Toronto Review: 'The Raid' - One of the Best Action Movies in Years!

September 9, 2011

The Raid

Holy shit I haven't seen an action movie this good in years! I felt that way only 30 minutes in, but after the full 100 minutes, I still felt the same and had to exclaim that here, right upfront, because it deserves that much praise. I saw the Indonesian film The Raid at the Toronto Film Fest, it's the opening night Midnight Madness film, and it's crazy, with insanely awesome action non-stop throughout. Written and directed by Gareth Evans, the film takes place entirely in one big drug lord-controlled building, where the police raid is occurring, but things don't turn out as planned and the tides are completely turned just halfway through.

I walked into The Raid knowing nothing about it. The film quickly introduces us to Jaka (Joe Taslim), one member of a 20-man police squad in Jakarta, Indonesia that decides to raid a building run a ruthless drug lord named Tama. The first half opens with the SWAT team raiding the building in full tactical gear and it has better action choreography than most Hollywood films. If you need to brush up on your Counter-Strike or Call of Duty tactics, this is the "training video" to watch, as their technique should help any gamer hone their skills as it's near perfect, and perfectly captured on film, which is amazing. But everything quickly gets out of control for the good guys, lots of people start dying, and the drug lord hits back hard.

The Raid has badass action of all kinds, with weaponry including machine guns, pistols, shotguns, machetes, knives, chairs, martial arts, hand-to-hand combat, plus lots of kills using the environment around them in this run down building. There's even a incredible moment where one of the cops slams a bad guy through a window, falling outside with him, dropping a few stories to the safety railing, then letting the bad guy die while he slams back into another window to keep fighting (and stay alive) as they've got gunman outside as well. It's intense and never lets up, from start to finish, though the final few fights weren't as action-packed as the first half, but that's no matter, it still kicks ass and the action is still so frickin' awesome to watch.

I feel like The Raid is one of those amazing action films from abroad that those lucky enough to hear about will discover themselves, then will go back and introduce it to all of their friends, boasting about how they found this awesome movie. I already want to show it to everyone because I had such a blast watching it. There are a few slow moments that allow us to catch our breath, but for the most part the action will knock you out as much as the people in the film are getting completely knock out (but at least you'll be alive at the end to tell everyone about it). What an exhilarating way to start this festival, it's a film I definitely won't be forgetting anytime soon. It truly is one of the best action films I've seen in years. That was so badass!

Alex's Toronto Rating: 9 out of 10

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  • Fortress
    Hey I saw a trailer online about this movie. I think you should put the trailer up as well. If the trailer is any indication then I believe everything your saying about the movie. The trailer was pretty intense.
  • john
    Okay, Alex, I'm sold.  How and when do the rest of us get to see this film?
    • Ari
      it will hit Indonesian theaters in Jan 2012. I don't know about the rest of the globe 😀
  • Icefilm
    Trying to find a trailer to this. No luck :(
  • Loser
    Great, we need more of those non re-thingis and more of alternative to get Hollywood back on track but then again they almost ruined John Woo for example. will check this out. And yes post a trailer
  • I can't see the trailer from my country, can someone please put a link to download it?
  • Canada can't see that trailer either.
  • Loser
    Same here
  • Youtube
    • Loser
      Thanks man cool
    • Moif
  • sold.
  • Big R
    When is this movie going to hit US theaters??
  • Sounds spectacular. Saw the trailer about an hour ago and now I'm really, really looking forward to seeing it!
  • ur_babys_daddy
    Me likey
  • That 1 Guy….
    Damn, the only drawback is praying this title is still burning in the back of my mind when it gets some arthouse release in the states 15 years down the line.... I'll cop this movie on DVD automatically if it drops there firs, but I REALLY want to see this on the big screen.
  • News: International sales company Celluloid Nightmares have just announced a broad slate of distribution deals for the film with the wave led by the purchase of US rights by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. In all there are now confirmed deals in place for the US (Sony), Canada (Alliance), the UK (Momentum), Australia (Madman), France (SND), Germany (Koch), Japan (Kadokawa), China (HGC) and Turkey (Calinos) with further deals currently being finalized that will cover the Benelux, East Asia and other territories.
  • Great tip, thanks for highlighting this film.  I am definitely going to add it to my Netflix queue You might also check out this poll of movie bloggers and others for the Best Action Films:
  • Chrisna
    Is it going to Academy Awards?
  • Asian Pride
     yo there's another movie where joe taslim plays and also the same director called "Merantau" check it out...peace from indonesia ^_^
    • Sidekick High Jump
      just correction : Merantau starring Iko Uwais... not Joe Taslim
  • Sergio Pinto
    Just saw it at Sitges Fantastic film festival. Is an action Masterpiece! Hollywood  directors must study it for its awesome rhythm and action storytelling. Can`t wait to watch it again.
  • angel
    sony has bought the rights for a remake! little wonder I bet it will be a stinker
  • Luk_rasat
    Just watch this movie in Indonesia Fantastic Film Festival this November. Believe me, the movie live up the hype. One of the most brutal-and fun-action movie I ever watched. On the release date, the Indonesia 19 January release is delayed. No confirmation yet, but there is rumour around that we are expecting worldwide release somewhere in March or April.
  • Michaeldeco77
    awesome traier...hardy can wait to watch this movie...! two thumb up for this movie, i read all the critics for this movie from imdb...they all said .."awasome !
  • Drunken Aussie Fist
    I am grasping for breath ..cant wait till it hits Aussie shores .Merantau warrior,blew me away the likes of this .The stunts and choregraphy must be ball room bliss and fist full of  action !  Ito and tony and donnie rule the action world !  
  • Rahadian
    its poor for us Indonesian,, we haven't got any information about when The Raid show on our theatre.. although Iko Uwais brother is my friend, but he just don't know when will it be.. we are Indonesian fortunately have a chance to watched The Raid on BlitzMegaplex last November 2011, but for showing on all theatre in Indonesia is on 2012, but when exactly.. we do not know..
  • De Pray
  • Sounds like an awesome movie worth seeing. Gonna watch it on cinema in Dublin, Ireland this weekend :).
  • Jus
    wow...kick'n ass and butt...punching and's a common in a action fighting shooting flick...but having most of if from dawn till's pretty freekin' awesome...just can't wait to watch it and get my butt kick' 
  • Aenimal
    Still curious as to when it will be released in the US on DVD. But looks super badass. Best trailer I've seen since the first Ong Bak.
  • Ryan B
    I'm yet to see a review that doesn't give this film less than 4 out of 5. It truly shows how amazing this film is! This is my favourite review!




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