I was going to watch the Japanese Dead or Alive, as it was featured in last week’s YouTube Selection, and it was also available for free on Amazon Prime Video. And the first few minutes were some of the most batspit insane stuff I’ve ever seen.
Then I saw it was in Japanese and there were no subtitles or dubbing options, so if I wanted to know what was going on, this was not a good option.
So, I decided to watch The Raid: Redemption instead.
I’m glad I did.
The plot is simple. Set in Indonesia, a special forces-type police unit is set to raid a tenement building run by notorious drug lord Tama. The lieutenant in charge is a bit quiet on the whys, and things quickly go pear-shaped when the cops are spotted, the criminals react violently, and most of the cops are killed. That’s within the first fifteen minutes. From there, the story becomes one of survival for the remaining cops who aren’t getting out without maybe making an arrest. Central to all this is rookie cop Rama (Indonesian martial artist Iko Uwais). He has secrets of his own, but mostly, he kicks ass.
Director Gareth Huw Evans made an action masterpiece here. He set the plot up quickly, set up the motivations for all the characters, and then let the action scenes flow. The martial arts, gunfights, and every other action scene is tight, intense, and just what any action movie worth the name should be able to do well. Sure, the movie was in subtitles, but hey, they were almost unnecessary, and that’s another thing a great action movie should have. Set up the plot, and then go nuts. I’ll have to track down the sequel soon. 10 out 10 machete attacks.