Overview: Members of a small SWAT team battle their way up a high-rise apartment complex which houses the operation of a ruthless drug lord. 2011; Rated R; 93 Minutes
Strengths: The Raid: Redemption displays some of the most innovative and awe-inspiring fight choreography in the history of film. I wanted to rewind and rewatch individual scenes in the midst of my initial watch. Matt Flannery’s cinematography and the production design establish visuals of apocalyptic disarray where the orgy of violence is comfortably framed. With this single feature, the action-movie genre just jumps out of its deathbed and lays waste to its hospice staff.
Weaknesses: The narrative structure is the stuff of basic video games (fight, move up a floor, fight harder) and, for those who care, the actual story and the personalities of its inhabitants are of little concern to this movie’s ambition. The actors don’t so much perform as dance. Also, if you watch this movie in company, you are going to embarrass yourself emulating the fight scenes after.
Best Scene: When the door closes behind the two brothers and the short but deadly assassin. A ballet for bros.
Watch This Movie if You Like: Shoot’em Up, Game of Death, Way of the Dragon, Ong Bak, Blood Sport, Spin-kicking pillows in your bedroom when you’re home alone.
Suggested Alternative Move Title: “Game of Death, 2: Bruce Lee Ain’t Shit”