Retroplex Cinema: The Raid: Redemption (2011)

Retroplex Cinema is back and reformatted for the new year!  We still bring you a look at a classic film and revisit it and for this edition, we look at a film that is barely over a year old.  That movie is The Raid: Redemption!  Hitting theaters in limited release last year, the movie has quickly become a cult favorite and one many people still have not seen.  A sequel is all ready currently in the works and for this edition of Retroplex Cinema, let's take a look at The Raid: Redemption.
 The Raid Redemption (2011)
The Raid: Redemption hit theaters stateside in 2012 in limited release after receiving praise at film festivals across the world.  The film is an Indonesian film officially titled Serbuan Maut, meaning "The Deadly Raid".  It was directed by Gareth Evans with The fight choreography being done by Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhia.  The U.S. release of the film featured music by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park fame.  The movie made it's premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and immediately began to gain praise from critics for it's action and martial arts sequences.  Some critics did however make note that the film was all thrills and nothing else, citing the lack of character development and that there was a "fanboy" audience for such a  picture.  These critics were few though however, as many looked past the simple plot and saw what was a wonderfully choreographed action film with a lot more to like than to hate.
The plot is fairly simple and straight forward.  In the slums of Jakarta, Indonesia, Lieutenant Wahyu organizes of an apartment building that houses the ruthless drug lord called Tama and his gang of thugs.  They try to go in quietly making it all the way to the sixth floor, but when a look out spots them, all hell breaks lose.  Tama calls in reinforcements, who systematically take out a majority of the police and regain control of most of the building. Tama turns off the power to the building's central stairwell. He announces over the building's PA system that the police are trapped on the sixth floor and he will grant free permanent residence to those who kill the intruders. In the darkness, the team is soon ambushed by shooters from above, as well as others who flank them from behind. During the battle, Jaka learns from Wahyu that the mission isn't sanctioned by the force, meaning nobody knows their location and no backup or reinforcements will arrive.  From this point on the film just unloads with a brutal force of gut wrenching martial arts and gun play all the way until it's explosive finale.  This film starts fast and never lets up once for you to breathe.
Production Notes
The Raid: Redemption was well received by critics as we noted and the production was an interesting one.  Following director Gareth Evans first film, Merantau, he began work on a movie titled Berandal, Indonisian for "thugs".  The film was intended to be a large scale prison gang movie. A teaser trailer was shot, but the project proved more complex and time consuming than anticipated. After a year and a half, Evans and the producers found themselves with insufficient funds to produce Berandal, so they changed to a simpler but different story with a smaller budget. They called the project Serbuan Maut (The Raid). Pre-production took about four months, which include finalization of the script (which included translation of the original English-language script into Indonesian) and the work on the choreography for fighting sequence which was designed by Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian. The actors that make up the key members of the police squad were sent to boot camp military training with KOPASKA, where they learned how to use weapons, and how to perform strategic attack and defense technique.  Filming began in March 2011 and the film was premiered a few months later at the Toronto Film Festival.
The Music, Trailer & More
The Raid: Redemption already has a sequel on the way and a comic book was even produced to promote the film.  You can check out the cover and some pages from the book below.  The music was also an important part of the film.  While the film was still in production, in May 2011, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions acquired the distribution rights of the film for the U.S. and tasked Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Joseph Trapanese to create a new score for U.S. market.  The film premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival with the original score from the Indonesian version which was composed by Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal, who also composed Evan's previous film, Merantau. The Raid made its debut in the U.S. with Trapanese and Shinoda's version at Sundance 2012. In its Sony Pictures Classics debut in the United States and Canada on March 23-25, 2012, The Raid: Redemption grossed $220,937 from 24 theaters for a location average of $15,781.  There have been talks of an American remake but this has seemingly been put on hold for the moment with the sequel moving forward. 
Art Used For An Overseas DVD Release
Check out the comic book cover below and watch the trailer.  You can order The Raid: Redemption right here from Amazon and enjoy this thrilling no holds barred action flick!!