The Raid ★★★½

100 Movies in 2015: #33

After noticing The Raid 2 was the highest rated action film of 2014 on Letterboxd and having no idea what the first Raid was, I had to check this out. An Indonesian action movie from a Welsh born director who had only made one previous movie, shot on a budget of a million dollars!? Sign me up!

I enjoyed the premise of the movie. Fifteen stories of action between an elite SWAT team and a drug kingpin. It's like a Streets of Rage game put into movie form. As for the rest of the movie, the dialogue is predictable, characters largely forgettable, and 90% of the movie takes place in nondescript "apartments." Finally, the entire movie is colored grey which just grinded my gears.

BUT... you do get 100 minutes of insane martial arts. Despite the flaws, when you consider that this movie was made for only a million dollars, the fight choreography is top notch, the special effects not completely awful, and the director has never made anything of this scale, you really are watching something special. Won't go down in the books like Die Hard, or Police Story, but damn good fun.