Raid, The (Blu-ray) (2011)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-Aug-2012

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Martial Arts Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Inside The Raid
Featurette-TIFF Premier + Q&A with Director and Cast
Theatrical Trailer-x 3
Trailer-Eastern Eye Trailers x 5
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 100:44
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gareth Evans
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Iko Uwais
Joe Taslim
Donny Alamsyah
Yayan Ruhian
Pierre Gruno
Ray Sahetapy
Tegar Satrya
Iang Darmawan
Eka 'Piranha' Rahmadia
Verdi Solaiman
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Mike Shinoda
Joseph Trapanese


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Indonesian DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Indonesian Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     An abandoned apartment block in the slums of Jakarta has become the headquarters of crime boss and drug lord Tama Rivadi (Ray Sahetapy) and his lieutenants Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian) and Andi (Donny Alamsyah). A Police SWAT team led by Lieutenant Wahya (Pierre Gruno) and Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim), and including Rama (Iko Uwais) among its numbers, sets out to raid the building to take down Tama and his men. But things quickly go astray, and bad guys come from all sides with guns, machetes, knives and other weapons to eliminate the SWAT team. As men get isolated and are killed it becomes a fight to the death just to survive. And, if this was not bad enough, some of the squad seem to have their own agendas. As friends become enemies, and enemies may be friends, mayhem ensues within the confined spaces of the building.

     Merantau, the previous film of writer / director Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais, took a while to set the characters and scene before launching into the action sequences. Not so The Raid (Serbuan maut: this is the International release of the film with the title card showing The Raid: Redemption). In the pre-title sequence we see how Rama prepares mentally and physically for his day and learn that he has a pregnant wife. But within 3 minutes of the start of the film the raid is under way and within 10 minutes it has all gone pear-shaped and the SWAT team are involved in a deadly fire-fight in the building’s atrium. From there, for the next 90 minutes, the action seldom flags with a range of inventive martial sequences involving weapons, fists and feet, and just about everything else at hand!

     The Raid is a full on adrenalin rush; these guys are genuine martial artists which allows the camera to remain on mid to wide shots and we see all the athleticism and fighting skills of the actors. Except for the older Pierre Gruno, there are no body doubles; this is a wonderful martial arts film, full of dynamic fight sequences where the moves, kicks, punches and blocks are clearly shown without the cheat of in-close slick, quick intercutting that passes for action in many Western films these days. There are fights in confined spaces, in rooms and corridors, brawls with up to 18 weapon wielding opponents as well as a fabulous one on one between Yayan Ruhian and Joe Taslim with is unbelievably brutal. Then, just when you though it could not get any more intense, comes a heart-stopping two on one between Yayan Ruhian, Donny Alamsyah and Iko Uwais that is brutal, bloody and perhaps one of the best martial arts sequences filmed since the hey-day of Hong Kong action cinema.

     Baby faced Iko Uwais is fabulous and cements the potential he showed in Merantau. He has genuine screen charisma and is athletic with genuine fighting skills. And of course a hero needs a worthy adversary and Yayan Ruhian (who doubles as fight coordinator in The Raid and also had a vital role in Merantau) is a great fighter in his own right. Indeed, all the supporting roles, on either side of the law, are excellent.

     The Raid is an extraordinary action film that launches a full on assault in the first few minutes and seldom lets up. The action sequences are intense, brutal, bloody and use genuine martial artists doing their thing. It is 100 minutes of fabulous, pure, testosterone fuelled mayhem. If you enjoy good martial arts done well, you must see The Raid.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The Raid is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original ratio being 1.85:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The picture is not one to show off your Blu-ray HD set up. The film has a dark colour palate for a start, being shot inside a darkened building except for a couple of sequences. There are no vibrant colours on show, all are dark blues or browns and shadow detail can be indistinct. The film has also been colour graded in post-production to give it a bluish tint, which further deadens the colour palate. To this is added the hand held cameras and the intense and active action sequences where the motion means that sharpness is lost. There is also blurring with motion, although to my mind it is not as distracting as it seems to critics of the US release. In still scenes and in close-up detail is sharp and clean.

     Blacks are fine and marks were not present.

     English subtitles are provided in a clear, although rather small, yellow font. They include translations like “cos” a lot but otherwise contained no obvious spelling or grammatical errors.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is a choice of Indonesian DTS-HD MA 5.1 or Indonesian LPCM 2.0 at 1536kbps.

     The music for the original Indonesian release was by Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal Tamin, who also scored Merantau. For the international version, the one on this Blu-ray, a new score was composed by Mike Shinoda and Joseph Trapanese including the rap songs Razors Out and Suicide Music composed by Shinoda (Linkin Park). However, from the “making of” it seems that Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal Tamin also did the film’s sound design, and it is great.

     The dialogue is clear and easy to hear. The rest of the sound stage is a constant barrage of music and sound: gunshots, punches, kicks grunts and screams are constantly in the surrounds, panning effects are also frequent as debris falls and kicks whoosh past opponent’s heads. The subwoofer provides good support to the discordant music, helping to create and intensify the tension, as well as thumps and crashes.

     Lip synchronisation was occasionally slightly off, but there was not a lot of dialogue anyway.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Inside The Raid (39:09)

     A comprehensive and interesting look at diverse aspects of the making of the film. The only down side is that an introductory sequence plays before too many of the sections. Included is rehearsal stunt footage, video storyboards, behind the scenes and interviews at with cast and crew including Gareth Evans (writer / director), Ario Sagantoro (producer), Nate Bolotin (executive producer), Jerry Octavianus (special effects make up), Moti D. Setyanto (art director), Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian (fight choreographers / cast) plus cast Joe Taslim, Pierre Gruno, Donny Alamsyah and Ray Sahetapi. The various sections are:

     The quality of the footage varies, not surprisingly, and about the 34 minute mark the sound takes a turn for the worse and becomes quite fuzzy.

TIFF Premiere + Q&A with Director and Cast (24:54)

     Gareth Evans, Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim attend the film’s World premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and answer questions after the screening. Quite informative and funny; well worth a look.

Trailers

     Included are the Indonesian Trailer (1:51), International Trailer (titled The Raid: Redemption) (1:58) and Theatrical Trailer (1:42).

Eastern Eye Trailers (10:07)

     Trailers for other films from Madman: Merantau, Reign of Assassins, Gantz 2: Perfect Answer, Grandmaster Ip Man and A Million.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region A/B US Blu-ray release includes a commentary track by Gareth Evans, the inside feature we have plus an extensive interview with Evans, Mike Shinoda, and Joe Trapanese (40:40), behind the music with Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese (11:05), anatomy of a scene with Gareth Evans (2:15), a conversation with Gareth Evans and Mike Shinoda and couple of other minor featurettes. The US release also gets the Indonesian audio with the Indonesian score, as well as the international score. However, most reviews are very critical of the video. I have no direct comparison – I think we have the same international print of the film and while the video is not great, it does not spoil one’s enjoyment of the film.

     Certainly, however, the Region A wins as far as extras are concerned.

Summary

     The Raid is an extraordinary film, with action sequences that are intense, brutal, bloody and use genuine martial artists doing their thing. It is 100 minutes of fabulous, pure, testosterone fuelled mayhem.

     The video is not of a high Blu-ray standard. The audio is great, the extras good, but not nearly as good as those available overseas. A mixed bag really.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Beware the R4 DVD ? - Chris A.