5-Word 365 #366 – The Raid


The Raid20121231172053.jpg

New Jack City on acid.

An elite SWAT team is sent into a Jakarta slum tower block to arrest the gang leader who has turned it into his own private feifdom. Unfortunately for them, all the residents are armed and share a dislike of the police. As the cops are picked off, rookie officer Rama is left to fight his way in and back out again with whatever weapons he can get. Asskicking ensues.

The first shot of The Raid is a ticking watch, and from that moment on the tone is set. Written and directed by Welshman Gareth Evans, thus film sets a new standard for brutal, bonecrushing, relentless mayhem. If someone created a mathematical formula to design the perfect action movie, the result would probably look a lot like this.

The Raid proves that very few genres cross a language barrier better than the martial arts flick, though in this case technically the subtitles were written first! If there is any justice in the world, this film will do for silat what Enter The Dragon did for kung fu. Of course it has been said of countless other actors since the early seventies, but with his boyish good looks and truly awesome fighting ability, Iko Uwais could be the next generation’s Bruce Lee. This was only Uwais’ second film after Evans discovered him while shooting a documentary about the art of silat and cast him as the lead in Merantau, but he already has a presence that makes him stand out in a cast of lookalike cops in SWAT helmets.

If you see this man running towards you with this look on his face, just play dead.

If you see this man running towards you with this look on his face, just play dead.

As an editor, Evans is more in tune with the rhythms of the fights themselves than most western filmmakers. This results in fights that are exceptionally fluid and dynamic, relying on the punches and kicks themselves to keep the pulse instead of using random, flashy cuts. He’s helped out no end by the score from Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and Joseph Trapanese (Tron Legacy).

At this point I would normally complain about flaws in the script or the acting, or gaps in the logic of a film. I’m not gonna do that today. If you want to hear moaning about The Raid, then you’ve come to the wrong place. This flick just hits all of my buttons. Any movie that lists 14 doctors and four massage therapists in the credits just can’t lose. It also comes with the best blu-ray bonus feature ever: a three-minute remake of the movie done with stop-motion Plasticine cats. I shit you not.

I tried to warn you...

I tried to warn you…

And on that bombshell, 5-Word 365 is done. A new movie reviewed for every day of the year sounded like a good idea back in January but it won’t be happening again. I’m taking tomorrow off. And for those of you that are interested, yes; I’m going to the movies. Really though, what the fuck else am I going to do?


  1. theipc · December 31, 2012

    what are you going to do in 2013??

  2. filmhipster · December 31, 2012

    Have you seen Elite Squad? If you liked The Raid, you’ll love that too.

    • Ryan McNeely · January 1, 2013

      I haven’t yet, no. As with so many other flicks though it’s on my list

  3. Ryan · December 31, 2012

    I still haven’t seen this damn movie yet. That’s going to change soon though. Great review man.

  4. Lynsey Doherty · December 31, 2012

    What a year- well done young man, well done!

  5. sedatedtabloidreader · January 2, 2013

    It is a really good film and always great to see a fellow Welshman doing well in the most unlikely of scenarios.

  6. Tim The Film Guy · January 3, 2013

    Loved that movie 😀

    • Ryan McNeely · January 4, 2013

      It’s just an instant classic. This generation’s DIE HARD. I can’t wait for the sequel!

      • Tim The Film Guy · January 4, 2013

        Everything has to be x2, height of the building, amount of kills, elite cops, baddies. I demand more! 😀

      • Ryan McNeely · January 5, 2013

        I don’t know how much more they can put in!

  7. Paragraph Film Reviews · January 4, 2013

    Got the BD at Christmas. Re-watched it the other day. Still my favourite film of last year, HANDS DOWN. Didn’t realise that Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) did the music, and then didn’t realise how much the music aided the film. Absolutely spectacular martial arts film. Merantau was decent, but it was like he took all feedback on board and honed it all for The Raid.

    Interested to see what the 3rd in the trilogy is going to be.

    And congratulations on the 365! I’d say take a break for a while. Got sick of writing reviews myself last month, definitely don’t want this to become a chore!

    • Ryan McNeely · January 5, 2013

      I haven’t seen Merantau yet, but I’m on the lookout for it. Apparently the next flick Berandal starts about 2 hours after the end of The Raid, with all the survivors present and accounted for. I think Evans starts shooting later this month.

      And thanks dude. Yeah, I know what you mean about this turning into a chore. I’m gonna take things a bit easier this year, at least until I’m getting paid for this!

  8. Pingback: Best Of 2012: The Beginning | 5-Word Movie Reviews

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