Friday, July 20, 2012

The Raid: Redemption

The Raid: Redemption

Directed by Gareth Evans

As far as action movies go, The Raid: Redemption is one of the best ones you'll find. To view it as anything else would be a massive mistake.

This is an action movie, plain and simple. I want to make this perfectly clear. You couldn't make the mistake of placing this into any other genre even if you tried. From the start of the movie to the very end, the action is virtually non-stop. Does it ever grow tiresome, or wear out its welcome? Miraculously, it does not. Part of this is due to a significant change in the style of action it goes with almost halfway through. What happens when the guns run out of ammo? No, the answer is not "more ammo magically appears out of nowhere". They drop the guns, and start beating each other with anything and everything they can get their hands on -- which often includes weapons of . To call this movie "brutal" would be a massive understatement.

Things which are usually crucial elements of a movie - such as dialogue, plot and character development - take a backseat to the intensity of events happening at that very moment. That is not to say there is no story, or characters at all, but the specifics and depth is never fully explored. But it doesn't need to be. We're given characters, a setting, and a reason for them to be there. That's enough. If you can't see the merit in an action movie this straight-forward in nature, that's your loss. I have great respect for the fact that the filmmakers knew exactly what this movie was, and without trying to make it appear as something different, fully committed to it. And ever more so, the fact that they pulled it off so well. For a movie containing this insane amount of action, I found it quite refreshing how few times they gave the characters breaks to deliver cheesy one-liners after a kill, as they love to do so often. No, not in this movie. They fight, they kill, and they move on.

The way they used music in this movie was excellent. Not on its own - for I inherently find dubstep idiotic as a musical style - but how well it was utilized in the context of the movie. The way they use it to build tension and during action sequences was incredible. No, the score isn't entirely composed of dubstep, but the parts in which it was used was so well-suited to what was happening on-screen, I couldn't picture any other type of music being used. But that's how this whole movie was to me. I don't usually like wall-to-wall action, lack of character development, story, and dialogue, but somehow they made it all work. Maybe I was just in the perfect mood for this when I watched it, but either way, this was an amazing experience.

Does it have its flaws? Absolutely. I wouldn't even try to convince you otherwise. And it's certainly not the kind of movie that I would expect everyone to like. But that doesn't change the fact that this is among the coolest, most exciting action movies I've ever seen and, as it stands, my favorite movie of the year.

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