Movie Review: THE RAID (SERBUAN MAUT) – 2011

Published by Shah Shahid on

I need to calm down. It’s rare that you get to watch an amazing movie that’s done something, which as a film fanatic, you haven’t seen before. When it comes to Action films, it’s difficult to do something unique, in terms of the action alone. Story wise, an Actioner can be awesome, as a lot have been… but the action itself is hard to reinvent. However, one small Indonesian film not only reinvents the brutality of the Action genre, but kicks it’s ass and throw it off a building.


3 Out Of 5 Stars

THE RAID is an awesome little action flick, which I came across through my fellow bloggers. I am so damn glad I did, as this was THE best Action film I’ve seen in a long ass time.

When a specialized SWAT Team plans a raid on a local slum, which has become infested with criminals, drug dealers and junkies of all scales, our story starts. The Slum is controlled by a previously untouchable Mob Boss who rules over the whole trade and considers the Building his Headquarters. This SWAT Teams walks in and gets a helluva lot more than they bargained for.

get out! get out now!!!!

While almost all of the team gets taken out, a select few remain, particularly one man, who’s there for other reasons. This man must make his way through 15 floors of jaw dropping beat downs in order to rescue the members of his team and make it out alive, while others conspiracies and back door deals are happening around him.

It’s a simple story with nuanced performances. But the star is the lead of Iko Uwais & the Action choreographers, who literally and repeatedly kick ass! I assume that the martial arts used in the film is a regional style, but the way in which the lead character of Rama has to make his way through a building full of machete wielding foot soldiers… is fuckin’ awesome!

such craziness…

The Action sequences are long and drawn out to a point of exhaustion for the viewer. The brutality of the beat downs is enhanced even further by the realism within the action. Usually we see our heroes go up against helicopters, brick walls, and bullets and still be able to stand. However, THE RAID… keeps the realism intact, as our characters, (as well as the actors, one has to believe) are literally dropping dead from exertion after each action sequence.

such brutality… *panting*

This is brilliantly highlighted in one sequence showing the sheer exhaustion of Rama as he is struggling to walk and see straight, after an intense fight scene, shown this a mounted handheld camera, quite possibly, as a POV shot. Another awesome aspect that further enhances the fighting is the camera work. The camera is able to get in, around and through the fight scene as it’s happening, with intense close-ness. It’s a very innovative way of filmmaking as, at times, the camera is directly between the two people trading fists and face plants. It’s intense and very effective in films like these.

The Story is by no means shit or horrible. It compliments the action elements of the film very nicely. It’s a nicely framed film with enough suspense and thrills through out. It’s much more than JUST an action film, but it’s the crazy ass kick assery in THE RAID: REDEMPTION which blows minds.

Get The Blu ray


Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad


Tyson Carter · January 30, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Good stuff Shah. Loved this 🙂

    Shah Shahid · February 2, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    I actually heard of this movie from your Blog or one of your friends. Can’t remember now.

    When I say ‘my fellow bloggers’ in the Review… I mean you!

      Tyson Carter · February 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      Thats what I want to hear!! 😛

zackmandell · February 5, 2013 at 1:07 AM

Fantastic movie review. I have heard great things about this movie. It is probably time I buckled down and watched it.

Martin Larsson · August 20, 2013 at 9:36 AM

“However, THE RAID… keeps the realism intact, as our characters, (as well as the actors, one has to believe) are literally dropping dead from exertion after each action sequence.” – Eh, no 🙂 This is in no way a realistic film, even not if you just look at the action alone. Take for example the last big fight between what’s-his-name with long hair and the other two guys. This goes on *forever*. The long hair dude even gets a broken strip light jammed into his neck AND CONTINUES TO FIGHT! WTF? 🙂 A more realistic action movie would have been: one hard kick in the stomach and you won’t be able to even move for the next ten minutes. I would like to see *that*!

“This man must make his way through 15 floors of jaw dropping beat downs in order to rescue the members of his team and make it out alive” – This is indeed one of the selling points of the movie. The trailer even makes a big deal out of it (although there seem to be some confusion about how many action packed floors we’re actually dealing with: However, this was something I was very disappointed with, because in reality, the movie really only takes place in maybe three of the floors, and the characters never really say things like “Okay, we’re on the tenth floor. Only five left.” which could have helped to set the stage. Also, it would have been really cool of each floor had its own unique setting, forcing the characters to fight in different ways. Instead, it’s only knife-goes-in-gut-comes-out forever 😛

I thing this movie had potential. With a better script, and some more imagination from the choreographer it could have been great, because you can tell that the actors really know how to fight.

So, meh…

    Shah Shahid · August 20, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Again, I cannot disagree with you at all. This is not a movie the creativity and rationale of which I will defend when criticized. It’s just mindless entertainer. For me anyways.

    I agree that more creativity would definitely have helped. More interactive environment to make the sequences more engaging. But I feel they were going for ‘beat you over the head with a 14 minute fight scene’ than any sort of ground breaking action. Maybe I don’t watch enough obscure action films to not be impressed by this, but I was.

    I found the dull and dragged out fight scenes to be better than the mainstream and commercial ones which are so choreographed that you can notice continuity and directional errors between the takes. Guy gets roundhoused on his right, then falls… to his right. And so on.

    Thanks for the comment man. Appreciate it.

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