Back Catalogue is a weekly column where I take one (or more) of the 64 films that I have on DVD that I’ve never seen, and watch it. From classic films to indie masterpieces from blockbusters to animations, there’s all genres in the collection. In an attempt to finally get round to watching them, I’m setting myself this challenge; watch one a week and write about it.
Film #1 – The Raid
Overview – ‘The Raid’ is an Indonesian film, directed by Gareth Evans, about a police task force trying to capture the strong hold of Tama Riyadi, a drug lord. Tama has complete control of an apartment block and the rookie police have to fight their way up 15 floors to take him down. Hunted by the occupants of the apartments, the police that make it through the first few floors have to use every bit of their skill and knowledge to survive, and bring an end to Tama.
Verdict – ‘The Raid’ is full on and has some of the best hand to hand combat sequences you’ll ever see. Whereas some films use clever editing techniques to make the fights feel faster and more dynamic, ‘The Raid’ doesn’t have to do this. The scenes are so well choreographed that the editing can be kept to a minimum and the audience can see the real pace of the fighting. There’s a little bit of back story but it’s just there to give them a reason to head into the apartment block. We see Rama, our main man, leaving this pregnant wife for this mission and there’s some slight emotional beats later on but character drama is few and far between in the first two acts of the film. For me, it could do with a little more character building before everything kicks off, just to up those stakes and make every punch feel significant. That said, the fight sequences are breathtaking and Evans does a great job of building tension and then giving us a pay off with an exhilarating action sequence.