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The Raid: Redemption

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • 'The Raid' delights in brutal action, minimal story, with top fight scenes and audios; a must-see for extreme cinema fans.

    The Raid: Redemption Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • The Raid: Redemption's Blu-ray features a dark, low-budget transfer with inconsistent detail and color, but faithfully replicates its unique, digitally-shot cinema experience.

  • Audio
  • The Raid: Redemption's Blu-ray offers a solid yet underwhelming audio with varied intensity and detailed sound scenes, featuring multiple score options, including a notable Shinoda/Trapanese track.

  • Extra
  • The Raid: Redemption Blu-ray offers an extensive array of engaging extras, diving deep into its making with Evans’ insights, action choreography, music composition, and more, elevating indie cinema standards.

  • Movie
  • 'The Raid: Redemption' dazzles with relentless action and expert choreography, offering a visceral cinematic experience despite its thin plot and characters.

    Video: 66

    The video presentation of "The Raid: Redemption" on Blu-ray finds itself at the center of varied opinions, largely influenced by its artistic and technical choices during filming. The 1.78:1 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode brings to home screens a portrayal closely mirroring its original cinematic showcase at Sundance, albeit with nuances that may not appeal to all. The film's deliberately dark tone and noir-ish aesthetics contribute to a visual experience that is undeniably murky, frequently bathing scenes in shades of black, gray, and blue, with occasional instances where the color palette extends to a dreary mix of washed-out reds and grays. This stylistic choice, consistent across both indoor and outdoor sequences, unfortunately results in an often lifeless and flat image where fine details and textures, particularly in skin tones and rough surfaces, are either understated or entirely lost.

    Despite these criticisms, it's noteworthy that the Blu-ray's video quality does not suffer from prevalent digital compression issues such as artifacts, aliasing, banding, or noise—thanks in part to the decision to shoot digitally. This approach not only facilitated a more fluid use of budget towards enhancing other aspects of the film, such as CGI effects but also ensured a smoother, albeit dimly lit, picture quality. The black levels are generally solid, with the occasional fluctuation in contrast that can somewhat disrupt the visual consistency. The unique hand-held camera work, while contributing to a dynamic viewing experience, does introduce instances of rapid motion leading to slight focus issues, thus affecting detail sharpness in certain fast-paced scenes.

    In summation, while "The Raid: Redemption" Blu-ray's video presentation starkly embodies the film's gritty and dark thematic intentions, it simultaneously presents a challenge in maintaining visual engagement owing to its subdued details and color reproduction. The faithful replication of the film's original theater presentation suggests an achievement in preserving the director's vision, yet it might not fully satisfy those seeking a vibrant and intricately detailed high-definition experience.

    Audio: 71

    The Raid: Redemption" offers its Blu-ray audio experience via a 5.1 channel lossless DTS track, available in both English and Indonesian, presenting a mixed bag of auditory delights and disappointments. The audio opens with scenes that fail to fully immerse the viewer, evident in the SWAT van's initial appearance, where the expected intensity of rattling and bumpiness merely touches the surface of potential. In contrast, specific action sequences deliver a significant punch, with gunfire audio shifting from underwhelming to impressively powerful as the movie progresses. The dual score option, featuring original music and compositions by Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese, adds a unique layer to the auditory experience, though it's marred by an inconsistent application across the non-action scenes.

    Noteworthy is the film's handling of its sound design in scenes dense with action - such as the palpable thuds of a punching bag and the ambient detail captured in a rain-soaked journey - showcasing an adeptness at creating immersive audio experiences that unfortunately doesn't extend throughout the entirety of the movie. The use of surround and rear channels is particularly effective in moments of heightened action, creating an enveloping soundscape that occasionally trickles down to quieter scenes with lesser success. The dialog in these instances often falls flat, lacking the depth and environment-driven acoustics that could elevate these moments to match their more dynamic counterparts.

    Among the audio offerings, the combination of the Shinoda/Trapanese score alongside the original Indonesian dialog stands out, offering a more cohesive and impactful viewing experience. This setup not only highlights the strengths of the film's action-oriented sound design but also underscores the unevenness present in its quieter moments. Despite these criticisms, the Blu-ray audio presentation of "The Raid: Redemption" provides an adequate if not fully satisfying experience, reflecting a sound design that shines in its highs but fails to maintain this quality across the board.

    Extra: 68

    The Raid: Redemption" Blu-ray extras present an extensive suite of special features that enriches the viewing experience profoundly, aimed at both cinephiles and enthusiasts of action filmmaking. The collection offers a rare glimpse into the making of an indie action masterpiece, from exhaustive behind-the-scenes video blogs capturing rigorous actor bootcamps, intricate fight choreography, and post-production nuances, to insightful discussions and commentaries with writer/director Gareth Evans, and composers Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese. The content is as engaging as it is comprehensive, illustrated by the detailed audio commentary where Evans shares his journey and vision, further fleshed out in a variety of discussions covering everything from the film's score to its thrilling action sequences. Notably, unique additions like "Claycat's The Raid" and a vintage-styled TV ad inject a delightful creativity into the mix. This collection not only doubles the film’s value but also serves as a standalone marvel for how indie films can achieve extraordinary feats.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: Detailed insights from writer/director Gareth Evans.
    • Behind the Scenes Video Blogs: A six-part series exploring actor preparation, set design, and post-production.
    • An Evening with Gareth Evans, Mike Shinoda & Joe Trapanese: A 40-minute discussion on the film.
    • Behind the Music with Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese: Dive into the scoring process of the film.
    • Anatomy of a Scene with Gareth Evans: Evans breaks down the hole drop scene.
    • In Conversation with Gareth Evans and Mike Shinoda: Discussion on various aspects of filmmaking.
    • Inside the Score: A quick look at the film's music.
    • Claycat's The Raid: A claymation version of the movie with cats.
    • THE RAID TV Show ad (circa 1994): A nostalgic TV ad.
    • Theatrical Trailer: The film's official trailer.
    • Previews: Additional titles from Sony.
    • UV Digital Copy: Digital version of the film.

    Movie: 71

    The Raid: Redemption" transcends the boundaries of simple action cinema to establish itself as a relentless, high-octane experience that virtually redefines the genre. Director Gareth Evans orchestrates a symphony of violence within the claustrophobic confines of a decrepit apartment complex, turning it into a battlefield where rookie cop Rama and his SWAT team confront a ruthless criminal empire. The mission is clear from the onset: navigate the building's 15 stories to bring down the kingpin, Tama, but what seems like a straightforward operation quickly devolves into a desperate fight for survival. The narrative may tread on familiar ground with its archetypal characters and straightforward plot, yet it is the execution that distinguishes this film - a spectacle of meticulously choreographed mayhem that pushes the envelope of action filmmaking.

    Evans's Jakarta-set masterpiece is not merely content with showcasing brutality; it elevates it into an almost artistic form without ever glorifying the violence. The stark, almost colorless cinematography amplifies the grim reality of the battleground, ensuring that while the audience is engrossed by the spectacle, they're equally repulsed by the carnage. Amidst this visually and psychologically intense backdrop, Iko Uwais's portrayal of Rama shines as a beacon of resilience and humanity. Though character depth is sparse, Rama's determination and moral compass navigate viewers through the chaos, making the visceral journey somewhat relatable.

    Echoing sentiments from its Sundance reception, "The Raid: Redemption" is unapologetically brutal and relentless in its pursuit of action purism. Comparisons to iconic scenes from "Oldboy" only scratch the surface of Evans's ambition, as the film extends beyond singular moments to deliver an entire narrative woven with breathless violence and survival instincts. This is not an experience diluted for the faint-hearted; it’s a bold testament to the raw, unfettered potential of action cinema, serving both as an adrenaline rush and a stylistic milestone that will undoubtedly influence the genre for years to come.

    Total: 68

    The Raid: Redemption" emerges as an unparalleled spectacle in the realm of action cinema, capturing the quintessence of raw, unbridled violence paired with exceptional fight choreography. A film clearly not for the faint-hearted, it strips away any excess narrative, focusing almost exclusively on delivering a relentless onslaught of combat sequences that range from gunfights and knife battles to hand-to-hand confrontations. While the story is minimal, merely serving as a vehicle to drive the continuous action, it manages to convey just enough context to lend purpose to the visceral mayhem. This movie is bathed in a stylistically grim and gritty ambiance, perfectly complementing its brutally exhilarating nature.

    On the technical front, the Blu-ray presentation of "The Raid: Redemption" by Sony garners mixed reviews. Despite criticism regarding its video quality as being somewhat bland and mirroring its low-budget constraints with dark and dismal lighting, this aspect arguably serves to enhance the movie's austere tone and tension, faithfully translating the cinematic experience as noted during its Sundance screening. Remarkably, the audio quality stands out as a notable exception, boasting a near-perfect dynamic mix that brings the film's intense action to life. Furthermore, the inclusion of an extensive collection of special features is a commendable feat for an indie movie, making this Blu-ray a valuable addition for aficionados of high-octane cinema.

    In conclusion, "The Raid: Redemption" on Blu-ray solidifies its status as a must-see for action enthusiasts, successfully balancing its shortcomings in video quality with outstanding audio presentation and a rich array of bonus content. While not without its faults, this release captures the essence of what makes the film an exemplary entry in the action genre: its raw energy, choreographic finesse, and unapologetic embrace of violence, all while ensuring viewers are hooked from beginning to end.