The Raid: Redemption broke the idea of action movies 10 years ago

10 years back, Gareth Evans’ The Raid: Redemption jolted me awake. Particularly the part where I hardly evaded a rage-fueled rumble prior to the middle.

Back when the motion picture was launched in the U.S. in 2012, I was restricted to whatever evaluated at my rural New Jersey multiplex. Cable television stations played Damaged Arrow or Pass Away Difficult on repeat. My action motion picture vocabulary showed pop culture, and in 2012 terms, that was The Expendables. Don’t get me incorrect — Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and other ass-kicker icons hold their own as masters of foot-and-fist battle. However The Expendables, for much better and even worse, represents whatever stateside audiences yearn for in their smash hits. Point weapon, breathe in stogie smoke, shoot, breathe out a quippy retort to a cold remains.

I understood action flicks might be more than bulgy biceps and gunsmoke — my daddy’s sixth-degree black belt accreditation in Taekwondo implied a home of martial arts gratitude. And yet, American bullet barrages from Rambo to Smokin’ Aces worshiped the masculinity of Stallone types or completely filled shootouts. They still do. The Raid: Redemption presented Indonesia’s hyperspeed “pencak silat” artform as a remedy to mountains of muscle tossing one another through concrete pillars.

The Raid: Redemption lulls audiences into misleading familiarity as Brimob unique forces penetrate a house block to apprehend criminal offense lord Tama Riyadi (Ray Sahetapy). Novice Rama (Iko Uwais) falls back Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim) as they reach the 6th flooring, then all hell break out. The ratatat of clearing publications is identifiable — up until attack rifles silence. Uwais and co-star Yayan Ruhian (bad guy “Mad Dog”) shine as the movie’s lead battle choreographers as soon as gunplay decreases, separating The Raid: Redemption from generic action movies that’d keep stars blasting away like modern-day cowboys. Pencak silat ends up being Evans’ continuously weapon of option; the cruelty of mixed martial arts octagons fulfills the hostile appeal of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

What was this global pulverizer doing with a matinee slot in my shopping mall AMC? Uwais’ chops and punches flew quicker than a sniper’s round. Mixes of snapped limbs and stabbed jugulars moved with unheard momentum, declaring the pageantry in physical penalty beyond grunts, bodyslams, and imposition considered by size. “I never like using [guns]. It takes away the rush. Squeezing the trigger is like ordering takeout,” spits Mad Canine at one point. I can still see Ruhian’s laugh, making fun of American action stars who conceal behind stacks of M-16s and .44-cal Magnum revolvers.

My heart beat faster than Ruhian’s feet might scuttle. I understood I’d always remember my very first watching of The Raid: Redemption, due to the fact that how can you reproduce such an experience?

You couldn’t stage a more thematic seeing environment for The Raid: Redemption. I waltzed into an empty theater together with my movie significant pal. We were middle-right, no arena design, figure 250 seats? A group of teenagers chomping treats and arguing about kickflips or whatever relaxed left. Last but not least, some jacked welterweight lookin’ stud strutted in with his sweetheart, and they plopped frontmost, split in between myself and those rowdy thugs. The pieces were on the board.

Early on, the teens chattered and looked bored. I paid no mind as Rama and Jaka stealthily pushed forward through the Indonesian housing slums. Then, I spied tiny objects falling short behind the absolute unit whose bicep was bigger than my thigh. A glance back revealed the youths were trying to provoke the beast in a Tapout tee.

On the screen, tension mounted as Riyadi’s spotters sounded the alarm. Bodies started dropping around Rama until only a few officers remained and gunfire halted. Rama, Jaka, and others relied on pencak silat where Agent 47 would have looted for more pistol clips. After this point, The Raid: Redemption feels like a feature-length riff on the hallway beatdown in Oldboy, the way Rama never catches his breath in between gangs of battle-ready threats. There’s no pause to chase romantic interests or deliver monologues outside a few necessary plot reveals. Everything The Raid: Redemption accomplishes is through breakneck action choreography that never quits, amped by background beats co-composed by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda for an extra energetic boost.

In our theater, suspense built as popcorn projectiles — from an impressive distance, to be honest — bounced around the respectfully engrossed grappler. His head swiveled the kids’ way, and I noticed they were ducking behind seats, out of his vision. I chuckled because c’mon, these morons couldn’t pull this act off much longer. The combatant directed attention back towards the film as Rama searched for cover (much like the cackling brats).

Soon enough, snack artillery rained once more. What I didn’t notice — but presumably what happened — is while I was hyped on The Raid: Redemption, Mr. Bust Your Lip counted my friend and I as the only other patrons. No one else could be interrupting his daytime movie date. Then his companion took a “hit” from a piece of popcorn. She got annoyed. The gloves came off.

The guy who may as well have been Georges St. Pierre Jr. shot out of his seat at the same time Rama started whooping the outright snot out of Riyadi’s army. He screamed something close to the following, his neck veins popping at two movie dweebs (us): “I will kick the fucking shit out of both of you if you don’t stop right now!” I pointed at the troublemakers as they bolted towards the exit doors. It was futile because this dude wanted to tap me out in the middle of The Raid: Redemption. Was this really happening? Questions flashed through my head, but after catching Rama eviscerating some dope with a flurry of backhands and bruises, I told myself the stupidest two words that have ever crossed my mind: “Fuck it.” I was ready to throw down — luckily, for my health, that didn’t happen.

Obviously, we would have gotten smashed like The Hulk treating Loki like a stuffed animal. That’s the magic of the adrenaline blast that is The Raid: Redemption, though — it amps its crowd up to dangerous levels. Punches and kicks aren’t just flying like a game of Street Fighter. A knockout two-on-one climax that pits Rama and brother Andi (Donny Alamsyah) against Mad Dog pushes every performer to their sweaty-dizzy brink for five uninterrupted minutes of unarmed action bliss, defying the pain thresholds human bodies can withstand. . My mission, moving forward, was to seek future titles like Headshot, The Night Comes For Us, and Jailbreak as American releases like Mile 22 went on to neuter Uwais’ talents next to bulky Mark Wahlberg types. How any filmmaker could stack Uwais against an American-bred bruiser and let the latter toss him around like potato sacks is mindless. Such a waste of the unique skills Uwais can bring to an overseas action role.

I’ll never forget The Raid: Redemption because it opened my world to global action representation that’s now helping shape American franchises like John Wick. Maybe I’d feel the same even if there was no hospitalization threat looming over the film’s duration — then again, perhaps not. 4DX blows mist in your face to recreate the sensation of rain; I had some Ultimate Fighter contestant attempting to be the Joe Taslim to my Steve Rogers prior to the superhero serum. Entering its 10th anniversary this year, The Raid: Redemption was my unintended intro to interactive movie theater, plus it nearly initiated my very first genuine battle. If a greater power exists, they’ve got one killer funny bone.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.