Colin Covert, Star Tribune (Minneapolis), Published April 12 2012
Review: ‘Raid’ gets an A for action
West Acres 14
Rated R for strong brutal bloody violence throughout, and language
3 stars out of four
There are by my count 63 individually described fatalities in “The Raid: Redemption” and enough maimings to overwhelm a regional trauma center.
The film is a sort of high-speed demolition derby, except with human actors. It is 100 percent highly concentrated whoop-ass, and it is sensational.
Like Die Hard, it follows the Aristotelian unities of action, place and time, following an Indonesian police SWAT team through an attack on a multistory tenement that houses the scurviest thugs on the archipelago. The battle rages up stairwells, down hallways, into individual apartments, out the windows and back inside again. Through group melees, one-on-one duels and every form of warfare in between, the action pauses only long enough to reload. Yet the film doesn’t stint on character and story. Action star Iko Uwais plays Rama, a handsome, upright young cop who is at the point of the spear. He starts his day by tenderly caressing his pregnant wife and kneeling for his morning devotions before strapping on his tactical assault gear.
The objective is to capture Tama (creepy Ray Sahetapy), a coldblooded drug lord. Amid spattery death by machine gun, machete, stair railing and filing cabinet, there are revelations and complications aplenty. There are stunt set pieces here that will be talked about for years, from a six-minute-long fight scene to battles that burst through walls and even floors. The movie is a kick that will leave your head ringing for days.