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The Raid: Redemption

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So, I watched what I'd been told was the greatest action movie in years last night.

Someone on FB asked for my thoughts and I responded:

"Well, it's not a movie that's interested in provoking... you know... thoughts. It's a long exhibition of hand-to-hand combat scenes and stunt scenes in which human bodies are battered and beaten and bloodied and gored in ways that seem both real and simulated. It's like "Die Hard" turned up to "11" with all of the character development and nuance and humor and sense of pacing subtracted. I was so bored so fast that I worked on blog maintenance for 3/4 of the movie and only occasionally paused to really admire the choreography of a fight. But no, this stuff's not for me."

I'm curious: Did anybody here join the chorus singing its praises? Did I miss something? Other than the acrobatic martial arts and simulated back-shattering falls, what's to admire here? For me, you need more than great fighting for a great action movie.

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I put the DVD on last week and lasted 20 minutes. Returned it the next day without a trace of regret. (With apologies to Leary, who wanted me to watch this back-to-back with Miss Bala. I tried.)

Edited by Christian

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(By the way, I thought sure we had a thread for this already, but searches for "Raid" and "Redemption" failed to bring it up.

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Yeah, I looked for a thread last week to post my thoughts, couldn't find one and didn't want to launch one just to say, "I got through 20 minutes of it."

But you took care of that, Jeff! :)

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I can't say I've been interested in seeing this. I don't mind violent action thrillers, but still getting used to the idea of foreign movies with subtitles and also an action movie (forgive me my cultural ignorance, I'm from the deep hills of Arkansas). But now at least I have a better excuse than that. And I can't even really use it as an excuse since I love Hero, and House of Flying Daggers, etc.

Edited by Taliesin

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I don't mind violent action thrillers, but still getting used to the idea of foreign movies with subtitles and also an action movie (forgive me my cultural ignorance, I'm from the deep hills of Arkansas).

When in doubt, stick to John Woo's Chow Yun-fat films ... or Bruce Lee's early 1970s films ... or Sonny Chiba.

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Some of my action movie buff friends loved this, so I'll eventually get around to it. But I've also heard, from these same people, that the DVD/Blu-Ray release was absolutely atrocious. Like, worst transfer they've ever seen. I doubt a good transfer would make someone like Jeff or Christian like it, but it is making me wary to approach the movie just now.

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The wife and I liked this one. I actually laughed out loud several times because the action was so creatively brutal. At the end of the day, the film may be nothing but really good martial arts, but that ain't necessarily nothing.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Saw this one in theaters with friends. Was expecting something more, plot wise. He fighting was fantastic, but I could have just continued to watch the trailer on repeat if that's all I wanted.

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In my movie journal I gave it 5.0/5 for the incredible choreography, and 1.0/5 for character development. Overall 2.5/5 rating. Definitely a film whose trailer was greater than the final product. I have a feeling if I were to watch it again, the overall rating would slip some more.

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I saw it, was impressed by the choreography. It reminded me of back when I was a huge fan of watching Jackie Chan movies. But the difference is that in his films, Jackie was such an engaging presence that his humanity offset the violence. This film was suffocating in its darkness.

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That is well put, Crow. This is a desperate film.

Agreed. I thought the inclusion of "Redemption" in the title to be ironic, because there's not a whole lot of redemption going on unless you count the willingness of main character's brother to help him... right before returning back to the dark side.

I'm glad I saw the movie and I enjoyed it, but I don't disagree with many of the criticisms leveled at it. I don't really feel any pressing need to see it again and again.

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I had high hopes for this based on some of the stuntwork I glimpsed in the trailer, but aside from a handful of creative set-pieces, it was a huge disappointment. More than that, it was exhausting to watch, mainly because there're very few pauses for anything like character development, and all but one of the best sequences are in the first half of the film. I like to think I have a soft spot for this kind of macho-violent stunt-focused action film (Hard-Boiled is one of my favorite anythings), but I was similarly disappointed/exhausted watching Ong Bak, another film sold mainly on its stuntwork and the physical prowess of its lead (and which, for all its silliness, has a better sense of structure and character). Just nothing in the film worth revisiting, even if I watch the trailer a few more times. That said, those few set-pieces have some great ideas in them. I think Gareth Huw Evans could make a truly great action film, but maybe only if he lets someone else write the screenplay.

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I had the choice on seeing this or Cabin In The Woods last Spring, and to my chagrin, I opted for the latter, which I surprised myself in terms of how much I utterly loathed.

So I caught RR about a month ago.

This is my favorite movie of the year (admittedly, so far). Since MI:4 was my fave movie last year, and this film tops that, I have no doubt this will reach the same heights. (And, for those who care, Tree of Life was my favorite _film_... yes, I differentiate between the two).

What did I love? It is the anti-Michael Bay experience. All the action--so many inventive set-pieces!--was clearly defined and not marred by intrusive editing. There was just enough spaces between the action to allow for character development. I thought the set-up was most audatious, and in no way did I feel like I wasn't getting my money's worth.

Nihilistic? Depressing? Are you freaking kidding me!? For that--again, check out that atrocious Cabin In The Woods misfire, whose sole existence is to cram as many horror movie conventions into a nonsensical narrative that ultimately spells the end of the world. No thanks.

The Raid:Redemption does the same thing--cram as many set-pieces into a single narrative. The only thing drab is the set design and the cinematography. All the more to demonstrate some of the purest, most inventive, most creative action pieces within the confines of its setting. And each set piece was different enough from the piece that preceded it so that it didn't seem repetitious.

I cannot wait to see this one again, catching all the nuances I missed first time around.

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I recently tried to get through this and gave up with maybe 30 minutes left. I guess I'll stick to wuxia and kung fu. Nothing against the martial arts here, but attempting this helped me realize that when it comes to witnessing the power of bodies in motion, I should stick to forms that are closer to dancing. This really is brutal in every sense. The performers deserve respect for their coordination and athleticism, but I don't find this any more appealing to watch than UFC. Which is to say: not at all.

I cannot wait to see this one again, catching all the nuances I missed first time around.

Did you end up seeing it again? I'm curious about what you mean by "the nuances."

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I saw this and the film Dredd within days of each other. I felt Dredd was the film with a more nuanced character study.

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The teaser for The Raid 2: Berandal is here. No plot or narrative details, just lots of quick shots of more crazy action sequences. And, dare I say, some of the shots reminded me of a Johnnie To film, which isn't a bad thing.

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This is now on Netflix US.  So is Rumble in the Bronx.

knowing that Evans was trying to make the violence felt—I think it misses the mark.  Yeah—you feel the violence, every landed punch, every stab of the knife, but then the hero just takes a licking and keeps on ticking. For example, if I took a machete fight out a window for a three story fall, I don’t think I could get up and then go take on another full room of gun wielding bad guys.  I may just have to take a break, gets some morphine or something, first.

But as a adrenaline shot of action, an indestructible hero is a price you pay for some pretty impressive choreography.  That fight on the metal table in the drug lab!

The brothers vs Mad Dog left a bit to be desired.  Why would they take turns?  Eventually they worked together but for the first 2/3 of that fight it was like a tag team match.  Use disproportionate odds to your advantage in a martial arts film!

Plus I don’t think a fluorescent bulb is that strong.

Edited by Buckeye Jones
Better punchline

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