Film review: The Raid (5 out of 5 stars)

(18) 101mins

Monday, 21st May 2012, 10:09 pm

Director: Gareth Evans

Starring: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy

THERE’S not going to be too may times I go to see an Indonesian film with subtitles, written and directed by a Welshman.

But The Raid is just such a beast and as far as action-packed martial arts movies go it doesn’t get any better.

It’s very violent and there are plenty of bodies by the end of the film, but there’s also a gritty realism to the whole movie that gives The Raid that touch of quality absent in other films of this kind.

Gareth Evans masterminded the project and he shows an excellent eye for camera angles and making the most of self-imposed restrictions.

His story sees a raid by police on a block of flats run by a local gangster.

However, the cops are hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned.

Among the rookie cops is Rama (Uwais) for whom this raid is personal.

Uwais is quite incredible and his fight sequences are exhausting.

In fact, the hand to hand punch-ups are literally breath-taking.

What adds to the film, though, is some excellent acting from the gangster boss (Sahetapy) and even some of the smaller roles are treated with good casting.

Evans doesn’t let the action go off the boil for any length of time, but the audience still has time to enjoy the plot and get a grip on the main characters.

I can’t imagine there will be an action film to top this in the near future, but if you’re not a fan of flying fists, bullets and blood then give it a miss.

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley

Steve Payne