Monday, 7 January 2013

Films Of 2012 - No.10

Films Of 2012 - No.10

The Raid (Dir. Gareth Evans)

The Raid is style over substance. There’s no doubt about that. However when the style is so breathtaking and refreshing, the lack of substance is completely forgiven.

A team of elite Indonesian cops set out to clear a tower block of the murderous crime lord and his cannon fodder.

The key to the film’s success is in its careful construction of the action. Director Gareth Evans worked with main stars Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian to choreograph not only the action, but the camera movements. Having seen enough “shaky-cam” fight scenes in recent years, Evans’ direction is frenetic without being an incomprehensible mess. What plot and characterisation Evans does include is perfunctory but acts as a welcome pause between the action scenes. He manages to keeps things fresh by changing the action as the story progresses. The cops enter the building armed to the teeth but are forced to improvise as their ammunition runs dry.

Only the final bone crunching fight outstays its welcome and with Evans already working on a follow up, it remains to be seen if he can avoid treading old ground. For now, The Raid deserves to be celebrated as a wonderful piece of action cinema.

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