The Raid: Redemption
By Jeffrey Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Indonesian fight/chase movie is well made but ultra-violent.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The titular raid is undertaken for all the wrong reasons, and many deaths come of it. In the meantime, two estranged brothers do learn to work together again. But despite the title, no one is really redeemed.
Positive Role Models
The main character, Rama, is a good-hearted rookie cop who unexpectedly discovers that his current assignment was arranged for crooked reasons. He tries to make the best of it, saving as many people as he can (though also killing/wounding many). He's also trying to get home alive to his pregnant wife so that he can be a good father. He's also an exceptional martial artist.
Violence & Scariness
Dozens of characters die in this movie, which is essentially one extended fight sequence. Characters are shot, stabbed, sliced, bashed, smashed, blown to bits, and dropped from heights -- sometimes in close-up. Weapons include machetes, axes, hammers, billy clubs, broken glass, knives, pistols, and automatic weapons. Viewers see squirting and spraying blood, and various bones are broken. There's also a scene of torture and violence against a boy of about 9.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The main character says a fond goodbye to his pregnant wife/girlfriend as he leaves for work. He kisses her baby bump.
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Though the movie is in Indonesian, "f--k" and "s--t" appear fairly often in the English subtitles. "Piss," "c--t," and "a--hole" are used once each. During the closing credits, a crude hip-hop song plays (in English), with words such as "bitch" and "boobies." There's also graffiti all over the walls of the building. Though the camera never lingers on anything, it's possible that freeze-framing a DVD could reveal more strong words.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The entire movie takes place in a huge apartment complex that operates as a drug lab. Viewers see quick images of this lab (just a few moments), as well very quick flashes of junkies and drug users in their apartments as the main characters run through.
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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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Where to Watch
Based on 10 parent reviews
Fun violent movie
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Incredible action film
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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.
The concept of the floors growing ever more dangerous as they get higher, with escape only on the bottom floor, is intriguing (and video game-like), and Evans brilliantly uses the look and feel of the dirty concrete and graffiti to emphasize menace. He often gets the camera close to the action, which sometimes has a visceral effect, but sometimes it's a little too close; there's some off-kilter shakiness and some routine filmmaking "tricks" that can distract from the experience. Ultimately, the movie is too purposefully violent for kids, and the "redemption" of the title never really comes into play (no one is redeemed).
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?
- In theaters: March 23, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: August 14, 2012
- Cast: Doni Alamsyah, Iko Uwais, Ray Sahetaphy
- Director: Gareth Evans
- Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 101 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong brutal bloody violence throughout, and language
- Last updated: April 7, 2023
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