The Raid… It’s difficult to know how to describe the plot in this one.
Well, at least in a way that’ll allow me to fill two paragraphs.
Unless I realllllllly space it out like this.
The basics are that there are 20 military cops about to go into a tower block to take down an evil bloke called Tama (Ray Sahetapy) who also runs a narcotics empire.
They’re led by young cop and martial arts expert Rama (Iko Uwais, who I hadn’t seen before but he is exceptional here), and he’s backed up by Jaka (Joe Taslim) who leads the cops in. However, they get cornered quickly and Tama incites the residents to exact revenge on the cops’ intrusion. Thus, it’s the time to consider sending in for reinforcements.
The Raid is violent and uncompromising with incredible martial arts action, expert direction and tension aplenty. It has a few slow moments as we wait for the action to begin again, and there’s a rather mental twist in the proceedings, but overall it’s a glut of wonderful fight scenes, often looking perfectly realistic, even when you know there MUST be some CGI involved.
Out of the many fantastic scenes, one of my favourites is where, the police get revenge on the baddies in one scene by switching on a huge gas cannister, putting it inside a fridge for protection, as they shove it towards the door of the room in which they’re trapped, then pop a grenade in, turn it around to face the door and let the explosion take out several baddies! Fucking awesome!
This release contains both the UK Theatrical version (just slightly under 101 mins) and the Full Uncut Version (just slightly over). I watched the latter. Both versions are rated 18, so why put both on the disc, when there’s such small difference? Seems a bit odd. Still, I’m also a completist so I can’t disagree.
Oh, and about the director, I presumed it would be an oriental gentleman in charge. It’s not. It’s a welsh chap by the name of Gareth Evans. He hasn’t made many films yet, but mark my words, he’s got scores more triumphs still to come.
To that end, The Raid 2, aka Berandal, is due out next year.
Presented in 16:9, which is close to the 1.85:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, the picture is a bit soft overall, which does feel a bit odd for a Blu-ray, but otherwise, there’s no complaints. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 37″ Plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.
The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, for which I got the 5.1 DTS version, and it’s kick ass from start to finish, bringing across the fight scenes perfectly.
The extras are as follows:
- Behind the Music with Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese (11:05): An intriguing segment with Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park), Joe Trapanese and others about what sounds like a simple subject, but you don’t realise how hooked you get on the music in terms of it linking in with the film itself.
- An evening with Gareth Evans, Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese (40:39): This Q&A could really have done with subtitles as, early on, it takes them a while to get the microphone sorted out and you can’t really hear what the director is thinking. There are five chapters in this supplemental so they’re well spaced out.
- The Raid Fan Film (0:42): An anime version, of sorts.
- Claycat’s The Raid (2:53): The Raid…. erm… done with clay cats. This is actually bloody wonderful!
- Featurettes (12:51): Five segments, four of which are engaging, but brief, interviews with Mike Shinoda interviewing Gareth Evans, and vice versa, plus an extended trailer.
- Video Blogs (37:34): Plenty of behind-the-scenes footage with chat from the cast and crew, featuring weapons training, fight scene preparation, choregraphy, set locations, camera and lighting techniques, make-up & SFX, plus several key scenes in the film which I don’t want to spoil before you watch it.
- Trailers: Four of them here:
- The Raid 1 (1:36)
- The Raid 2 (1:32) – which doesn’t seem any different from the first
- Sleeping Dogs (4:23) – for the game (see review here)
- Warfighters (1:16) – actually an advert for a paint-balling website. Hmm…
- The Raid 1 (1:36)
- Audio description: For those who like that sort of thing.
- Audio Commentary: from director Gareth Evans. I didn’t know beforehand that the director was British, so that’s quite a surprise.
The menu features brief snatches of the film, interlaced together and it’s a very clunky menu system, too, pausing between every last button press.
There are subtitles in English only and the total number of chapters is a lame 12. Why are Momentum doing the same as Optimum? Give us more!
Another of my bug-bears also comes up with this disc as it’s another case of putting trailers before the main menu, like a rental video from the 80s. There’s even an advert for a chocolate bar on there?! Why do they do this? They should be in the extras menu – the trailers at least, and nowhere else. You pay for the disc and you don’t need extra advertisements as if you’re in the cinema.
Running time: 101 minutes
Cat no: MP1172BRR0
Distributor: Momentum Pictures
Released: September 24th 2012
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: Indonesian, English dubbing
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Gareth Evans
Producer: Ario Sagantoro
Screenplay: Gareth Evans
Music: Mike Shinoda and Joseph Trapanese
Rama: Iko Uwais
Jaka: Joe Taslim
Andi: Doni Alamsyah
Mad Dog: Yayan Ruhian
Sgt Wahyu: Pierre Gruno
Tama: Ray Sahetapy
Bowo: Tegar Satrya
Gofar: Iang Darmawan
Dagu: Eka ‘Piranha’ Rahmadia
Budi: Verdi Solaiman