Gareth Evans / Indonesia/USA / 2011 / 101 min
A SWAT team find themselves locked down in one of the most dangerous buildings in Jakarta, in Gareth Evans’ The Raid, an exhilarating and claustrophobic Indonesian martial arts action movie. This second film from the Welsh director after 2009’s Merantau reunites him with his star, Iko Uwais, in this taught, tense and towering feat of action filmmaking.
Headlined with some breathtaking footage of Pencak Silat, the name given to Indonesian martial arts, The Raid is a truly matchless film that takes our conceptions of martial arts and rips them apart. This film is witty and atmospheric but most of all, it’s entertaining. While it must be noted that the level of violence on screen is as frequent and deadly as its execution and power is impressive, the response to Evans’ second film has been almost universally positive; it has earned standing ovations at film festivals, including the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and the FrightFest Weekender at the Glasgow Film Festival earlier this year. While its violence may not be for everyone, The Raid represents a new directon for martial arts action films that will be very important for everyone in the industry.
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