The Raid: Redemption [Blu-Ray] Gareth Evans

The Raid: Redemption [Blu-Ray] Gareth Evans
America abandoned the action thriller sometime in the mid-'90s in favour of big-budget CGI spectacles. But the last two decades have seen Asian filmmakers pick up where their stateside peers left off. China, Japan and Korea have all had their kick at the can, but now it's Indonesia's turn. The Raid: Redemption is the second feature from Welsh-born, Jakarta-based Gareth Evans, who delivers one of the most taught and kinetic action films of the past few decades. An elite team of police officers are readying to takedown an apartment block run by notorious gangster Tama Riyadi, who's populated the rooms with criminals. The unit's goal is to take down Riyadi without alerting the building's violent residents. Things quickly spin out of control (as they often do in these situations) and soon the team are fighting for their lives within the close confines of the building's cramped hallways and quarters. The Raid plays like a side scrolling videogame, as the surviving members of the team make their way to the 15th floor to take out Riyadi, battling a never-ending supply of thugs brandishing knives, guns and machetes, and that's a compliment. The shots are clean and the action is rarely obscured by shaky camera work or fast edits. Detractors could argue that the film is thin on plot – the handful of semi-fleshed out characters fall into the usual stock action film roles – but that would miss the point. Any film with multiple fight scenes running over five minutes clearly has other objectives in mind. The Blu-Ray includes videoblogs and "making of" featurettes narrated by a sit-down interview with Evans and Linkin Park's DJ Mike Shinoda, who composed the film's score. Then there's Claymation short ClayCat's the Raid, which reimagines the film as a bloody world filled with Claymation cats instead of people. It's a shame Hollywood turned its back on these types of films, as the real-life action and a plot with enough twists to keep viewers on their toes prove there's still plenty of room to manoeuvre within the genre's confines without the need for flashy and expensive effects. (Alliance)