The Raid (2011)

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great action, Mad-Dog

Story and characters sometimes get left behind for fighting

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Raid/The Raid:  Redemption

Studio:  PT. Merantau Films

Genre(s):  Martial Arts/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  September 8, 2011 (Toronto International Film Festival)/January 20, 2012 (Sundance)/March 23, 2012 (Indonesia)

MPAA Rating:  R


Don’t worry…we’ll be home for lunch

Tama Riyadi (Ray Sahetapy) has set himself up as the rule of a high rise apartment building in the slums of Jakarta.  Running his illegal operations through the building, he rents to the criminal underlings who in turn make money for him.  When a raid led by Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno) and Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim) moves in on the building, the officers find they are walking into a trap…and no one knows they are there.  Now, the apartment building has become a prison and the only hope of living is escape.

Directed by Gareth Evans, The Raid was a martial arts action film.  The movie was originally released as The Raid, but then became The Raid:  Redemption over naming rights (the original title was Serbuan Maut or The Deadly Raid).  The film was praised by critics and quickly became a cult hit.


A lot of these guys aren’t getting their deposit back

I began hearing of The Raid and decided to check it out on the positive buzz.  Full of energy, fighting, and gunplay, the movie is an action classic and a lot of fun…light on plot and sometimes a bit hard to follow, The Raid isn’t for everyone.

When Dredd was released in 2012 it got a lot of comparisons to The Raid in regards to its plot.  In fairness to Dredd, Dredd was written and in production before The Raid (and based on an old Judge Dredd storyline).  While I enjoyed Dredd, The Raid pulled it off better and seemed to have more heart (though both were a little cold).

The problem with The Raid is that entering the building, you have a hard time knowing and distinguishing the characters since they are all wearing uniforms.  It takes a lot of the movie (and the death of a lot of them) to get down to the main characters.  They don’t have a ton of dimension and the brother role between Rama (Iko Uwais) and Andi (Donny Alamsyah) seems to come out of nowhere way too deep into the story.


The heroes outnumber the villain and you are still kind of rooting for the villain

The movie however is very kinetic and the fight choreographer does a good job keeping the action straight for viewers.  It is violent, over-the-top, and sometimes quite crazy.  Yayan Ruhian is a stand-out in this sense as the henchman Mad-Dog and steals the show from the other actors with his small size and energy.

The Raid is worth seeking out.  It is a lot of fun and a great action film.  May see it as an almost horror film since it does become a survival film for the characters trapped in the building…almost a zombie picture.  Of course with great foreign movies (especially sci-fi, horror, and action), it has been tossed around for an (unnecessary) American remake.  The Raid was followed by The Raid 2 in 2014.

Related Links:

The Raid 2 (2014)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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