Its been a long time since a full blown film on martial arts has hit the screens. A genre made popular by the Hongkong film industry back in the 80s, martial arts films have given us many gems like "Enter The Dragon" and stars like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. But over the years when video games took over, such films saw a decline in production. Though still a popular genre in South-East Asia with Thailand and Malaysia leading the charge along with Hongkong, martial arts films became cliched just like the chinamen starring in them. The Raid Redemption attempts to bring back that initial euphoria that many a fanboy still feel.
The Indonesian film pays homage to Silat, a knife throwing quick strike form of martial arts from the region. It then runs it through the grind of the "Die Hard" series, shooting it all in just in one building, going up and down the floors. There is enough action, blood and gore to scare your mamma but a plotless storyline and some poor English dubbing ruin what could otherwise have been a thrilling experience. The film feels more like an instructional video on how a SWAT team functions or perhaps the film version of the video game "Modern Warfare". No enough meat in either to qualify for cinema.
Still director Gareth Evans has crafted a film that stays true to its roots. Internationally the film is being hailed as the next cult classic and promises to give lovers of the genre a good bang for their buck. But its definitely not everyone's cup of tea. Go for it only if the sight of blood makes you hungry for more. 2.5 stars