Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Raid (4½ Stars)

This is an incredible action movie. A team of police rookies invade a high rise building that houses 15 floors of criminals, most of them violent. They are out of their depth, and most of them are killed before they can get even half way to the crime lord who lives on the top floor. Only one police officer, Rama, a skilled martial artist, refuses to give up the mission. He continues even when he finds out that he's been betrayed by his lieutenant, who has ordered the raid unofficially to settle a private vendetta. The rest of the police force knows nothing about the operation, so no backup can be expected when the raid goes wrong.

Iko Awais, the man who plays Rama, practises an Indonesian fighting style called silat. I'm no expert in martial arts, but I can see obvious differences. When Bruce Lee fought his movements were smooth and elegant. Iko's punches and kicks are fast, in jerking movements. They're less attractive to look at, but they're just as efficient in defeating enemies, incapacitating or even killing them.

I watched "The Raid" at the Mockingbird theatre in Birmingham. Before it began we watched a short film called "Faith". The director Nick McKinless presented the film, and he told us that it was the first time he had seen it on a large screen. The film is made up of a single intense fight scene. Click here to view the film. Don't worry, it's legal. Nick posted it himself.

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