Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Iko Uwais
Ananda George
Ray Sahetapy.
Directors
Gareth Evans.
Screenwriters
Gareth Evans.
Running Time
100 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
A Night At The Cinema In 1914
4 Star Empire Rating
Hide Your Smiling Faces
4 Star Empire Rating
A Promise
1 Star Empire Rating
Nut Job, The
2 Star Empire Rating
Mr. Morgan's Last Love
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

The Raid
Die Hard Boiled


submit to reddit


Plot
Ruling Jakarta’s megaslum from a high-rise fortress, drug baron Tama (Sahetapy) is preparing to entertain some unwelcome visitors. Enter the city SWAT team, including rookie copper Rama (Uwais), armed, ready to climb, unaware that a trap’s already been set...


Review
The Raid
Browse more images »
Critic screenings can be a weird, airless place to eat up a movie. For those who’ve never ‘entered the vacuum’, they’re a bit like taking an entertainment exam — guarded, concentrated, lots of pen-chewing and a firm, unspoken etiquette of silence. Most screenings, you could hear a spider fart in a film can. Pringles go off like grenades. At The Raid, however, decorum fell out the window. Everyone, eventually, contributed their own part to the soundtrack. Aghs. Oofs. Ows. Farks. There might have even been an “eep” from one of the broadsheets. This didn’t happen during The Expendables.

Hot off the festival circuit, the buzz on this one is well-earned and genuine. It’s been a while, but here’s an unabashed, unironic Friday-night movie — a noisy, bloodlusting crowdpleaser that’s like a kickback to the grindhouse. Other than hailing from Indonesia, there’s nothing new about The Raid — in fact, with its henchmen, Big Bads and AK-47s, it’s stubbornly retrograde. The dialogue’s been cut-and-pasted from Action Movie Pass Notes (“We go in, we take him out”; “Not without my team”, and, that classic understatement, “We have company”). The villain is dial-a-drug-baron. And yet, between an unknown Indonesian and a man from Merthyr Tydfil, The Raid’s accomplished what all action movies promise but few achieve — it makes you gasp. And, in some cases, eep.

It’s certainly a stylistic wake-up call for Hollywood’s default battle mode. Rapid cuts and shaky cams might give you the sense of being inside a brawl, but it’s wearing numb. Here, the combat is shot long, wide, often from an insane angle, frequently one take. It’s not remotely suggestive — just breathlessly visceral. There will be few more thrilling sights this year than watching Iko Uwais domino a bunch of superbads down a corridor. With the possible exception of watching Iko Uwais dive out a window, fall three storeys and land on a fire escape — still fighting the same guy.

Surprisingly, for a nation with such a loaded martial arts heritage, you can count the number of Indonesian action stars on one fist. Its last big bruiser, the mighty Barry Prima, flaunted his exotic hair during the ’80s, pounding rubber crocodiles in a series of daft fantasy lemons. Prima, an Indonesian icon, trained in taekwondo — a Korean martial art. Uwais, The Raid’s primary weapon, was raised on his native pencak silat, rarely seen and, it turns out, fearsomely cinematic — quick as kung fu but blunter, weapon-ready and not shy of using its environment. Even the set joins in the fights. Tables. Fridges. Ovens... No CG. This never gets boring.

Of course, we’ve been here before, with Ong-Bak and the coming of Tony Jaa — Uwais’ advantage is the film matches him move for move. Director Gareth Evans has pulled off something of a coup here, tempering the cartoon hysteria of Asian action cinema with a slicker, colder Western sensibility. The primitive invasion plot has just enough twists and character flips to keep you emotionally enagaged. More importantly, they double up as perfectly placed recovery points. You’ll welcome the breathers. Ultimately, it’s The Raid’s skill at reading an audience’s heart-rate that makes it such an exhilarating rush. Things become a bit of a bludgeon during a climactic fight with main hench Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian) — it’s at least 51 kicks and 135 punches too long, but, in the words of Nigel Tufnel, that’s just nit-picking isn’t it?

With its pulsing synths and underlit sets, The Raid feels like a mean John Carpenter film — Assault On Slum 13 with added machetes. There are few laughs. Just breakneck action and electric menace. Be sure to stay for the end credits, which tell their own story — a full army of massage therapists and the debris of a hundred bruised extras. Floor Hole Attacker No. 4, we feel your pain.


Verdict
Remember your first time with Hard Boiled? Die Hard? This is how it’s done — a clean, hard, constant hit of adrenalin. If it’s not the best action movie of the year, we’ll eat a fridge.


Reviewed by Simon Crook

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Raid
Empire Star Rating

RE: ACTION- PACKED

And Dredd IS better. ... More

Posted by film man aidy at 22:59, 27 November 2012 | Report This Post


RE: ACTION- PACKED

Where the hell are all the ***** reviews coming from?! Saw it yesterday and it's JUST ***. JUST. The fight sequences were well done,but most just went on on forever. The plot was way too lightweight for my tastes. Found myself checking my watch more than once... ... More

Posted by film man aidy at 22:58, 27 November 2012 | Report This Post


RE: ACTION- PACKED

Watched it last night. It was great fun, but personally I think the reviews giving it 5 stars are going a bit far. I suppose when its such a small, low budget movie like this, it catches the reviewers a little off guard. The resulting over-hype is a great way of promoting a film that people wouldn't normally notice, or even go and see. Problem with that is, I get hyped up thinking its going to be one of the greatest action films I've ever seen, which it isn't. Now, if you'd have told me, withou... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by discodave101 at 12:57, 10 October 2012 | Report This Post


RE: ACTION- PACKED

L: Cool Breeze Dredd is better. aven't seen it yet, but I get the feeling nobody cares. The Raid is a solid, visceral action movie but nothing new. I wouldn't even say better than some of Tony Jaa's stuff. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by rich at 17:46, 04 October 2012 | Report This Post


RE: ACTION- PACKED

Dredd is better. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Cool Breeze at 13:48, 04 October 2012 | Report This Post


RE: ACTION- PACKED

At last. It's October and I've finally got round to seeing a movie released in 2012! And I'm glad it was The Raid that broke that duck. Balls to the wall action that's gritty and dirty as much as it is spectacularly choreographed, the fact two sequences somehow better the knife fight at the end of The Man From Nowhere is telling in how good the action scenes are. Sure, the plotting is light, yet that makes for a deliberately fast paced no holds barred flick that just gets on with things; tedium... More

Posted by clownfoot at 12:50, 04 October 2012 | Report This Post


RE: ACTION- PACKED

The Raid: Redemption (2011) What we have here is Indonesia's answer to Thailand's martial arts star Tony Jaa. Leading hero of the film Iko Uwais utilizes the martial art Pencak Silat for some major romper stomper fight sequences that would give Jaa a good run for his money I'm sure. The plot is pretty much videogame-like and extremely basic. A team of SWAT go into a high rise block of flats within the slums of Jakarta. Their aim is to take out all criminal targets within and get to th... More

Posted by Phubbs at 20:12, 26 August 2012 | Report This Post


ACTION- PACKED

This Movie is Action- Packed & most entertaining action film I've seen in years ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by soulfood at 23:15, 14 July 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Awesome fun

I'm sorry guys and gals, but I was bitterly disappointed with this. Comparisons to Die Hard and Hard Boiled are generous to say the least. Yes there is a building involved, but those two movies alone are far richer and more interesting as stories than The Raid. The first half was fantastic. There were some really inventive, creative and original set pieces, involving slow motion, that really heightened the suspense and drama. Where did those flourishes go?? It was like the director had giv... More

Posted by jrewing1000 at 13:15, 03 June 2012 | Report This Post


Awesome fun

Is it over the top? Yes. Unoriginal? Yes. Is it the action movie of the year? Most likely! It's also the most entertaining action film I've seen in years and deserves to be a cult classic! As the Empire review says it's refreshing to see fights that celebrate the choreography and avoid going for the A.D.D style fast edits when you can't tell who's hitting who. Go see it, like, now. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Mr Grizzly at 16:24, 30 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Moves At Breakneck Speed; Violent, Beserk, And Deliriously Exciting

L: maffew L: blaud There's been a real lack of true, honest-to-goodness action movies in recent times. After the release of Shoot 'Em Up, I became convinced that it was only a matter of time before western directors wised up to the popularity of such gun-fetishist, slo-mo action movies. Alas, no such luck. Now, however, after having seen The Raid, rely hope westerners leave it to the people that really know how to produce an action moviest flawed, The Raid is pound for pound ... More

Posted by Woger at 17:51, 29 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Moves At Breakneck Speed; Violent, Beserk, And Deliriously Exciting

L: blaud There's been a real lack of true, honest-to-goodness action movies in recent times. After the release of Shoot 'Em Up, I became convinced that it was only a matter of time before western directors wised up to the popularity of such gun-fetishist, slo-mo action movies. Alas, no such luck. Now, however, after having seen The Raid, rely hope westerners leave it to the people that really know how to produce an action moviest flawed, The Raid is pound for pound the most exciting a... More

Posted by maffew at 14:20, 29 May 2012 | Report This Post


Moves At Breakneck Speed; Violent, Beserk, And Deliriously Exciting

There's been a real lack of true, honest-to-goodness action movies in recent times. After the release of Shoot 'Em Up, I became convinced that it was only a matter of time before western directors wised up to the popularity of such gun-fetishist, slo-mo action movies. Alas, no such luck. Now, however, after having seen The Raid, I sincerely hope westerners leave it to the people that really know how to produce an action movies. Whilst flawed, The Raid is pound for pound the most exciting and ad... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 11:28, 29 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Quick Reply..........

L: n13roy Just to clarify, some of the comments directed at me below. I go to the Cinema at least once a week, so I have seen a LOT of Films this Year, and many Years gone by come to that, and it is just MY opinion, that " The Raid " is the worst Film I've seen this Year. The silly comments posted here are really just trivial, and hell cares what the " second " worst Film is, I've seen this Year. Grow up people, if someone posts a negative review, its their opinion, which is the ... More

Posted by Vitamin F at 10:45, 28 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: No way a 5 star movie

The Raid is YES way a 5 star movie. Seriously considering going to see it again at the cinema. Loved it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Mr_Milktray at 10:11, 27 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: No way a 5 star movie

Great picks BUT I would've added Die Hard 3 just for the bit where Bruce drives through the park & Sam asks are you trying to hit these people Wilis's reply "NO!" well maybe that Mime? ... More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 09:46, 26 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Quick Reply..........

L: n13roy Just to clarify, some of the comments directed at me below. I go to the Cinema at least once a week, so I have seen a LOT of Films this Year, and many Years gone by come to that, and it is just MY opinion, that " The Raid " is the worst Film I've seen this Year. The silly comments posted here are really just trivial, and who the hell cares what the " second " worst Film is, I've seen this Year........ Grow up people, if someone posts a negative review, its their opinion,... More

Posted by Qwerty Norris at 02:32, 26 May 2012 | Report This Post


Quick Reply..........

Just to clarify, some of the comments directed at me below. I go to the Cinema at least once a week, so I have seen a LOT of Films this Year, and many Years gone by come to that, and it is just MY opinion, that " The Raid " is the worst Film I've seen this Year. The silly comments posted here are really just trivial, and who the hell cares what the " second " worst Film is, I've seen this Year........ Grow up people, if someone posts a negative review, its their opinion, w... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by n13roy at 22:23, 25 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: No way a 5 star movie

maybe The Raid just wanted to be its own action film. tired. ... More

Posted by OPEN YOUR EYES at 21:56, 25 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: No way a 5 star movie

L: Rgirvan44 To be fair, how many thousands didn't accomplish that? ell exactly. Some work, but a lot don't, and I personally think that the humour in Con Air, The Rock and The Last Boy Scout is shoe-horned and cringeworthy at times, and they would be better with it toned down. ... More

Posted by Vitamin F at 15:29, 25 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: No way a 5 star movie

To be fair, how many thousands didn't accomplish that? ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 14:48, 25 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: No way a 5 star movie

L: Vitamin F L: Cool Breeze Watched Hard Boiled last night for the first time in quite a while and still love it to bits.The Raid is nowhere near as much fun as that film.If Evans make a sequel he hink of including some humour and memorable characters.It makes an action movie go a long way.] And the flipside of that is that h humour or snappy one liners can kill any suspense in an action film stone dead.ally don't think The Raid needed humour, but I'm sure the US remake w... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Cool Breeze at 14:23, 25 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Totally Over-rated all round........

L: Vitamin F Need to ask, but what else have you seen at the cinema this year? What's the second worst, after The Raid? can only imagine the Darkest Hour and Jack & Jill passed him by....I hope. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Qwerty Norris at 12:06, 25 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Totally Over-rated all round........

L: n13roy I think some of the previous reviews sum up what I thought of this Film, but just to add something extra,/ personal, I can honestly say this is the WORST Film I have seen this Year in the Cinema, and I went to see it on the recommendation of the 5 Star review Empire gave it.......... Remind me to NEVER take any notice of their ratings from now on....... eed to ask, but what else have you seen at the cinema this year? What's the second worst, after The Raid? ... More

Posted by Vitamin F at 10:20, 25 May 2012 | Report This Post


Totally Over-rated all round........

I think some of the previous reviews sum up what I thought of this Film, but just to add something extra,/ personal, I can honestly say this is the WORST Film I have seen this Year in the Cinema, and I went to see it on the recommendation of the 5 Star review Empire gave it.......... Remind me to NEVER take any notice of their ratings from now on....... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by n13roy at 22:32, 24 May 2012 | Report This Post


More user comments

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
'I Have The Club But I Didn't Get The Lion's Head'
Dwayne Johnson (and pals) talks Hercules props, action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

Director Matt Reeves Spills Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Secrets
What we learned from our Empire podcast spoiler special

Peter Fonda On Peter Fonda
The Hollywood legend relives his career highlights

Kevin Feige Talks Ant-Man, Guardians Of The Galaxy And Doctor Strange
The Marvel boss updates us on the state of his cinematic universe

Video: Gary Oldman And Keri Russell Talk Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Would you watch Carry On Up The Planet Of The Apes?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)