Quint says The Raid is Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13 mixed with Ong Bak! Totally badass! Sundance 2012!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. After hearing so much about The Raid when it played Toronto I have been champing at the bit to finally see the damn movie, knowing full well that at this point it has surely been overhyped.
My first viewing of any footage was when (producer) Todd Brown showed me a sizzle reel of fight stuff on his phone at Fantasia Film Fest last year. I thought it looked great and wasn’t surprised when word out of Toronto was The Raid is one of the most ass-kicking, bone-breaking, knuckle-scraping, tooth-chipping absurdly awesome high octane action movies ever.
That’s some pretty goddamn high praise, my friends, and what can I say? The movie lived up to my expectations.
What’s brilliant about it is it’s such a smartly simple set-up. A SWAT team infiltrates a rundown highrise run by a crime Kingpin. This place is a haven for criminals, a hideaway for druggies, their dealers and the most violent assholes Indonesia has to offer. The team gets stuck and has to fight for survival against a group of desperate criminals that don’t particularly care for cops for some reason.
In another genre this would be a REC-like zombie movie (minus the found footage aspect), but I’m ecstatic to see a straight up old school action flick.
And I mean it when I say this is an old-school action flick. Fuck The Expendables! That wasn’t an ‘80s action movie, that was a modern Millennium film with ‘80s action stars in it. The Raid isn’t a movie trying to ape the style and feel of ‘80s action movies. It just does it. The Raid feels like someone put John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 in a blender with Ong Bak and hit puree!
Iko Uwais is an amazing action star. He’s the white knight in the movie. Most of the other SWAT members aren’t trustworthy or are bullet-sponges. This guy is your perfect action hero. He has a pregnant wife at home, he prays, he’s nice to everybody, he’s professional and courteous, but if you pull a gun or machete on him he’ll stab you in the goddamn throat and push you out an eighth story window. Just see if he won’t!
The movie lulls you in. It doesn’t try to hook you with a big set piece then introduce you to everybody. Instead we see Uwais’ routine, get a glimpse of his home life, before he goes out on the big job. The briefing to the SWAT team is given in the van on the way to the building and the rest of the movie takes place inside. The tension builds to a breaking point and actually tricks you into thinking these guys are on top of the situation, but in reality they get just far enough in to make it impossible to get back out again.
Moving between gunplay to knives, blunt weapons and martial arts, the film never wears out its welcome as it rockets to the finale. There’s only a couple moments of quiet once they’re in the building, other than that it’s pretty much nonstop action.
My personal favorite was the knife fighting, I have to say. Uwais uses his combat knife so well! His fists are so fast that when he stabs or slices he doesn’t just hit you once, he rapid-fire slices and dices. When he stabs a fool, it’s like watching a prison shanking on fast-forward.
I also love the whirlwind use of the nightsticks to break some noses and crack some ribs.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the great henchmen in this film named Mad Dog played by Yayan Ruhian. As is usual in these types of movies, the crime boss himself doesn’t do much actual fighting, but he’s got some vicious underlings and Yayan is the best of them all.
He’s extremely tough, has his own code of honor and rules of conduct and can beat just about anybody fairly and if this was an ‘80s action movie he would have been played by Al Leong (of Big Trouble In Little China, Die Hard and Lethal Weapon fame). He bears a striking resemblance and carries that same kind of unique aura of badassness. See?
Writing about it now gets me even more excited about it. This is the kind of film you will want to watch at least once a year and will show to every single person you are even vaguely friends with who hasn’t seen it.
The thing’s just fun, man. The action choreography is insane, varied and has real impact. It’s the kind of film you’re sure made someone a widow if you know what I mean. Just brutal.
Director Gareth Evans knocked this one out of the park and I can’t wait to see what he has next for us. Whatever it is, I hope it’s as smart, kinetic and the good kind of cringe-worthy that we see in this film.
The film sees theatrical release sometime this year, but I wouldn’t imagine it’s going to be very wide since Screen Gems is currently prepping an English-language remake. I understand why they’d want to do that, but without Gareth Evans onboard they’re going to have find someone special to make this work because so much of the personality of this film comes from Evans’ direction.
It’s pretty insane that Bloody-Disgusting’s Brad Miska and TwitchFilm’s Todd Brown produced two of the best movies to play Sundance this year. We’re entering a weird era when the critics of the last decade become filmmakers of this one. It’s a kind of Geek New Wave that’s fascinating to witness… at least for me!
And that’s my last review written on the ground at Sundance. I fly home this morning, but I will have a good half dozen more reviews for you as well as my interviews with the two leads of John Dies at the End, the director of Save the Date and Frank Langella for Robot and Frank! Stay tuned!
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Jan. 28, 2012, 3:19 a.m. CST
Although, that one might get fucked up by the supposed PG-13 rating. The Raid sounds fun though.
Jan. 28, 2012, 3:41 a.m. CST
If it turns out good, sure. I thought the only thing the first one had going for it was it's over the top brutal action, but since I know Terry Crews doesn't star in The Expendables 2 and it's going to be PG-13 I'm not holding my breath.
Jan. 28, 2012, 4:19 a.m. CST
......According to IMDB.
Jan. 28, 2012, 4:31 a.m. CST
by Shady Drifter
I just had to go and check how a guy called Gareth Evans ended up filming a movie in Indonesia! This guy seems quite original and fascinated by Asian culture, filming his first short in Japanese language and starring Japanese students he met in Cardiff. His first movie seems to be quite brutal from what I read, won some awards but doesn't have quite good reviews. He then was asked to direct a documentary on Indonesian culture... which explains how he ended up filming The Raid there. He's definitely on my radar since guys like this don't come along every day. Really looking forward to watch The Raid. That trailer is total bad-ass!
Jan. 28, 2012, 5:23 a.m. CST
Nice to see a fellow Weshman doing well.
Jan. 28, 2012, 5:48 a.m. CST
Chuck Norris would have been in it...
Jan. 28, 2012, 6:14 a.m. CST
This what happens when the world works together. Ain't it beautiful!
Jan. 28, 2012, 7:45 a.m. CST
...The trailer was dialogue free, which isn't surprising as most of this genre of movie has forgettable cliched dialogue at best. Not the type of movie i rush to see. I love a good action movie; RoboCop, Die Hard, Leon, Gladiator, etc; but violence has to be woved into the story and part of the journey. Today we just have 'torture porn' and 'gorefest' movies just like we had 'video nasties' back in the day. The difference is we knew they were trash back then, now these movies are hyped to be something more than the low brow slash and hack films they really are. But like always, just my opinion, i'm sure a lot of you love this kind of thing.
Jan. 28, 2012, 7:54 a.m. CST
Loved the "When he stabs a fool, it’s like watching a prison shanking on fast-forward" stuff. Very clever...nice writing.
Jan. 28, 2012, 8:29 a.m. CST
...It just gives definition to the target audience. The rating has no value in terms of content effect on the watcher. Kids today are exposed to huge amounts of violence and sex way before they are old enough to see an R rated movie - MW3 is an adult rated game, but play on line and you're surrounded by kids screaming and giggling - the internet is awash with porn and violent clips easily accessable to youngsters. The rating system for movies seem quaint in comparison. I'd rather watch John Carpenters 'The Thing' or 'Silence of the Lambs' than the latest offering by Roth & co. Precinct 13 was a tense low budget movie that was - at the time - genuinely shocking when it depicted the little girl being shot by the ice cream truck. The quiet tone is punctuated by the violencem therefore the violence is more startling. The modern violent movie just tends to repeat scenes over and over, i haven't seen this movie but i'm pretty sure you'll get scene after scene of men hacking at throats/limbs, it becomes so regular that the shock is replaced by the audience becoming immune, or worse, bored by it. L.A. Confidential is a newer fav'of mine, not a particular violent movie but it means that the scene of Kevin Spacey being suddenly shot becomes much more pronounced, and therefore, memorable. Violence in a movie is a great tool, if it serves the story. But, like always, it's just my opinion. And these talkbacks are all about adding opinion.
Jan. 28, 2012, 8:37 a.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
And only about 200 of them any good. Life sucks.
Jan. 28, 2012, 8:39 a.m. CST
The Raid, looks so good that i don't any more that expendables 2 is pg13. This is the action movie of 2012!! Pay attention Sly. I hope Hollywood gives this dude a great movie to work on. Wasn't he on the short list for Die Hard 5? How he didn't that job is beyond me - oh yeah Die Hard 5 is gonna be pg13!!! Great if he could work with THE ROCK or better still Schwarzenegger. Pay attention Sly, i love you man, but i ain't gonna see your flick until it hits blu ray, like a lot of your fans. But i;m gonna see the raid as soon as it hits!!
Jan. 28, 2012, 8:52 a.m. CST
Jan. 28, 2012, 9:39 a.m. CST
by Andrew Quinsatt
GODDAMN, this is my most anticipated movie of 2012, the hype of this thing is fucking crazy!!!
Jan. 28, 2012, 11:06 a.m. CST
Jan. 28, 2012, 11:06 a.m. CST
Jan. 28, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST
Jan. 28, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST
It had a pair of cops who have to fight their way out of a building full of bad guys and the boss's number one henchman was a seriously bad dude with his own code who was named Mad Dog. Hard Boiled ring a bell? Still, I'm looking forward to this.
Jan. 28, 2012, 1:31 p.m. CST
by Anthony Torchia
who meets me once a week to be flogged and fucked like the dog he is! Seriously. Well, sometimes, anyway. Jesus, I need to get laid :p
Jan. 28, 2012, 2:29 p.m. CST
by Urall Luzers
You heard me.
Jan. 28, 2012, 4:15 p.m. CST
god damn that movie was shit
Jan. 28, 2012, 4:33 p.m. CST
What i frankly fear is the Linkin Park guy's music; I'm worried that it's gonna be a distraction. I liked the original music.
Jan. 28, 2012, 4:51 p.m. CST
Who can star in the remake? I say Michael Jai White. votes?
Jan. 28, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST
I wrote it on my blog 3-4 years ago... Hope this and the remake take off can't wait... Loved the staircase TONY JAA pulled off in ONG BAK or was it the PROTECTOR
Jan. 28, 2012, 11:34 p.m. CST
This has been on my list to see since last year but since Screen Gems is doing a fucking remake I might as well just wait to the Indonesian blu-ray hits.
That way, I can get a nice subbed bootleg because this will not becoming to a cinema near me anytime soon. But the fucking remake will. And it'll be PG-13 with Chuck Norris cameo. Chuck Norris needs to have his ass doused with gasoline and set on fire. That cunt should have died years ago.
Jan. 29, 2012, 5:47 a.m. CST
@ el-chopper, thanks for the contribution and advise, but i'll leave the kiddy fiddling to the experts...
.....you. If you can't understand how the rating system for movies has diminished due to the desencitising of violent content in modern entertainment then maybe you should concentrate more on learning about media instead of trying to tar everyone with your own paedo fantasies. Like i always say the talk back is for everyone to add an opinion, if you can't do nothing else than expose your limited vocab' with a tough guy potty mouth then just go join your mother sucking cocks in hell, you get me now sweetheart?
Jan. 29, 2012, 8:25 a.m. CST
hmmm. So you equate "black" as being an insult on the level of "you have a tiny penis" and liking young boys? If that's a revelation of your psyche, thank you very much, I appreciate you clarifying the category of humanity to which you belong. I had wondered. ## For those with working brain cells, however, the question remains: who among current action stars would be good for this role? My nomination stands.
Jan. 29, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST
it was called Die Hard, about a cop stuck in a building full of bad guys
Jan. 29, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST
There's a lot of chopping going on. Are we having chops for dinner?
Jan. 29, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST
The rest of the world treats John Carpenter with the respect reserved for the god of cinema that he is. America treats him as if he's some pestilent desease spreading cancerous bum.
A damn shame!
Jan. 29, 2012, 3:53 p.m. CST
Isn't that what all you talk backers always moan about when action films come out. You know cause the people that "aren't expecting Shakespeare" are apologists.
Jan. 29, 2012, 5:42 p.m. CST
Can be a beautiful thing. Put someone in a bad situation, watch them think/fight/work their way out of it. Perfectly beautiful, when done right. You start with establishing the character, and then the situation, and create vignettes of the people he meets along the way, allowing the situation to deepen as you go. "High Noon" doesn't have much plot, but it's a total classic. All in the execution.
Jan. 29, 2012, 9:26 p.m. CST
by Raptor Jesus
This is not healthy.
Jan. 30, 2012, 9:27 a.m. CST
So 14 year old boys pissed at their parents will love it
Jan. 30, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST
But I guess you felt cool like a 14 year old to throw a stupid barb out there at anybody who doesn't listen to adult contemporary music. What a douche.
Jan. 31, 2012, 3:12 a.m. CST
by Andrew Coleman
I liked the LA Confidential reference. Violence can help build tension and surprise an audience. It's hard to do that with PG-13. Also don't start preaching "What about the story?"... I thought AICN TBers defended movies with "It's suppose to be fun and just a pop corn movie!" when defending Transformers or some other shit. I'm sure thought this films plot will be a classic compared to those pieces of shit "films".
Feb. 2, 2012, 2:25 p.m. CST
I don't know, the writing seems a bit...off
Feb. 3, 2012, 4:36 p.m. CST
The new Judge Dredd film - out Sept - is about Judge Dredd and Psi Judge Anderson stuck in a block against gangs. They go up levels and take on the perps. Sounds very similar to the plot of this film. Dredd is rumoured to be very violent too! Indeed, there is a rumour Dredd 2012 is so violent the producers may be forced to lower its rating to help its box office.
ohh man this sounds awesome..hope i get to see it
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