Indonesia's latest entry into the horrifically inventive world of Asian action/horror films is about to hit cult status: The Raid (Evans, 2011) is getting some very excited ink, including this glowing review of the TIFF screening from Hollywood Reporter:
Audiences will be scrambling to find enough compound adjectives to describe Gareth Huw Evans hard-driving, butt-kicking, pulse-pounding, bone-crunching, skull-smashing, blood-curdling martial arts siege movie, The Raid. “Squeezing a trigger? That’s like ordering takeout,” scoffs one particularly psychotic killing machine when faced with the choice of using a gun or his lethal fists and feet. The director is similarly disdainful of swift execution, instead favoring the adrenaline rush of sustained pummeling.
More on the film:
In the opening scene, rookie cop Rama (Uwais) puts in time on his prayer rug and on his workout. Both are good insurance for the ordeal he is about to face. Kissing his pregnant wife, he heads out with a SWAT team on an ill-planned mission to bring down sadistic underworld kingpin Tama (Ray Sahetapy), who rules over a seedy population of thugs, criminals and junkies from his headquarters in a fortress-like Jakarta tenement block. While Evans has little use for character establishment, he introduces Tama calmly snacking on noodles before icing a lineup of bound-and-gagged rival gang members, playfully switching to a hammer when he’s out of bullets.
As soon as the cops get past the outer defense barriers Tama deploys his goon squad, as he monitors the entire building via closed-circuit surveillance cameras and a PA system. Most of the 20-member SWAT team are pulped before they know what hits them, leaving only a handful of men to weigh the choice of survival or the near-certain suicide of proceeding to the 15th floor to get the man they came for.