The Raid: Redemption

There are some interesting action pieces in The Raid: Redemption, but the tone is way off, and it feels more like a first writing/directorial effort than the third that it is.

A friend recommended The Raid about a year ago, and I just got around to watching it. I usually don't like the same things he does, but I figured you couldn't go wrong with a pure action movie. The tone was pretty weird. The director said in the commentary that he was going for kind of a horror/suspense vibe, which I didn't get at all, and a lot of the scenes he thought were funny didn't come across that way to me. So it just seemed really uneven and amateur.

This was the writer/director's third movie. It comes off more like a first. The title makes it seem like it's a sequel. It's actually not, but there is a sequel out now. I'd kind of like to see it to find out if he was able to learn anything from this one/improve the next one. Somebody else did the screenplay for the sequel, so that could potentially help.

He said he wanted to get right into the action, and he certainly did that, to the point of it feeling rushed. The guy taking medicine to his wife seems like an absurd plot device right from the beginning. I did like Tama's loudspeaker announcement. It was kind of an interesting setup having the guys on the balcony use the other guy's gunfire to see what they were shooting at, but A. I feel like they could see well enough before that and B. once they started shooting there was enough light to see, anyway.

There was some cool stuff, like the guy getting shot through the floorboards, using the grenade in the fridge, and killing the guy on the wood from the door. Some of the martial arts stuff was interesting, although it did seem pretty staged. I liked that Andi was his brother and that he stayed behind. Tama was kind of an interesting villain. The whole "stabbing someone with a fluorescent light bulb" thing was pretty ridiculous. Those things are too fragile for that.

The music was interesting I guess. It had kind of an '80s vibe, so I wasn't surprised to hear the director say Mike got a lot of his insipiration from old '80s action movies. It was funny that he said he wanted to give the audience a respite from all the fighting noises by having a keening noise when Bowo's ear gets shot off. Keening isn't a respite from anything.

I did like the Indonesian aspect of it, seeing the different people and fighting styles, even if the writer/director was English. I liked the weapon/knife stuff the best.

I didn't really get what happened at the end. I still don't know why Wahyu was there. Tama mentioned something about Wahyu "replacing" him. Did Wahyu think he was going to become the new slumlord or something? Who ordered him to go? And if the cops were in on it, why did they want to just send some guys to be killed? Maybe so it could halfway look like they were making an effort to clean things up.

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