Let’s face it: Mondays suck, that’s why the good folks at Rooster Illusion decided to give me a column every week to talk to you about the most tits-awesome stupid action movies.
I thought I’d start with a recent movie this week because honestly, from here on out it’s all down hill. Nothing reviewed this column has ever won any sort of award.
Let’s do this:
The Raid (Gareth Evans, 2011)
The Raid (also known as The Raid: Redemption in US markets) is an Indonesian action flick by a Welsh director that swept the Toronto International Film Festival centering on a SWAT team assaulting the hideout of a ruthless crime kingpin located in the penthouse of an apartment complex teeming with the most ruthless killers and criminals. The operation goes according to plan until the team is seen by a young lookout who raises the alarm before he is shot and killed. The whole building is out to kill the officers who have only one choice- fight. Oddly enough, I didn’t know the name of the protagonist the entire time I watched the film. In fact, the only two names I knew were of the SWAT leader, Jaka, and the crime lord’s right hand man, Andi, who I liked to pretend was Andy from Toy Story.
There’s not a whole lot to the film plot-wise. But if you pop in a kung-fu movie hoping to get a sprawling narrative you need sit down and rethink your life. The Raid isn’t about character arcs, or complex plots or imagery, it’s about Indonesians straight up wrecking shit and kicking ass. That’s not to say that the movie is completely void of all plot structure, there are a few twists here and there to complicate matters, but really they’re just the short buffers/prologues to the massive fight scenes.
Usually I like to watch foreign films in their natural language with subtitles on. It’s nice to hear the original actors voices and intonation. That being said, if you check out The Raid: Redemption, I heavily recommend watching it in English for clarity’s sake because I watched this with subtitles on the first time through:
“What does that even mean?”
“How? What? Why would you do that?”
“No. Stop. Go back, what was that?”
“Okay, yeah, that I agree with.”
Admittedly, the English voice acting is absolutely goddamned atrocious but it’s really the gratuitous schlock that makes the movie so enjoyable and at least you can decipher what the hell is going on.
I’ll admit, coming into this film, I had no idea what Indonesia was like but this movie taught me a few things, culturally. For instance:
- Did you know that every single occupant of Indonesia is a stone-cold badass?
- Did you also know that Indonesians can’t naturally bend at the waist?
The Raid: Redemption has some of the coolest (and brutal) fight scenes I have ever seen and gives a brief look in to the Indonesian martial art Pencak silat.
I mean, Check out this shit:
FUCKING HELL! I’m pretty sure a few of those guys were just trying to use the bathroom!
All in all, I’d say that I recommend checking out The Raid: Redemption. It’s a pretty terribly-acted movie, but it’s a ton of fun and not a bad way to burn through 100 minutes. The fight scenes are gruesome and brutal but some of the most fucking rad ones I’ve seen in a good long time
Join me next week as I sit down with a six-pack of Yuengling and check out the 1986 Sly Stallone film COBRA