Critic Reviews: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_raid_redemption/
Currently playing in small theatres in US: http://www.sonyclassics.com/theraid/dates.html
It's a simple story about a group of elite cops raiding an apartment building where the city's criminals stays, and the crime lord is on the 15th floor. But, exploding refrigerator, the hero leaping backwards through a broken door frame, etc, made the movie exciting for the whole 90+ mins. I love the twist of the drama and I love conversations between the 3 main villains too. I was really captivated by how awesome the fighting sequences in this movie are.
THE RAID is a martial arts action movie, directed by Gareth Evans, a Welsh director based in Indonesia (he's married to a half Indonesian half Japanese woman). Gareth Evans has been introducing Pencak Silat, Indonesian martial art, in 2 films, MERANTAU and THE RAID, both starring Iko Uwais, as the lead. Uwais is a Silat practitioner/athlete and he has learned the martial art since 10.
THE RAID has won a few awards in film fests (incl TiFF) and there will be a US/Hollywood remake of THE RAID (Evans as executive producer and Iko Uwais will join the fighting choreograpy team, though he won't star the movie, he will teach Silat to the American lead actor). Evans and Uwais are also currently working a sequel of THE RAID which costs a higher budget.
Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park is in charge of the music scores, and I have to say I love them.
It reminds me of Jackie Chan's movies, but Jackie's moves are more balletic and pleasant to the eyes. While Iko Uwais' moves are mostly 'get down to business' type and he makes some serious damages. Despite that, it's still very exciting to watch, due to the crazy stuff he does... using a refrigerator to explode a room, leaping backward through a broken door frame and killed the bad guy with a piece of wood, and how he just slam the bad guy's head to a lamp and slammed the head 2-3 times more to the wall. All the fighting scenes are pure badass.
Silat resembles Kungfu a lot, in my opinion, it uses both punches and kicks, but if you look closely, the style and moves are different. Kungfu's moves flows more, and Silat seem to work best in short-distance matches.
Many people compared this movie to Ong Bak, the Thai movie.