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The Raid - movie review
Release date: 18 May 2012
Director: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslin, Yayan Ruhian
What's the story?
An Indonesian SWAT team find themselves trapped in a 30-storey tower-block filled with the city's toughest criminals. There's only one way out... Fight, fight, fight!
What did we think?
Every so often, a movie drops out of nowhere and hits you like a shot of adrenaline. The Raid is that movie. Lean, inventive, relentless and spectacularly brutal, this smash-and-grab action thriller could be the most jaw-popping fight movie of last 10 years.
Pumped with blood and adrenaline, the videogame narrative is just a thrilling daisy-chain of explosive set pieces: swapping hails of machinegun fire, escaping a room using a fridge and a gas canister; hiding behind a wall that's skewered by machetes and surges of breathtaking hand-to-hand hallway combat.
Guns thunder, blades rip, fists, feet and elbows crash, bones snap, blood spatters... Showcasing an Indonesia fighting style called 'Silat', hero Iko Uwais and a squad of cops desperately battle for survival through 30 floors of heavily armed thugs. Uwai leads the charge with concussive balleticism, but the superbly inventive choreography and camerawork proves it was shot by someone who genuinely understands martial arts.
That man is Welsh-born filmmaker Gareth Evans, whose lens finds fresh angles on the ultraviolence as the battle shifts vertically and horizontally through hallways, floors, doors and ceilings. There's not much else here - genre themes of honour and brotherhood provide enough irrelevant narrative traction - and not much else needed.
Dazzling and visceral, Evans' movie wants to hit you as hard as it can - as many times as it can.
Verdict: The best fight movie in years.
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