An elite SWAT team is called to raid an apartment tower in the slums of Jakarta. It’s a tenement filled with criminals and controlled by a notorious crime lord. He controls his tower empire by closed circuit TV. The team stirs up a hornets nest as every tenant becomes a foe and they must fight their way out.
This film is an action movie and there are some spectacular fights. However, the jagged quality of the fight scenes don’t build up to a satisfying crescendo as one would expect. The climatic fight scene involves a 2 on 1 fight. That’s fight scene 101 right? Well it’s two good guys vs. one smaller although feistier bad guy. You never get the sense the bad guy had any chance, so it comes off not being suspenseful or satisfying. The bad guys also never seem all that evil. Sure they’re all bad but never in a way you can really appreciate their badness.
The lead character Rama is played by Iko Uwais of the film Merantau. Gareth Evans writer/director is also attached to the film. It has much better production values than Merantau but has no semblance of a story. Evans does an excellent job in hallway fights but when the action turns to outright one on one fights, it’s where this film becomes repetitive. I see a lot of reviews touting The Raid as the best action film in decades. This is a gross overstatement. This film is better than Merantau but I not by much.