Film Review: The Raid (or ‘A Good Action Film But Shallower Than The Flinstones’ Gene Pool’)

Some reviews require a lot of words, but some don’t.

The Raid doesn’t really require much said about it.

Before going to see it today it had been hyped up a lot by people who declared it to be one of the best action movies of all time, with non stop action sequences that surpass pretty much anything that we’ve seen before.

A good thing, right?


What’s It About?

Police mount a covert assault on a tower block where the head of an unidentified crime racket of some sort lives.

They are rumbled early on and therefore must fight to survive against nearly an entire tower block of people out to kill them.

The main character is a bloke whose wife is pregnant and he uses that to spur him on.

Is it Any Good?

As an action film, it’s very impressive. The fight scenes are done by talented and athletic martial arts experts who certainly know what they are doing and there are lots of moments that make you go ‘Aaaaaaah’ as you see people getting speared through windows and blown up by propane tanks in fridges.

But there’s a limit to how much of that you can take.

Some people can probably take a lot, but for me it started to get boring about 40 minutes before the end.

You see, underneath that layer of action there is a plot that is thinner than that seen in a bad porn film. There’s just nothing to it at all. No drama, no suspense and a ‘plot twist’ that a blind man could see a mile off.

It’s genuinely difficult for me to say much more than that and I’m only 280 words in.

Well actually, I will say this…

Some of the fight scenes – as impressive as they were – were stupid. There’s a scene towards the end where three people go at it (no…not like that) and their ‘selling’ – that is how they realistically show the damage being done to them – was terrible. One guy got his head slammed off a concrete floor about 8 times in a row and just shrugged it off. Another seemed to be more resilient than the Terminator.

I liken it to watching a wrestling match where the participants are more interested in doing unrealistic flashy moves to each other – or high spots as they are called – and ignore the basic fundamentals of the fighting that they are supposed to be doing. It all got a bit much.

Now that’s not to say I hated the film, because I didn’t. It was harmless entertainment for ActionMoviesLADS but it was shallower than the Flinstones’ gene pool, and I reached my threshold for actually enjoying it about two-thirds of the way through.

There’s absolutely nothing to say about the acting because there isn’t any of that going on.

Really, this film was the movie equivalent of playing a video game like Double Dragon. The main characters just walked through it repeatedly pressing the A button to punch, the B button to kick and occasionally pick up an item to shoot or throw at an opponent with X.

Should You Go To The Raid?

If non stop unrealistic action is your thing then great. But if you think there’s only so many times you can see people elbowing each other in the face and back then you might want to give this one a miss.

It’s more of a workshop in martial arts stunts than it is a story.



5 Responses to Film Review: The Raid (or ‘A Good Action Film But Shallower Than The Flinstones’ Gene Pool’)

  1. andrew626 says:

    If nothing else, I appreciate the title

    • sgmilne says:

      Well I hope you enjoyed the rest of the article too šŸ™‚

      • andrew626 says:

        I did. For whatever reason I am inclined to passionately defend this film from criticism of any nature despite the fact I have not had the opportunity to actually see it yet.

      • sgmilne says:

        Well if you enjoy fight scenes then you’ll enjoy this. I heard someone say it’s the best action film since Die Hard, but the difference is that Die Hard was a good all-round movie. It had a plot.

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