren’t a nuisance, except for the guy on the second floor who smoked more marijuana than the entire Rastafarian nation. There was no elevator and my apartment was on the fifth floor, but I loved climbing all of those stairs every day, and the years of exercise made my thighs rock hard and buttocks taut but supple.

I’ve shared too much. And now it’s awkward.

Anyhoo, my time in a big city apartment building was generally pleasant and relatively uneventful, which is not the case for the poor blokes living in the Jakarta high rise featured in The Raid: Redemption. 

Imagine you’re trying to get to the basement to do a load of laundry when a all of a sudden a bloody war breaks out in the hallway between a heavily armed drug cartel and an invading SWAT team. Bullets are flying, people are dying, and you just know if you don’t get to the dryer fast enough some impatient jerk is going to dump your nice clean clothes on the floor. It’s always something, isn’t it?

The Raid: Redemption opens with an elite SWAT team preparing to assault a rundown apartment building. Their mission: capture vicious crime boss Tama (Ray Sahetapy) who is holed up inside and take out his drug lab, which is probably a violation of his lease agreement.

Newbie SWAT team member Rama (Iko Uwaris) is concerned about the raid because he’s a good cop. His superiors Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim) and Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno) aren’t concerned because they checked off the “I’m a careless jerk who will get men killed” box on the police officer application form.

Rama’s fears are proven correct when the team is ambushed about three seconds into the raid by Tama’s machine gun toting thugs, who basically control the building. Tama promises free rent for life to anyone who wipes out the last remaining cops, which is a good deal because I saw on House Hunters International  that decent apartments in downtown Jakarta controlled by a drug kingpin are very hard to come by.

It’s up to Rama and the handful of survivors to fight their way to safety. Luckily Rama has a few tricks up his sleeve, like an advanced degree in Pencak Silat, which is an Indonesian martial art, and not an appetizer at Panda Express. Soon Rama is kicking the heck out of every machete wielding creep he encounters. The bad guys also know a little Pencak Silat, but in keeping with the tradition of highly choreographed martial arts movies, they attack our hero one at a time so he can dispatch them in spectacular fashion.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. The Raid:Redemption is a slickly filmed action extravaganza with some kick ass ass kicking. Seriously, there is lots of kicking in this movie. If I wasn’t 100% sure I’d dislocate my groin, I’d give it two kicks way up. Watch it with someone you want to kick as soon as possible.

Oh I almost forgot: this movie is in Indonesian with subtitles, so there will be some reading involved. And don’t be so darn stubborn – put on your reading glasses! That’s why you bought them!

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About Tom Levier

Tom is a New Jersey native who lived in New York City for a while, and is now back in the Garden State. He is creator and writer of Central Park: A Misguide, DVD Critics Corner!, and The Gallows. Please read, comment on, and subscribe to his blogs. It would make him very happy. When not writing, Tom enjoys making jewelry and other handmade items for his shop Cold Garage Creations. Check out his shop on Etsy! https://www.etsy.com/shop/ColdGarageCreations

Posted on September 2, 2012, in Action Movies, Crime Drama, DVD, Humor, Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix, Reviews, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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