A few weeks ago, I was shown two great martial arts films, Master of the Flying Guillotine and Return to the 36th Chamber, and it made me think of the most recent martial art film I had seen. The Raid Redemption. I saw this movie last winter while it was in theaters in limited release because my friend, who shares me enthusiasm for testosterone fueled action films, had heard about it and wanted to go see it. I really didn’t know what to expect, after all I was use to Bruce Lee film’s like Return of the Dragon or Jackie Chan in Rush Hour or Rumble in the Bronx. This was a modern, serious martial arts action film…I had never seen one of this nature…and I loved it!!!
The Raid Redemption in an Indonesian film that takes place in present day Jakarta, Indonesia as a SWAT team prepares to overtake an apartment complex ran by the country’s crime kingpin. The Lieutenant orders this mission and the team must fight story by story up a 50 story complex in hopes to take the boss down. To me, this was very reminiscent of Stallone in Judge Dredd, where he reminds us that he is the law. The film’s protagonist, Rama, is an expectant father who is dedicated to not only his family and honor, but his art of mixed martial arts. The SWAT team goes in and initially has success due to their surprise attack. The residents of the complex are criminals and eventually they alert the boss who sends a mass alert to the occupants. They run into trouble and soon start to take losses but the Lieutenant, the protagonist, and a few others are cornered and take a detour to bypass the opposition, with the use of a refrigerator and explosives. Without spoiling the movie, the characters by encountering enemies up the stories eventually are split up by the battles and the audience follows them as they make their way up to the boss. However, this mission has significance to Rama because of how his brother works for the crime boss and is one of his right hand men. The crowd favorite out of the villains in the movie is the killer, crazed character Mad Dog.
Mad Dog is one of the kingpin’s henchmen who is sent to kill the protagonists one by one. His martial arts skills are impeccable and super dynamic. He is the type of villain with honor as he refuses to kill anyone with a gun and instead uses his hands. Rama’s brother is put in a mess when he realizes his brother is down their fighting to not only take down his boss but to save him. Without spoiling the movie, the movie leads up to one of, if not the greatest, fight action sequence I have seen where it is 2 vs. 1, between Rama with his brother against Mad Dog. Here is a sample of Rama’s fighting:
I highly recommend this movie to anyone that enjoys action and martial arts films. It is non-stop action with great plot and character development. It has a variety of characters with different fighting styles, some incorporating knives and other objects. It is one of the greatest action films I have ever seen and my friends and I constantly reference this movie. We have also learned that kicks aren’t practical and if you see the movie you will see why. I believe The Raid Redemption is on Netflix and actually the sequel is coming out in January or February.
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