A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Raid: Redemption is an ultra-violent Indonesian chase/fight movie. The entire movie is basically one extended battle, with guns and knives, as well as hammers, billy clubs, machetes, and martial arts. There's extensive blood, many dead bodies, and many other painful moments of bashing and smashing. Though the movie is spoken in Indonesian, language is also an issue in the English subtitles: "f--k" is used often, as well as "s--t" and other strong words. The movie's main setting houses a drug lab, and some of the occupants are junkies, but these things are only shown in brief flashes. Sex isn't an issue, and the hero is a fairly positive role model, despite the high number of dead and wounded he leaves in his wake -- he's an exceptional martial artist, and he always tries to do the right thing. Still, the movie is too intense for all but the most mature teens.
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What's the story?
Rookie cop Rama (Iko Uwais) prepares for a day on the job as a member of a special-forces team: Their mission is to infiltrate a 15-story industrial apartment building and extract a sinister crime lord (Ray Sahetaphy). But when the team is spotted and the alarm is sounded, every resident of the building -- a collection of thieves and killers -- tries to destroy them. Rama finds himself alone, with only his martial arts skills to protect him. Things get even more complicated when he tries to save a wounded colleague, and -- even more shocking -- when he discovers the identity of the crime lord's right-hand man. It all comes down to a brutal, winner-take-all fight with the aptly-named Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian).
Is it any good?
"Clever" may not be the right word for The Raid: Redemption, but it's certainly economical, compact, and potent. Writer/director Gareth Evans -- who was born in Wales and makes movies in Indonesia -- has come up with a good idea for a single-setting story, taking place over the course of one day, allowing for more focus on fighting.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Raid's intense violence. How necessary is it to the story? How does the impact of the violence in a movie like this one compare to what you might see in a horror movie?
Is Rama a role model? Does he believe in people's inherent goodness, even though he's surrounded by corruption? Can he be a positive role model if he hurts and/or kills so many during his ordeal?
Is The Raid a good demonstration of martial arts? Is it used for self-defense or for unleashing violence?
How does the movie's setting -- an industrial, graffiti-covered apartment building -- add to or detract from the story?
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