Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Raid: Redemption, dir/wr. Gareth Evans, st. Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Donny Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian

Essentially the corridor sequence from Park Chan-wook's Oldboy spun out for 100 minutes, Welsh director Evans lays on a good spread in the balletic fight choreography department, but fails to imbue proceedings with any sense of real dramatic investment. The result, whilst undeniably exhilarating and brutal in equal measure, recalls a fight director's showreel, a violent foray into increasingly inventive ways to hurt people. The loose plot sees a crack team of SWAT police attempt to storm a derelict apartment block and take out its enterprising kingpin who offers apartment-amnesty to a variety of scumbags and scuzzbuckets. As the numbers thin and the extras are dispatched, various neon-signposted narrative deviations attempt to steer things to the left with predictably unshocking results. To further compound the senselessness of it all, a deal has been struck for the predictable US remake with Evans et al serving as advisors and producers - this despite Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda being brought in to replace the score for the original Indonesian release once Sony acquired US distribution rights. That figures might very well prove a carbon copy of this film minus subtitles proves a bigger hit for Western audiences than the original is a sad thing indeed.