The 2011 Indonesian action-crime thriller "The Raid: Redemption" comes out on a single-disc Blu-ray package featuring the film's HD and UV digital copies. It won the People's Choice Award during its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Its original English title "The Raid" was changed to "The Raid: Redemption for its U.S. release as the production company was unable to secure the rights to the prior title.
This critically acclaimed piece by Gareth Evans boasts a daring orgy of violence as an elite team raids an untouchable building. Their mission involves taking down the massive apartment complex, a sanctuary for a criminal kingpin's army of killers, rapists, and thieves, to finally end the ruthless mob's rule in the said no-go zone. The story plays around the mental and physical toll the authorities and the gangsters experience in the middle of a relentlessly violent bloodbath.
From its deliberately dark and dreary tone to its rough and gritty cinematography, this low-budget movie set in the heart of Jakarta's slums offers enough tension to keep the viewers gripped to their seats. Its main issue lies on the technical quality of the presentation. Details are typically bland and lacking the crispness expected for such a contemporary release. These shortcomings become more apparent in HD format.
There is heavy banding in most scenes and splashes of stale shades of blue, gray, and black dominate the picture's flat and lifeless palette. Black levels often appear pale, washed out, and slathered in noise. But still, the audience can readily let these flaws pass because of how engaging the actual scenes unveil on screen. The film's intensity clearly helps overcome the low-grade quality of its shots.
This Blu-ray edition hosts a five-channel lossless audio track in English. It also provides five-channel audio mixes in its native Indonesian, as well as dubbed five-channel options in Spanish and Portuguese. As a whole, the film's master track for the English-speaking audience fares slightly better than its visuals. The imperfect mix's surround materials work well in carrying a pleasing bit of music and sound effects for the story. Some parts render enough potency in its action-packed audio components, while others end up sounding flat and lacking authority.
The package contains a comprehensive collection of bonus content. It supplies a series of behind-the-scene video blog entries, the musical score featurettes "An Evening with Gareth Evans, Mike Shinoda & Joe Trapanese," "Behind the Music with Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese," and "Inside the Score." It also hosts a director's audio commentary, an in-depth discussion of the movie's "hole drop" scene in "Anatomy of a Scene with Gareth Evans," the four-part production featurette "In Conversation with Gareth Evans and Mike Shinoda," the claymation-cat remake of the movie in "Claycat's The Raid," the project's vintage-style animated ad "The Raid TV Show Ad (circa 1994)," and the film's theatrical trailer.
Previews of additional Sony titles are also included in the disc. All videos are presented in HD format. Subtitle options are available in English, English SDH, Spanish, and Portuguese.
"The Raid: Redemption" is a stylistic showdown of relentlessly insane violence that never crosses into bad taste. As an escapist amalgam of an action movie and a cop drama, this indie work sticks to its guns without falling the pretentious route. Even with a second-rate technical offering, routine plot points, and bland characterizations, it has an inherent artistry for brutal action without gratifying the violence its narrative portrays. Overall, it works as a gutsy flick with a loose and uninteresting story made impressive through its adrenaline-rush showcase of cold-blooded fights.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Mike Shinoda