American action movies are almost entirely defined by cutaways, blaring music cues and grunts. “The Raid: Redemption,” a hyper-energetic Indonesian martial arts movie, delivers an effective rebuke to that meek norm. Bones break, blood flows and swift, excessively complicated fight choreography puts virtually everything released in North America since “The Bourne Ultimatum” to instant shame.
Director Gareth Evans makes a strong case for the genre as a kinetic means of illustrating the precise traits that distinguish cinema from other art forms: These moving pictures seriously move, and remain tethered to reality as they do, with each jarring thud or crunch a reminder of the consequences.
Could the planned American remake, announced just a few weeks after “The Raid” premiered to great acclaim at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, come anywhere close to replicating this experience? Don’t get your hopes up.
[Full review here]