the pReview Re-viewing of..
to check out this GRAPHIC trailer and then read!
by: Jeff Finck
The premise: An out of control druglord resides in a lone building in the middle of Jakarta, Indonesia. Or for those Indonesian followers, I mean, The Special Capital Territory of Jakarta. So, this druglord fella has been sitting in control of this building for awhile, apparently. The police, completely done taking his shit, mount an offensive. What unfolds, looks to be the most violent movie I have ever seen in my life! (And I've seen the The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit!)
The trailer opens up with some very vital info: This movie has already been viewed at the TORONTO International, the SITGES International, and the BUSAN International Film Festivals. It should be noted that the SITGES International Film Festival was actually the SITGES International FANTASTIC Film Festival. The Raid won Official Selection at all three! Now I don't know what the difference between regular Film Fest and Fantastic Film Fest is, but I think it carries more weight if you win Official Selection at a FANTASTIC Film Fest. Way to go, guys! This movie is also from the makers of Merantau, another martial arts film from Indonesia, as well as martial artist/actor/Johnny Cage of Indonesia, Iko Uwais. I really hope this movie takes off, because I really want to see Merantau. And if the U.S. does only one thing well, it's that if even one foreign movie (or anything) hits big, that usually means that the U.S. will latch onto everything else people involved in it have ever done. (see: Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Tony Jaa, Donnie Yen)
All of this information is delivered atop a sweeping scene, largely ignored until the text leaves the screen. It leaves us on a prep scene of sorts: A small taskforce of police are getting set up and geared up for The Raid (Oh! He said the name of the movie!!!!) And they are NOT short on fire power or balls, as we will later see. About a dozen men, heavily armed, are about to go into Hell and hopefully come out the other side. ..but probably won't. Spoiler alert: LOTS of people die in the trailer.. do NOT get attached.
They start silently, and surprisingly very stealthily, taking out the lower floors, one drughead/gangsta at a time. Using their silencers, and the element of surprise, they make they're way up quite a few floors undetected, or so they think. Their ascent causes every drug addict in the building to rethink their life strategy.. and some to never think, ever again.. on account of how dead they are now.. from the killing that happened.. to them. Spliced in between a few shots of their Batman Arkham City silent takedowns, is a shot of an unnamed figure eye-balling some monitors in a dark room. "Uh oh," you say? "Uh oh," is right!
The bad guys begin fighting back. They set the retaliation up well, with 2 voiceless baddies unveiling sniper rifles. One particular bad ass, ziptied behind his back, sitting at a table, slowly stands up and very easily bring his hands to the front and calmly sits back down. When he sits back down, the camera reveals his acquiring of a concealed machete under the table. This is the last non-violent thing we see in the trailer, because then, all hell breaks loose.
In a dark stair well, the bad guys, now armed equal to or greater than the cops, ambush the small strike squad and light them up to Ramona and Beezus and back. It looks like this scene gets rid of about half of the squad, as the other half scrambles for safety. Then it becomes a game of survival.. and I think almost everyone loses, because what comes next is so graphically violent, that this trailer's Red Band caution, earns its name! The action sequences must be seen to be believed, and so now I will make you see them.. with my words!
The first execution is pretty standard, an unarmed baddie grabs one of the officers, only to be flipped over, tossed and then get shot in his torso a few times.. but then the camera quick cuts to 3 people just unloading several dozens of rounds into the ground.. so I assume, they're just making sure that the guy doesn't come back as a zombie. All they would have to do is take a leak on him, though, because everyone knows that that's the only way to be sure. The cops then manage to get themselves backed into a room. In the center of the room, one of them manages to Winnie the Pooh himself into a hole in the middle of the room. In an attempt to help the silly bear, they grab him by his arms, only to have their efforts rewarded by a hail of bees flying to and through his body from underneath him. (And by bees I mean, lots and lots and lots of bullets.) Then there is a fist fight, pretty straightforward.. but the fight leads to them falling to the ground. On the ground, the fight gets slightly more aggressive as the cop turns over, pins the baddie's head to the ground with his gun and just pulls the fucking trigger til it goes click. Jesus. They don't kill anyone for a good 20 seconds after that, but dammit if they don't give everyone free passes to the hospital and, possibly later in life, the plastic surgeon.
What follows is one of the best hallway action sequences ever shot. It could even be one of the greatest fight sequences ever, but I want to stress that this scene looks like it completely destroys Inception and Oldboy's hallway action shots 20 times over. Just incredible! Oh wait.. I got caught up in talking about how technically great this movie is and they executed another guy. They do keep cutting back to what looks like will be the Overlord of the building, unimpressed with the situation, walking about. They have to be building up to some sweet showdown later with that, but never fully address it. Then the trailer shows a whole lot of flipping around, people tossing people about like they're in a bouncy castle.. and finally ends with someone body slamming someone to the ground through a courtyard.. from the roof.. 20 stories up.
Even if you hate foreign movies.. even if you hate martial arts movies.. if you are a fan of action at all, I have a feeling this movie is going to make your brain explode. In a good way. This kinda feels like the first time you ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a hot day.. when the sandwich is a little melty and all the flavors have mixed up a bit and makes it taste 400 times better than a normal PB & J sandiwch. This is kinda like when you win the big dance competition, and the rival team comes over and acknowledges your talent. This is kinda like that time you realized true freedom when you found out it was okay to listen to the Monkees AND the Beatles because you couldn't tell the difference anyway. Enough obscure similes.. This does actually look very much like the District B-13 of Indonesia: A really slick, not heavily promoted in the States, kind of movie that will hit it huge when people finally catch up with what is actually good out there in the world of Cinema. I can't speak for the world abound, but I do know, after working for 10 years in Video Rentals, that most Americans miss out on some great foreign flicks. I can't wait to see this so that I can give it my full endorsement. Based on the trailer alone, I will probably just beat people into submission with my fists and violence and tell them to watch it or I'll give them a fresh one! Check it out as soon as you are able! ..and for those I put in the hospital.. my treat!
Release Date: 1/19/2012 (tentative)