THE RAID: REDEMPTION
3 stars out of 4
Is it possible for a movie simply to exist as pure visceral experience? For things like plotting, character development, and coherence to mean little to nothing in the service of primal action? Moreover, can something like the new Indonesian martial arts flick The Raid: Redemption really be placed alongside classics of the genre like Die Hard, as so many gushing critics seem to be claiming? Well, first of all, the comparison is misleading. A film like Diehard and its subsequent sequels have a far different aim than The Raid: Redemption. Yes, both are genre action films, and both feature dazzling action set-pieces, but Die Hard (at least the first one) was interested in the idea of the everyman caught up in extraordinary sequences, where whereas Welsh director Gareth Evan’s film is interested primarily in pummeling the audience with a near nonstop flurry of crunching bones, spurting blood, smashed heads, and martial arts choreography.