New To Blu: The Raid - Redemption

I lost count of how many times I had to change my pants due to crapping them throughout the relentless badassery of The Raid: Redemption. There are very few films that I subscribe to the hype over and this is one of them. Typically with these straight laced, testosterone loaded martial arts/action flicks you get the visceral goods, but with a helping of terrible acting and some serious grading of cheese. Films in the same realm such as Ong Bak and The Protector fall to this sad convention, but there's nothing wrong with that. I love both of those films despite their admittedly ridiculous plots and serviceable dialogue (at best). But that is not the case here. Hyperbole such as "best action film of the last decade" are being thrown around as liberally as the face smashing elbows and chest puncturing knife flurries stack on an almost comical body count in this explosive film-- and I can't help myself but to agree with the hype.

This film will put hair on your chest and it's without a doubt one of the best action films I've ever seen.

It's not perfect. It's not a masterpiece. It is, however, a must own for anyone calling themselves an action or martial arts fan. I thought Ip Man was gonna be the best martial arts film we'd see for another decade or more. I wouldn't say The Raid outshines it -- most certainly not -- but where Ip Man has a beautiful and moving story driving the incredible fight scenes, The Raid employs a far more intensely brutal and relentless execution that makes it difficult to keep your jaw from dropping. I challenge you to not squeal with morbid cheer at the suddenness of several of the fatal executions.

Like Black Hawk Down, The Raid has a very basic simple-mission-gone-horribly-wrong theme that focuses on a specific group in a specific setting. The plot is very simple, maybe even formulaic, but strong. The acting isn't remarkable, but it's performed with conviction and, most importantly, the motivations are believable and helps pad the violence with satisfaction.

 My only significant complaint is that two of the later fight scenes don't feature the same slathering of violent surprises that peppered the previous segments. In other words, the fights went from exceptional to pretty damn good. Or maybe I was just getting numb to the unyielding viciousness of it all...?

The Raid is unquestionably a must buy. This is the film you watch on a big ass TV with all your friends and an endless supply of chips and beer. It comes out on blu-ray August 14th. Don't think twice. Take your wallet to the store and pick it up. Your manhood will thank you.