Essential plot rundown: A team of police raid an apartment building to take down a crime lord. Wow. This was an incredibly intense and awesome action movie. This is an Indonesian movie so I was excited to finally see a foreign film in theaters. Because I don't think I've seen one before.
The story is pretty basic, but it works. There's not a whole lot of character development. We really only get to see like 3 police officers but I was rooting for them the whole time, hoping they would make it. The Raid is pretty intense right from the beginning. And it only gets intenser. (I'm pretty sure thats a word). Constantly through the movie, the stakes get higher and higher. And there are so many suspenseful scenes that leave you holding your breath. The scene when the "tenants" of the building find out the cops are there just makes you say "Oh shit" because an already intense situation suddenly became a thousand times more intense. And it keeps on building.
And that leads me into my only real complaint. Well, two kind of, but they are related. Eventually the police get separated into two parties on different floors. And instead of switching back and forth to keep you constantly updated on them, it focuses on one party for a real long time. Then finally it goes back to the other group. But, really, the problem is that when it cuts to the other group, it normally leaves the police you were just with in a really tense situation. It leaves the audience with a cliffhanger as it goes to the other group. It worked fine one time because something happened that affected both parties. But the other times it was just killing me! Wait, no! Go back! What's going to happen? You can't just leave now! That was the main thing that bothered me.
Another thing that bothered me was the looks of two of the characters. There is a cop and a guy living in the apartment building that look out of place. They aren't dressed like everybody else and it feels a little weird. But it's not a big thing.
And lets go back to something good: the action. It's awesome. There is a good balance between gun fighting and martial arts. And the fight choreography was amazing. It is really an art that they can move and fight like that. And it was energy packed. It left me thinking How can they fight that hard for that long without getting tired? I'm tired just from watching them. And it is extremely violent. It is literally an 1 hour 41 minute bloodbath.
And the action is filmed incredibly well. There is a lot of shaky cam but it is never too much. It added to the intensity of the film without making me feel disoriented or nauseated. There is also a lot of whip pans, which you don't see in a lot of movies. This also added to the tone of the film. For being an action film, The Raid had a lot of cool looking shots. There are things that are framed really well. The cinematography is executed well.
So, overall, this is a well made film. The action is great and the pacing is good; it starts out strong and keeps building momentum.
But that's just my opinion...