Sunday, April 8, 2012

Stars - Iko Uwais
           Joe Taslim
           Doni Alamsyah
Directed by:  Gareth Evans
Summary: A SWAT team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs. (via imdb). 
Sometimes a film is billed by word of mouth as something extraordinary. This can be good or bad, but it almost always inevitably sets an expectation one way or the other. And it's often difficult to ...
... look at the movie with fresh eyes because of it. Such was the case for Raid, an Indonesian film that's been making the rounds for some time and building a wave of opinion ahead of it. 
This film was built up for its brutality and heavy action, which it does deliver high doses of both, but it wasn't somehow what I was expecting or possibly desiring. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it for what it was, I was just expecting to be seriously wowed and it fell just short of that for me. The guys I was with, from SlasherCast, had a different experience than I did, so maybe it was just me. I had a slightly disappointed aftertaste from what was otherwise a solid action movie with some serious blood and guts.
OK, spoiler time: be forewarned


So, there were a few minor things that detracted from the movie for me. The first was the use of "shaky cam" style filming in a few sequences where it was not only unnecessary, it was annoying. This wasn't a "found footage" film, nor were the sequences in question purported to be shot on a handheld camera. So why throw it in there? I assume it was to try to provide a more immersive touch to the action, but it didn't work for me. 
The second, which is more nit-picky and minor, but just as distracting, was when one of the characters dies by getting his jugular slit with the remains of a busted fluorescent lamp. Now, it was a cool sequence, and innovative in its thought, and, again, I know how petty and nit-picky this is, but it pulled me out of the scene, because anyone who has had a fluorescent lamp break on them knows, they don't tend to be the sturdiest objects in the world. In my experience, if you so much as burp in their general direction, they shatter into a bajillion pieces (perhaps a bit less) and wouldn't make a good weapon.


Other than that, I felt the performances and the fight sequences were above average to say the least, and some of the deaths were particularly violent and satisfying. 

The score I wanted to give it: a solid and enjoyable 7 -7.5 out of 10.
What it ended up being: a fun but mildly flawed 6.5 - 7

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