America is no stranger to epic blockbuster action movies — hell, we invented the genre. But one viewing of the Indonesian film The Raid: Redemption ($20) left us questioning Hollywood’s chops as the king of adrenaline.
Its premise is beautifully streamlined: an elite squad of 20 SWAT members is sent in to take down Jakarta’s most notorious drug kingpin, who happens to live at the top of an impenetrable 30-floor apartment building occupied by an endless supply of the city’s worst murderers. That’s all the plot director Gareth Evans needed to spark a two hour killing-spree homage to the traditional Indonesian martial art pencak silat.
Thankfully, the money saved on writers was judiciously blown on special effects, epic fight choreography, gun battles, unbounded gore, a roaring techno score and enough slow motion to fuel Michael Bay’s wildest fantasies for centuries. Buy it with a couple six packs, invite your buddies over, get your better half out of the house and at a minimum safe distance and prepare to have your definition of kicking ass completely redefined — over and over again.