To get the boring stuff straight out of the way, we must first explain the plot. We are in Jakarta, Indonesia. A SWAT team consisting of twenty heavily armed are given the job of breaking into a safe house run by one the fearsome gangsters in Jakarta. Getting into the building is not the problem, they do that efficiently and silently. It’s when the SWAT team get discovered on the buildings Seventh floor that all hell breaks loose and The Raid truly begins.
From here-on-out The Raid is a bloodthirsty, hyper-kinetic, thrill-ride of a film. As the residents of the apartment block become aware of the SWAT team it turns into a battle of survival, one which has many casualties. The film’s protagonist, Rama, is young, seemingly inexperienced man who has a wife at home with a baby on the way. These character details feel quite throw-away in the greater scheme of things.
Plot is not integral to what makes The Raid such an entertaining movie. This is a film you watch for the fight-scenes, and boy are they worth watching. When Rama is separated from the rest of his force and without his gun he is forced to use the two weapons he knows he can rely on, his fists.
The fight scenes of The Raid are some of the most memorable in years. The editing is quick but never too quick that it leaves the audience unaware as too who is fighting who. The soundtrack by Mike Shinoda, of Linkin Park fame, is a pounding, energetic thrill by itself. The soundtrack adds to the visceral feel of the whole film leaving the watcher breathless.
The film is well directed by Welsh-man Gareth Evan’s. He manages to keep the quieter moments of the film as tense and thrilling as the louder one’s. The final fight is the only real misstep of the film. It goes on for longer then it needs and could have benefited from a sharper edit.
But nonetheless The Raid is a slick, brutal, thoroughly entertaining film from Evan’s. It is low on both plot and character development but there is time for that on the planned sequel. For now The Raid is exactly what it wants and needs to be.