Holy shit. Go see “The Raid: Redemption” now. I went in to this movie just hoping to see a decent action movie and I was blown away. This is exactly what an action movie should be in my opinion. The premise is simple, the table is set for all sorts of ass-kickery and then it all just happens.
I was warned that the violence in this movie was a little over the top, but I actually didn’t find that to be true. It was definitely violent, don’t get me wrong, but most of the action happens quickly and it’s not particularly glorified. The director, Gareth Evans is great at building tension and relieving it.
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He doesn’t make the audience watch a guy get his head bashed in with a hammer, but he makes damn sure the audience is following along with the guy about to get his head bashed in as he sees the “bad guy” grab the hammer and approach him. I don’t need to see the guy get his head bashed in, because I already saw the guy process the fact that he was going to get his head bashed in. That’s far worse.
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As far as action movies go, “The Raid: Redemption” has it all. It literally starts off with guns a’blazing. It’s a SWAT team vs. an apartment building filled with gangsters and they’ve both got a ton of weapons. About halfway through the movie, they run out of ammo and it’s all hand-to-hand combat. I think this is where the movie really shines. The choreography both between the fighters and the camera crew is unbelievable. I dare say flawless. The fights are real, gritty and relentless. You think they’re over and they’re not, and you’re glad that they’re not. It’s like a really great song.
Between this movie and “The Artist”, I’ve come to really appreciate visual storytelling this year. There’s something fascinating to me about making something that can be enjoyed by almost anybody on the planet simply through visuals. Language be damned. Sure, some of the devices used in the movie could be considered pretty cliche, but I didn’t give one fuck about that. This movie is just flat out fun to watch.