CRITIQUED: THE RAID: REDEMPTION

Ever watched a movie trailer, and felt utterly duped and disappointed when everything exciting in that trailer was either left out of the final cut, or so significantly altered it looked nothing like what drew you to the film in the first place? Well, we’re happy to inform you that no such shenanigans will be happening here for The Raid: Redemption. In fact, we urge you to watch the trailer for this Indonesian independent film—not to entice you into seeing it, which it will—but to inform you that the film actually exists. This picture flew so under the radar that unless you visited a film festival or heard about it through word of mouth to catch the trailer on YouTube or IMDb, you’d have thought it was just another overdone reject of a horror movie. And oh, would you be wrong.

Not many words can describe the overall feeling we got leaving the viewing of this shoot-‘em-up martial arts masterpiece. The one word we can use, though, is this: awesome. From start to finish this movie threw convention out the window and replaced it with 101 minutes of Iko Uwais. A nationwide champion of Indonesian traditional martial art Silat, which he has been practicing since the age of 10, Uwais is a tour de force in this film, taking on all comers with such controlled frenzy and even-keeled conviction you want to sympathize with him for having to display a gamut of emotions in such a short time, while yelling at the screen for more, more, more. The fight sequences in this film (choreographed by Uwais as well) are breathtaking, brutal and at times overwhelming to watch, so be sure to keep your eyes glued open as the scenes unfold. Kudos goes to writer/director Gareth Evans, who has a knack for understating scenes, leaving it to the actions of the characters to tell the story. Unbelievable how this film has been reported to cost only $1.1 million to make as well!

We can also thank the fine folks at Sony Pictures Classics for picking up this film for worldwide distribution. Though it is currently in limited release in the United States and due for release over the next month across the globe, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to watch that trailer over and over again and wait in anticipation of this phenomenal action picture. We highly recommend it.

The Raid: Redemption is slated for worldwide release on March 23rd.

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